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Gardening Etcetera: Sweet Pea: Queen of the Annuals

More than a few gardeners’ ears surely perked up February 2nd upon hearing Punxsutawney Phil’s prognostication of an early spring. Whether you…

3 hours ago(0)

Gardening Etcetera: Why People Don't Garden

Gardening isn’t all sweetness and light. Though often touted as having a myriad of benefits like growing fresh produce and being of service, g…

January 30, 2016 3:00 am(0)

Getting organized: The emotional challenge of tidying up

Getting organized: The emotional challenge of tidying up

Alicia Marmoros was desperate to bring some order to her home but didn’t know how to start.

January 12, 2016 4:05 pm(0)

Gardening Etcetera: Dance of the Locust Leaves

Recently, while stopping by HomCo, I spotted a tiny twister careening through a pile of leaves and starting a bright yellow flash mob. The tro…

December 26, 2015 8:15 am(0)

Gardening Etcetera: Terra BIRDS keeps school gardens going and growing in Flagstaff

I felt a tap on my arm and heard my name. The voice came from a student at DeMiguel Elementary School who was clutching something in his palm.…

December 18, 2015 3:12 pm(0)

Gardening Etcetera: Natural versus genetically engineered foods

Many people avoid eating genetically engineered (GE) foods because they prefer to eat natural foods. This raises the question – what does the …

December 12, 2015 3:00 am(0)

Gardening Etcetera: A bluebird kind of day

The sportscaster opening the Women’s Cross Country Skiing event at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia joyfully declared, “This is a blu…

December 05, 2015 3:00 am(0)

He did it himself: backyard waterfall

He did it himself: backyard waterfall

You might think the prescription for recovering from two bypass surgeries and trying to prevent a third would be plenty of rest, and little exertion.

December 03, 2015 5:19 pm(0)

Gift ideas for the gardener in your life

Gift ideas for the gardener in your life

There is no shortage of trowels, hoses and birdhouses out there just waiting to be wrapped up for your favorite gardener. Following is a varie…

December 01, 2015 5:38 pm(0)

Gardening Etcetera: Shoot-out at Thanksgiving

Please note: This article was previously published in the November 23, 2013 edition of the Arizona Daily Sun.

November 28, 2015 3:00 am(0)

Gardening Etcetera: The Kids' Garden, Part 2

At Nikki’s request, Ella runs to the house, bringing back a plastic gallon bag. She then carefully tiptoes through the garden, remembering to …

November 21, 2015 3:00 am(0)

How to dry and store herbs for best flavor later

In fall, herb gardeners are overcome with the need to harvest and dry our herbs.

November 17, 2015 6:00 pm(0)

Gardening Etcetera: The Kids' Garden, Part 1

Nearing my neighbor's backyard on my daily walk to get the Arizona Daily Sun, I hear barking. Their three dogs know they will each get a biscu…

November 14, 2015 3:00 am(0)

Garlic is my friend

Just when it seems like winter weather is putting the lid on any possibility of gardening, a sliver of hope slips in covered in a delicately-s…

November 06, 2015 4:03 pm(0)

Gardening Etcetera: Hair of Tree

Our relationship with leaves is an ancient one. In Celtic mythology, leaves of the yew represented immortality, while the annual shedding of d…

October 31, 2015 3:00 am(0)

Gardening Etcetera: The Great Spud Experiment

When we first moved to Flagstaff I thought I’d give gardening a try. In California I’d grown tomatoes with some success, so how much harder co…

October 23, 2015 3:42 pm(0)

Gardening Etcetera: Bulbs!

Fall-planted, spring-blooming bulbs are irresistible additions to Flagstaff gardens. Their beautiful flowers give us hope that winter will pas…

October 17, 2015 3:00 am(0)

Gardening Etcetera: Fall Garden Cleanup: Worthwhile or Waste?

Sorry, folks: our gardens are going down for the count, finishing off their annual flourish of flowers and veggies as nights lengthen and temp…

October 10, 2015 3:00 am(0)

Gardening Etcetera: An El Nino Winter - Here it Comes!

