Jennifer Jewell

Host, In a North State Garden

Jennifer Jewell is a professional garden writer and avid home gardener based in Northern California, where she lives and gardens with her husband, two daughters and two dogs. Her writing about gardens and gardeners around the world has been featured in Edible Shasta-Butte, Gardens Illustrated, House & Garden, Natural Home, Old House Journal, Colorado Homes & Lifestyles and mountainliving.com. She is a member of the Garden Writers Association. She is the host of In a North State Garden, part of NSPR's food and gardening suite, From the Ground Up. That program, and more of Jennifer's work, can be found at Jewellgarden.com.

As gardeners or naturalists, we often share an urge to display our love – flowers or fruits of the season arranged in bottles and vases, in bowls and on platters. The deep beauty of the harvest and the season have a strong call. As gardeners who harvest food and flowers, as nature lovers who gently forage fallen moss, lichen, stones, feathers, or cooks who prepare our fruits, vegetables and foraged edibles we all experience that moment – perhaps daily of saying: what will I put that in? What vase, large or small, what dinner plate, what cake plate, what bowl? 

2012 Liz Hafalia, The Chronicle

 


Late winter early spring might be kind of quiet in the garden in terms of flowers, but it is very busy in terms of plant care – especially in the care of keeping of our roses.  Roses are a favorite of many gardeners, a staple of many gardens, they have been cultivated, celebrated, bred and judged for more than 5,000 years around the world. Roses can and are grown just about anywhere in the world. Their history and mythology runs deeply through the roots of cultures around the world. Roses are among the pluralists of the world. They can be ancient or modern, they can be brassy and bright or elegant and understated. They can be edible, native, tenaciously perennial, fragrant, large, small, climbing, cuttable and endlessly arrangeable. The roses have it all. And late winter, early spring is an active time for caring for your roses: everything from choosing and planting bare root selections to pruning and feeding your established roses.

Have you ever noticed how every garden has a story? No matter how many gardeners might have worked that spot: just 2  - for instance mother nature AND you, or multitudes: you and the many who known or unknown may have worked that ground before you – the land you cultivate, hike, or gaze at, has a story.

 

“Anyone who’s gazed at the moon or stood still in a magnificent stand of trees knows what it’s like to experience the Power of Awe – it seems to slow time, proffer reverence for life and connect us to one another. Recent research shows that when we spend time outside in nature, engaging all our senses, our heart rates slow, our stress hormones dip, our thoughts grow both more expansive and less self-focused.”

courtesy of Fran Sorin

Digging deep: this is a phrase that has a wide variety of meanings and uses – both literal and figurative — in the garden, and in the body, mind and heart.  

In a new year, many of us have a tendency to generate a to-do list of tasks and projects to start, to get in order or to finally this year complete in our lives – and if we are gardeners, our gardens are not left out of this energetic attention and intention.

Photo courtesy of Eliot Coleman

It is mid-January. It is deep mid-winter, even in my relatively mild USDA zone 9, Sunset zone 8. While I am fortunate enough to have a year-round Saturday farmer’s market available to me, my own home garden is looking spare. Which is at it should be this time of year, but it could be looking a little less spare while still remaining seasonally appropriate. One of MY New Year’s resolutions is to strive to do a little better on this front. After the calendar year 2016, I would like to feel a little more self-reliant.

Jennifer Jewell

As a celebration of the many ways that one’s cultivation of place can benefit not only the individual cultivator – gardener or naturalist – this week on Cultivating Place I’m joined by John Carlon, president of River Partners, a nonprofit organization working to create wildlife habitat for the benefit of people (economically and environmentally), water (quality and conservation), wildlife and the wider environment (including benefitting agricultural productivity and quality) by restoring successional riparian corridors throughout watersheds of the Western United States.

Happy New Year! For over 100 years Sunset magazine has been inspiring gardens and gardeners in the American West. This year marks the first full year for Sunset’s gorgeous, innovative new demonstration and display gardens at Cornerstone Sonoma. Join me this week when Cultivating Place converses with Sunset’s Garden Editor Johanna Silver - inspiring New Year’s resolutions for garden living. Join us.

There is something inherently satisfying about a full circle – a completion – a beginning brought to its fullness and coming to its natural end, which leads right into the next beginning. This full circle satisfaction is true for cycles of the moon, cycles of the seasons and cycles of the field and garden. For me this is especially apparent at the Winter Solstice and, of course, the full circle of a calendar year. 

Photo courtesy of Michael Kauffmann

In this season of the winter solstice — marked by the beauty and appreciative contemplation that mark the celebrations of winter holidays the world around, I very much wanted this week's Cultivating Place to acknowledge the diversity, value and fragility of our native plants and their communities. 

No matter where you garden or cultivate place now, or where you might have done so throughout your life, the native plants of any place are what signify, identify and root that place as its own. 

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