Toni’s Tool Tips | When in Doubt, Power Up!

I heard about this energy-saving tool from Master Gardener Rita Bernardi, who is in a pruning guild. After a talk I did for her group, she told me about when she was first learning her new skill. Her hands were hurting terribly, so she purchased a cordless lithium battery powered pruner and a hedge trimmer by Teho. Now she can …

Toni’s Tool Tips | The Hose Knows

Wrestling with heavy hoses is hard enough for a strong gardener, but when you have a bad back or arthritis, using and storing heavy hoses is literally a pain. All my original hoses were the wrong hoses. Maybe it was a function of what was available at the time, but still. I was always wrestling with them when I needed …

Simple How-To Success with Vertical Gardens

1. Fill each cavity halfway with the appropriate potting mix (or cactus mix, if you are planting succulents). 2. Add your plants and more soil, tamping the soil down as you plant. 3. Two or three times a week, tamp the soil down and water them thoroughly. This is where patience comes in handy—before you can hang the planters, they …

Seating in the Shade

Have you noticed one of the not so great joys of aging is how susceptible we become to temperatures? It’s because our bodies become less efficient at regulating body heat. When external temperatures rise, like when we’re exposed to direct sunlight or extremely hot environments, so does our internal body temperature. This is why seniors suffer from heat stroke more …

It’s OK to Make Mistakes

It broke my heart to see my beloved fig tree being carried out of my garden. I had made the ultimate gardening mistake: I did not pay attention to the concept of right plant, right place when I purchased my Black Mission fig tree. It was the right plant. My husband and I fell in love with figs in Italy …

Quick and Easy Seasonal Planting Idea

There’s nothing I relish more than saving time and energy. My friend Heidi feels exactly the same way. She loves to have blooming flowers year round (we’re lucky that our mild climate allows this) in certain places and especially in front of the fountain she sculpted years ago. She came up with an idea I think is brilliant that allows …

Toni’s Tool Tips | Tool Sharpeners

When you’re done pruning this winter, don’t forget to clean, sharpen and oil your tools so they’ll be ready come spring. Diamond Tool Sharpeners Are Forever Even if you invest in good tools, you still need to keep them sharpened. The first tool sharpener I ever bought was from a major brand, but it was only four inches long. I …

Toni’s Tool Tips | Prune Your Plants, Not Your Pruner Budget

Winter is the time to prune back overlapping branches from trees and shrubs. A good quality pruner is your #1 most important gardening tool. Experience shows higher quality pruners hold their sharp edges better, so you work less and save energy while making cuts. Do not try to save money on your pruner. Instead buy the best pruner you can …

What Makes Your Heart Sing?

These colors make me so happy. It’s 2019 and pretty cold here in Northern California today so I’m on my Pinterest page looking for inspirations for a new flower bed come spring. I’m playing with color in a way I haven’t before. Here’s a link to my inspiration board on Pinterest if you want to see what I’m doing. I’ve …

It’s a New Year!

Let’s get to it! It’s a New Year and the perfect time to do something new, try something you’ve never tried before and expand in new directions.   I find that the most important thing when I’m “feeling stuck” in the old or “completely overwhelmed” with all the opportunities I’m facing is not making the “correct” move from my mind, …