As the balmy days of autumn segue into the frigid days of winter, we northern Arizonans anxiously anticipate what could be one of the largest …

October 03, 2015 5:30 am(0)

Spring bulb surprises: New and underused picks to plant in fall

Spring bulb surprises: New and underused picks to plant in fall

It’s easy to dream of spring bulbs amid the drudgery of fall leaf raking and garden cleanup. Luckily, now is the time to purchase and plant sp…

October 01, 2015 5:15 pm Photos



Garden pros share dirt on common mistakes that drive them crazy

Garden pros share dirt on common mistakes that drive them crazy

You would be wrong, so wrong, if you imagined a gaggle of garden gurus shuffling off to the potting shed, whispering, trading reports of the t…

October 01, 2015 5:14 pm(0)

Gardening Etcetera: Corn is life: A personal Hopi perspective

"Corn is Life" is based on my personal experiences of growing corn on the Hopi Indian Reservation. The importance of this title is related to …

September 26, 2015 3:15 am(0)

Gardening Etcetera: Holy hollyhocks!

Hollyhocks are considered by many gardeners to be the quintessential cottage garden flower. Their tall green or reddish stems, laden with flut…

September 19, 2015 2:45 am(0)

Gardening Etcetera: Wupatki Garden demonstrates and educates

Wupatki National Monument (, about an hour’s drive northeast of Flagstaff, lies on the Colorado Plateau between the pastel cliffs…

September 12, 2015 3:15 am(0)

Gardening Etcetera: Coconino County Fair: Where digital meets down-to-earth

It’s 9 a.m. on the Wednesday before the Coconino County Fair, happening September 4-7, at Fort Tuthill. After introducing myself to Ricky Conw…

September 05, 2015 3:00 am(0)

Gardening Etcetera: Biological control: an alternative to harmful chemicals

“Watch your head!” The pilot shouted over the din of the single engine plane.

August 27, 2015 3:03 pm(0)

Gardening Etcetera: Garden conference has something for everyone

Mark your calendar for Saturday, Sep. 19, for the 16th annual Arizona Highlands Garden Conference in Flagstaff. Historically, the conference h…

August 22, 2015 3:00 am(0)

Gardening Etcetera: Whole lotta slitherin': Garter snakes

At first, I thought it was a kid’s toy that had been tossed into my backyard. It was slender, about a foot and a half long, and had olive gray…

August 15, 2015 3:00 am(0)

Edging adds elegant finish to garden beds

Edging adds elegant finish to garden beds

One summer when I couldn’t finish weeding an 80-foot-long border of shrubs and perennials, my mother — an avid English gardener — took a good …

August 12, 2015 5:52 pm(0)

Gardening Etcetera: Your favorite neighborhood gardens

Along deeply shaded streets and in sun-drenched yards are nestled pockets of botanical industry. They appear in many forms: tidy gardens and t…

August 08, 2015 3:00 am(0)

Gardening Etcetera: Get off the fence on honeysuckles

Summer in my front yard is a red carpet affair. Glittery-winged celebs hover and strike poses for their close-ups, then flit or fly to a strin…

August 01, 2015 6:15 am(0)

Gardening Etcetera: WANTED: Your best garden writing

Have you ever imagined seeing your writing in print and online, admired by family, friends, neighbors, bosses, teachers or professors?

July 25, 2015 9:30 am(0)

Gardening Etcetera: The vampire of the vegetable world

The dark, it’s where we are born, and it’s where we spend most of our lives. Can you guess what I am? I am a white asparagus! We are called th…

July 18, 2015 6:30 am(0)

Garden renegades: 3 fresh ideas for front yards

Garden renegades: 3 fresh ideas for front yards

For decades, the perfectly mowed lawn has endured as an American pursuit. But today, a growing number of homeowners are rethinking this defaul…

July 16, 2015 4:40 pm(0)

Now blowing in the wind...

Editor’s note: Dana Prom Smith, the longtime gardening editor of the Arizona Daily Sun, died suddenly Sunday night of a heart attack. He was 8…

July 03, 2015 4:13 pm(0)

Gardening Etcetera: Growing a Seed Lending Library for Flagstaff

When I walked into the small, public library in Brandon, VT, it only took me a moment to notice the quaint, 15-drawer card catalog with a hand…

July 03, 2015 12:24 am(0)

Your house may harbor more dangers than you think

Soap may seem to be keeping germs at bay, but in many homes, it’s doing harm. Surprisingly, there are items lurking in most homes that are unh…

July 02, 2015 6:10 pm(0)

Gardening Etcetera: Lhude Sing Cuccu

A song favored by many gardeners and lovers of the English language is “Sing Cuckoo,” a poem from the 13th century. I’ve attached a modernized…

June 27, 2015 3:15 am(0)

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