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Archive for the 'Gardens' Category

Desert tortoise likes to browse in the garden

Tortie the desert tortoise, hiding in Gary’s backyard garden. Photo by Karl Nielsen, Benicia, CA
1dtortie karl nielsen benicia

Tortie likes to browse in our backyard garden

My wife Lois, and I, have 4 large garden boxes in our backyard, where we grow all kinds of squash, beans, eggplant, peppers, cucumbers, zucchini, mammoth sunflowers (to feed the squirrel so he leaves the rest of the veggies for us) and an assortment of herbs we use for cooking.

There are gravel paths between these garden boxes. We tend to let our veggies have free reign, and the pathways are necessary so Lois and I can find our way through the garden jungle to harvest the fruits and vegetables of our labor.
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Posted on Tuesday, October 4th, 2011
Under: Desert Tortoises, Gardens | 5 Comments »

MONSTER sunflowers: Looking for seeds to grow 12-foot-tall sunflowers?

Gary and Lois stand in one of their backyard garden boxes, surrounded by 12-foot-tall Burpee Mammoth Sunflowers.

Some of you have been writing and asking where my wife Lois and I get the seeds to grow the 12-foot-tall sunflowers we’ve been growing in our Benicia, Calif., garden. Since you asked:

Dear Gary:
My husband Jim would like to know what kind of sunflower seeds you buy that grow to 12 feet tall with a stalk of 3-4 inches in diameter and where to purchase them.
Sharon Beckerich, Oakley, Calif.
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Posted on Friday, March 19th, 2010
Under: Gardens, Squirrels, Sunflowers | 8 Comments »

Our backyard garden: Here’s a peek at what we’re harvesting.

Our biggest sunflower head (full of seeds!) was 19 inches across. We hang them on the back fence so the squirrels can eat the seeds. Photo by Lois

On Aug. 25, I wrote here about “Gardening: There’s nothing like your own backyard garden.”

You got a look at what my wife, Lois, and I consider to be our best garden to date. We really LIKE to garden. You might call it our therapy.
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Posted on Tuesday, September 8th, 2009
Under: Gardens | No Comments »

Gardening: There’s nothing like your own backyard garden

Lois and Gary surrounded by their Benicia garden. Photo by Karl Nielsen, Benicia, CA.

Every spring, my wife Lois and I plant a backyard garden. We think gardening is a lot of fun and we enjoy harvesting and eating the vegetables and fruits we produce. Besides, working in the garden is also good therapy after a hard day (and week!) at the office.

This year we think we produced our best garden, ever, and we’d like to share it with you.
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Posted on Tuesday, August 25th, 2009
Under: Gardens | 5 Comments »

Stranded in Guantanamo: Thoughts to keep minds busy


Dear Gary: Rambling thoughts and a garden of wonder and joy.

I was just lying on the couch feeling crappy. I shut my eyes and I heard in my head the sound of wings. I thought of the way bats sounded at night when they were flying all around our heads when we used to go bank fishing. Then, I thought about the sounds of a boomerang … or, what about the sound of a jump rope when the kids speed things up … an old timey disciplinarian with a willow switch … a rodeo rider getting ready to rope a cow … the buzz of a hummingbird’s wings … the bees in my garden hovering over the borage plant with its tiny sapphire blue star-like flowers. The gentle, beautiful garden …
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Posted on Wednesday, April 16th, 2008
Under: Gardens, Natural Thoughts | No Comments »