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Berkeley is leading the way in edible gardening, according to Sunset's Garden Editor Kathleen Brenzel. Brenzel, Sunset’s Garden Editor, paused on her busy book tour to answer some questions posed by Berkeleyside. Easy: many native plants, including cleveland sage and ceanothus, but also penstemons (Penstemon spectabilis and P.
Although chicken raising is a passion everywhere, Berkeley is leading the way in edible gardening, and water-conserving garden design.
The UC Botanical Garden tops my list; gorgeous native plants, succulents, cactus, and wonderful trails through the plant collections. To find out about more events in Berkeley and nearby, visit Berkeleyside’s Events Calendar. To see our content at its best we recommend upgrading if you wish to continue using IE or using another browser such as Firefox, Safari or Google Chrome. With gardening ranked as the second most popular pastime for Waitrose customers after cooking, the upmarket grocer is looking to capitalise on its customers' green fingers and signficantly up its 6pc share of the horticulture market. Gardening is the “superfood” of exercise.  It has a host of excellent benefits for mind and body.  How can you turn a day of gardening into an effective workout? Active gardening, which includes everything from raking and weeding to digging and clearing land, works muscles of the body.  You can get, in one gardening session, moderate cardiovascular exercise, weightlifting, and stretching. Most people, particularly those with jobs outside the home save their gardening for the weekend and do marathon sessions.  This is a good workout, of course, but to get the most benefit for your effort, try to break your chores up into 30 to 60 minute sessions at least three times a week.
Gardening is just about excuse-proof.  Even if you have only a small patch of lawn, you can garden in a “square foot,” as is the growing trend in urban areas. I found a whole page of inspiring articles at Sunset Magazine with ideas for small space container gardening. Just to get my hands in the dirt and lift my spirits this week, I added a few annuals to the pots I had on my front porch. I planted in Ney York already, a number of rare herb perennials I tracked down via some miracle and left for Florida hoping I missed the frost. Having a small garden is great- we have around 21 fuirt trees and I usually plant a small garden of veg. I have mint in one pot, but no other herb or veggies yet…thanks for the inspirations! Oh, by the way, my sister just recently moved from her rental into a house they purchased in Denver. We are in the middle of ripping out our entire front lawn (we have a small front yard) and replacing it with flower beds and winding mosaic style paths. I was always scared of gardening, my parents had great gardens and I figured it was too much work and I’d never match up! Thanks Sarah, working outsidet in the yard is quite therapeutic even though I really don’t know what I am doing I enjoy being out there! I am not able to plant container gardens the way I used to, but I have a few and all thanks to Mother’s Day! Okay tonight when all is quiet I am coming back here and reading all these wonderful gardeners weblogs. When gardening organically, think of your fruit and vegetables as part of an eco system that starts in the soil and includes the water supply, people, wildlife and even insects. Organic gardeners rely on developing a healthy, fertile soil and growing a mixture of crops.  Genetically modified (GM) crops are constantly in the news as of late and are not allowed under organic standards because they are modified and not original to their variety, they are unsafe and untested. The merging together of plants and soil allowing the Earth to naturally bear what it was made to do would be considered organic gardening.
You might wander how you can garden without herbicides and pesticides and how are you going to control the weeds, bugs, and animals that may threaten a thriving garden? But the thing is, for years gardeners have been growing things just fine without the use of chemicals.

