We installed a pergola our first year and the jasmine climbing up one post is getting ready to fill the yard with its lovely blooms and fragrance!

Kate Russell has figured out the secret to gardening - keep digging and keep learning!

"I’ve loved gardening my whole life, but it wasn’t until we bought a house in San Jose that I’ve had both the place and the time to really dig in! I became certified as a Master Gardener in 2015 and have discovered that there is always more to learn."

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The yellow caution sign in front of my baby almond tree was a gift from a dear friend and the Passional tulips went in last fall. The dark-trunked tree to the right is a 50 year-old apricot from San Jose’s agricultural past and she still gives us apricots each year! The Valencia orange tree, behind the apricot, gives us tons of fruit. The white picket fence is a wild area where I have planted milkweed, butterfly bush, among established ornamentals, that attract beneficials and provide food for Monarch butterflies. On the left, clumps of geranium add bright red blooms to the summer landscape.

Yes, that is a giant rubber band ball on the patio! Someone abandoned it in the parking lot of a nearby park, and I simply had to adopt it! The blue chairs used to be an ugly, stained white, but 20 minutes with a can of spray paint and they were transformed! Our fire pit was created by a dear friend out of an old washing machine tub and it works beautifully. The navel orange tree is a heavy producer and I am always on the lookout for new recipes. You can also see onions (bottom right) and one of my two blueberry bushes (behind the fire pit).

This corner of the garden is dedicated to flowers. A leaky stone pond was transformed into a growing space for chocolate mint (yummy!), surrounded by Berry Daring tulips. Bergenia crassifolia (Winter Blooming Bergenia), Fairy Snapdragons, plus more rosemary, some ornamentals, a few clusters of asters and a lilac.

There were several varieties of roses, succulents and a Desert Spoon in place when we bought the house, but I have added lemon balm, lavender, and several types of lettuce to these two beds.

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