Southern California Coastal & Inland Valleys Editor

Regional Gardening Reports :: National Gardening Association
Yvonne Savio

Southern California Coastal & Inland Valleys Editor

Yvonne Savio
Pasadena, CA

Amaryllis Papillio has a refreshingly different flower shape and color combination.

Blue coleus makes a lovely ground cover.

Iochroma can grow to a height of 10 feet.

Interplanting cabbage and lettuce saves space.

Yvonne grew up on a 3/4-acre hillside city lot in Pasadena, growing fruits, vegetables, and flowers year-round in manure- and compost-amended gardens. From years of gardening, she knows what "harvested at the perfect moment of ripeness" means and is passionate about enabling others to enjoy the benefits of "growing your own."

Yvonne loves growing just about anything, especially vegetables and fruits, annuals and drought-tolerant perennials, cactus, succulents, bromeliads, ground covers, and roses. Her husband Tom, a garden and train travel photographer and writer, does the heavy-duty digging and eating.

Yvonne earned degrees in journalism, literature, art, photography, and horticulture. After teaching junior high school, Yvonne worked in the Botany and Vegetable Crops Cooperative Extension Departments at the University of California, Davis. Starting in 1984, Yvonne contributed weekly gardening columns, features, and photographs to local northern California and national newspapers, magazines, journals, and newsletters.

In 1994, she moved back to her childhood home in Pasadena and revitalized the Master Gardener Volunteer Training Program for the University of California Cooperative Extension in Los Angeles County. She edited the third edition of Children's Gardens: A Guide for Teachers, Parents, and Volunteers, and became the Common Ground Garden Program Manager. She oversees the Master Gardener Program (seasonal gardening workshops), Fresh From the Garden Program (seasonal vegetable preparation workshops), School Garden Consultants Programs (school gardens assistance), Community Gardens Program (community garden assistance, and roster of all active county gardens open to the public), and Senior Initiative, all working primarily with low-income county residents.

Yvonne was on the board of the American Community Gardening Association for two years and continues to advise community gardeners nationwide. She is a member of the University of California Garden-Based Learning Workgroup, and the UC Urban Horticulture Workgroup.

Yvonne's monthly gardening tips and many other articles and photographs are found on the University of California Cooperative Extension Los Angeles County Web site (


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