We should be able to use the same ingredients as the early settlers used rather than franken chemicals born in a chemist’s laboratory. Vegetables and fruit produced using organic method tastes better, have more vitamins and minerals and have none of the cancer causing chemicals in them. There has been a great rise in the interest of ecology and concern about the environment that has bred new life to this form of gardening. Taking advantage companion planting and natural predators the home gardener can manage pest control and maintain an organic garden quite easily. Most people who decide to start organic gardening report that the enjoyment they receive is paramount to their decision to go the route of no-chemicals in favor of the all-natural route.  Many people like to watch the tender new growth come to full maturity and, as a bonus, you get to eat it!
Naturally grown corn on the cob and newly picked green beans are especially noticeable, but nothing compares to vine ripened organically grown tomato.
A phenomenon noted by most people when harvesting their very first vegetables from their very first garden is that everyone eats much more of a given vegetable than they would of a similar commercial variety. For a gardener who still isn’t convinced about the need to garden organically, here are some statistics that may help change your mind.
The choice is yours, it’s really not that difficult to go the organic route and the health benefits will be worth the trouble. The Municipal Rose Garden on Euclid Ave is a landmark — all those terraces of roses stepping down to a bay view.
This will make us a serious player in what is already a hugely successful category for us." Other retailers have sought to tap into the gardening market, which was valued at around A?4bn in 2010. If you don’t have a lot of space, this might be the gardening solution for you — as well as the perfect solution for renters (and beginning gardeners) like me! It is just a small step towards my ultimate goal of making this area a summery outdoor room (yes, my summer office), but it was enough to give me a sense of being home, even as I am still unsure what the future will bring. This porch has a view of the lake and will be a nice cool place to enjoy the sunshine and watch my son play in the yard.
I borrowed my mom’s sewing machine and I intend to recover those pillows with a striped, nautical fabric. I’ve had a flower garden since we moved in to this house 4 years ago but this year we started a raised veggie garden and planted it following the squarefoot gardening method. Now in the monsoon that is Ponte Vedra, I have resolved not to allow the gardens here to be beat by heat and pests. Yesterday I decided that since we won’t have the time to get new vegatable beds established in our new yard that instead I would do as much as I could in containers.
She has planted a garden for the last two years at her rental and gets to plant her very own in her very own yard this year. I have done that in a couple of our homes and LOVED it so much more than I loved our clover and dandelion filled grass!
But then I just started small and slow and now we have raised beds for veggies and lots of pretty flowers. It’s going to be so much fun for you and your son to raise a little herb garden together and to harvest it, too! Well, I always get an early start, even though EVERYONE tells me I am crazy and WHAT IF THERE IS A FROST!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I’ve never thought of doing anything like that (well, maybe tomatoes, but I hate tomatoes). I struggle with it all the time, and am in awe of gardeners who can (seemingly effortlessly) throw plants together for an effect like this. An organic gardener strives to work in harmony with natural systems and to minimize and continually replenish any resources the garden consumes. The plants and the soil are one working together to provide food and nourishment not only to humans but to animals and organisms as well.
Herbicides and pesticides were considered the gardeners best friend and now you will be expected not to use them?

Early settlers of our land did not have any herbicides, pesticides or synthetic fertilizers and they got along just fine. It only makes sense that we should be able to apply the same principles to get the same results as they did today. By using natural materials, such as kitchen and garden scraps a gardener can create compost and fertilize the garden naturally. Organic gardening goes way beyond lack of chemicals in our vegetables and fruit and the benefits for us and our families. They found that about half of the essential nutrients on our food had been reduced by as much as 38 percent as compared to the 1950′s.
Many of the immune enhancing compounds that make life wonderful, make our food taste wonderful, and also protect us from cancers and a lot of chronic disease. When you take your first bite of an organically grown tomato it’s something you won’t forget and you will never want a commercially grown tomato again. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) considers 60 percent of herbicides, 90 percent of fungicides, and 30 percent of insecticides to be carcinogenic. Studies have found significantly higher levels of nutrients such as vitamin C, iron, magnesium and phosphorus, and significantly less nitrates (a toxin) in organic crops. A 2003 study in the Journal of Agricultural Food Chemistry concluded that organic foods are better for fighting cancer. You will be able to recycle your kitchen and garden waste and at the same time help save the environment.
Last year, it emerged that Next was considering opening a handful of garden centres after a pilot store proved successful. In case you all are wondering if sewing is really a good idea for me ( I know you are worried for me), the last time I remember sewing was in home ec class when we made our aprons. Tell me about it!  Feel free to share your suggestions, ideas or links to your gardening posts in the comments! We’ve made the most of it however and have a hanging basket of petunias (delish!) and a few small containers harboring carrrots, cucumbers, tomatoes and strawberries. We planted hostas, azaleas, lilies, and other plants along with some contaniers of peppers, celery, spinach, lettuce, and herbs.
Organic gardeners don’t use pesticides, herbicides or synthetic fertilizers on their plants.
And in 2005, scientists found that, compared to rats that ate conventional diets, organically fed rats experienced a variety of health benefits. Zone 16, the Berkeley hills, practically never sees a white frost, either, and cold air drains away from these slopes. I try to plant sustinence everywhere I can and no longer many flowers: These are hard times, what i can give away in food helps others, that is the most important thing. Most plants are out of bloom most of the time so consider the leaf texture, color and shape first. While I do not have a particularly green thumb, I think gardening will be a fun project my son and I can learn to do together. My DH made them when we first moved in because we had NO yard, it was just all dirt and he knows I LOVE FLOWERS! It takes experience, artistry, and guts to be able to put together plants in a way that can carry a space. The site will also sell more than 5,000 horticulture products in association with online garden supplier, Crocus.

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