Regional Gardening Reports :: National Gardening Association

Northern California Coastal & Inland Valleys

October, 2003
Regional Report


A History of Immigrant Gardens
California may be the golden state, but it is also the garden state. Innumerable gardens have been made since the Europeans first came, starting with the Franciscan missionaries. The gold rush was the defining period, leading to immense expenditures by the newly rich miners.

Judith Taylor's book, Tangible Memories; Californians and Their Gardens 1800-1950 (Xlibris Corporation, 2003; $24.99), discusses many simple but beautiful gardens created by waves of immigrants. Gardens were necessary for food, but they also represented repose and leisure. The nature and style of domestic and private gardens shape the landscape of cities and towns just as much as large civic architectural achievements.

The chapters are arranged in geographical order by counties. The introduction by the author explains why she became interested in the project. There are illustrations and a very useful appendix with lists of plants used in the various gardens in the book. Judith M. Taylor is both gardener and historian.

Local Buzz

New Heritage Tree Ordinance in San Mateo
San Mateo will soon have the toughest Heritage Tree ordinance in the state, with fines up to $5,000 per illegally uprooted tree. The size requirement for heritage has been lowered to 10 inches in diameter for oaks, redwoods, bays, and buckeyes. Both property owner and tree removal service will be held accountable for the fine and required to supply a new tree from a 48-inch box to replace the old tree. Hopefully, people in San Mateo will think twice before they cut down a mature tree.


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