Category: Books and Tools

  • Bogs Gardening Shoes: Waterproof and Stink-Free

    I don’t do many clothing reviews here on North Coast Gardening because most clothes made specifically for gardening are either not my style (I only like floral when it’s thorny and goth), or the manufacturers are so busy thinking about the stereotype of a Lady Gardener that they completely miss out on creating a product […]

  • Planting the Triolife Triangular Planter (Kitty “Helped”)

    I’ll admit it: I’m bad with containers. I love planting them, placing them and admiring them. What I’m not so great at is watering them. So when Eartheasy offered to send me one of these stylish triangular Triolife planters to test out, I wasn’t feeling too confident that I’d be able to create an effect […]

  • The Sunset Edible Garden Cookbook

    A month ago when I visited San Francisco, Sunset Publishing invited me (and a number of other garden writers) over to breakfast. Never one to turn down either free food or a garden tour, I accepted with glee, and ate as much of their fresh, delicious food as I could fit in. (The plate shown […]

  • The Year-Round Vegetable Gardener by Niki Jabbour

    While I’ve been a professional gardener for, gosh, 16 years, one area of gardening that I have never felt very confident is in vegetable gardening. When I bought my own home a few years back, I finally began growing vegetables on my own plot of land. Though growing a few lettuce, zucchini or kale plants […]

  • Fiskars UpRoot Weeder: Armed and Dangerous (to Dandelions)

    Tools have all kinds of personalities. There are the delightfully snooty British ones which make me feel like I ought to bring my good china out into the garden and wear a floral hat while digging. And the sturdy Japanese ones which transport me to ancient times and make me feel like a noble samurai-type […]

  • Fiskars PowerGear Loppers (Part Two)

    A year ago, my pruning life changed for the better. I didn’t realize it at first, as my partner Trevor stole my fresh new loppers to cut up kindling and I couldn’t find ’em for a week. Once I did, I took them out to prune an overgrown Ceanothus into a lovely tree-like shape, and […]

  • Garrett Wade’s Professional Pruning Saws and Loppers

    Are pruning saws mostly the same from brand to brand? I certainly thought so. They cut things (some better than others), and some fold or have a pole attached, but otherwise, pretty similar in how well they function, right? Nope! After trying at least 10 brands of saw over the 16 years I’ve run a […]

  • Fruit Trees in Small Spaces by Colby Eierman

    There’s nothing quite like breaking into a fresh jar of yellow plum-infused liqueur or pear gin at the start of winter. It’s like a bottled bit of summer sunshine. And ever since we’ve figured out precisely what to do with all of the fruit and vegetables I’ve been growing, my nursery trips have been most […]

  • Blog Party for Free-Range Chicken Gardens by Jessi Bloom

    The last time I reviewed Jessi Bloom’s new book, I focused on the text. Let me tell you, even with only three chickens, I needed the advice, and I could not wait for this book to come out. But in my eagerness to absorb everything that Jessi knows about gardening with chickens, I may have […]

  • Small Space Container Gardens by Fern Richardson

    Longtime readers will know I’ve been a fan of Fern’s stylish blog Life on the Balcony for some time. Fern’s like an approachable version of Martha Stewart for container gardeners – while her photos and ideas are gorgeously inspiring, her projects are never so difficult or time-consuming that I feel I couldn’t possibly fit them […]

  • The NEW Sunset Western Garden Book

    16 years ago, when I took my first horticulture class, The Sunset Western Garden Book was the very first book I bought. Its status in the West is such that I owned three copies by the end of my first year: one old edition which had the best basic gardening tips, one new edition with […]