Fresh From Nancy's Garden

A Fun Place For Gardening Tips and Great Recipes

Gardening Tips

This summer’s harvest–the good, the bad and the bugs

Summer in Laguna Beach this year was very gray and dreary. Not a lot of sun for tomatoes or peppers. But I kept at it. The cages around the raised beds did their job and I’m happy to say I only caught a couple rats! Below I will share my harvests and some pointers for new gardeners. If I can save anyone any aggravation I’ll be pleased. This is my […]

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The Winter Garden, The Rain Barrel and Disneyland Dirt

When I was in Bhutan last fall I noticed many of the buildings had really cool cup rain chains, some silver, some copper but my favorite one had a red patina over silver. I’m sorry I didn’t bring some home along with the prayer flags that I still need to hang in the garden. But as I learned from the monks, I need to make sure I hang them on […]

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Mid-Summer Harvest and How I Jinxed My Garden

I should have known better! Just last week I was telling a friend that my garden had been “pest-and-critter-free” this year. I was even gloating a little. As soon as I said it I worried that I had jinxed it…and boy, did I ever!  Last Wednesday, as I planted more cilantro (I can never have enough), admired how well my lettuce looked, and nibbled on the best strawberry crop I’ve ever had, […]

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The First Harvest Of The Season and My New Garden

Working in my garden gives me great pleasure, but picking the first spring vegetables and biting into the first tomato of the season is pure joy. I’ve had an abundance of peas this year and the green beans have been great, but finally the first tomatoes were ripe and ready to eat. Here are the shallots, potatoes, small garlic, zucchini and cabbage I harvested. I didn’t have much luck with my cabbage crop. […]

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August Harvest & Clean-Up In The Garden…And This Summer’s Pests & Problems

A lot of you have asked how my garden was doing this summer–or should I say lack of summer here in Laguna Beach. I think we broke a few records for how little sunshine we’ve had. So when I woke up to sunshine last Wednesday I was so excited–I had forgotten what that was like. This summer the sun made an appearance around 2 or 3 in the afternoon–if at […]

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June Gloom In The Garden and My Mardi Gras Bead Tree

This is what June Gloom looks like in Southern California. It’s grey, wet, damp and chilly. It’s the kind of cold that hangs in the air all day and bathroom towels don’t ever really dry–not even overnight! On a good day the sun might peek out around 4. On a bad day we don’t see the sun at all. I hate it and my garden hates it too, especially the tomatoes. So […]

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The "It All Started With An Avocado" Hillside Fruit Orchard Is Planted

Here it is–my “it all started with an avocado” hillside fruit orchard. For years I’ve wanted to grow my own avocados. I love them and when Jake’s home he can eat three or more a day. So I decided the time was now–I was going to buy two avocado trees and make my dream come true. Well, you know how those improvement project are–they start small and just get bigger and […]

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Tomatomania at Rogers Gardens and Three Cans of Purple Spray Paint

Yes, it’s that time again! Tomatomania at Rogers Gardens.  You’re probably wondering what three cans of high gloss purple spray paint have to do with Tomatomania and my spring veggie garden. Well, wonder no more, and take a look at my “refurbished” bistro table sitting proudly in the newly-planted spring garden “screen” house.  Tomatomania is always so much fun! They have hundreds–I’m not kidding–of varieties of tomatoes to choose from. […]

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"The Top 5 Reasons You Know It’s December in California"…and other garden tales.

5.  My 60+ year-old orange tree is loaded with the best, most delicious Valencia oranges just waiting for the juicer…or a great bottle of Prosecco (okay…or Champagne). Just mix together and toast the New Year. 4.  The bird migration is limited to Birds of Paradise. 3.  The camellias are in bloom. 2.  Cayenne peppers are still growing. 1.  My December 30th harvest includes peppers, peppers and more peppers along with […]

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Fall Planting Part 2 and It’s Still 88 Degrees Outside

There must be some connection between my planting schedule and the weather. When I put in my first fall seeds (click for a then and now) it was so hot I wasn’t sure they’d make it. But they did! And with all this heat, my peppers keep producing. The offer for peppers still stands…please take some from me! In spite of the heat, I was ready to put more fall veggies […]

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