Fionuala Campion

Fionuala has loved the outdoors her whole life, with her passion for gardening beginning while playing and growing in the childhood gardens of her native Ireland. After moving to California over 30 years ago, she is the owner/manager of Cottage Gardens of Petaluma, a specialty nursery in NorCal. From this platform she shares her love of growing plants and transforming landscapes, while continuing to design and maintain gardens for clients.  Having raised four kids with an appreciation for nature and the outdoors, and successfully sent them on their way with remarkable weeding skills, Fionuala now lives in the countryside of Petaluma with her dogs, hens, ducks and heritage hogs.

  • Bog sage close up
    Northern California Regional Reports

    Wind-Tolerant Plants for Northern California

    Gardening in a windy, exposed area can be a challenge. Luckily, some plants are not only impervious to the effects of gusts or breezes but will react in such a…

  • Magda squash
    Northern California Regional Reports

    The Best Warm-Season Veggies for Container Gardening in Northern California

    Some of us veggie gardeners are blessed with several acres, but some of us have smaller yards to work with. Some of us may even be limited to just a…

  • Lems Cameo rhododendron
    Northern California Regional Reports

    Growing Rhododendrons in Northern California

    Rhododendrons (Rhododendron spp. and cvs., Zones 4–9) are colorful, ornamental woody plants that are most at home in damp climates with mild temperatures. The Rhododendron genus is a large one,…

  • medium-duty thinning shears

    These Shears Are an Essential for Tidying Your Garden

    My medium-duty bonsai thinning shears from Joshua Roth (model #133) are the best all-around snipping shears I’ve ever used and might be the most-loved and most-used gardening tool that I…

  • aeoniums
    Northern California Regional Reports

    Firescaping in Northern California

    "Fire season" is a reality for Northern California gardeners beginning in late summer through fall, with fire concerns mounting steadily each year. Wildfires threaten—and sometimes consume—wildlands, farmlands, and homes. Though…

  • Red Johnny potatoes
    Northern California Regional Reports

    Growing Potatoes in Northern California

    Homegrown potatoes are delicious, easy to grow, packed with nutrition, and so much fun to harvest! Read on for tips on how to grow them as well as my recommendations…

  • Elsa Spath clematis
    Northern California Regional Reports

    Beautiful Blue Perennials for Northern California

    The color blue evokes pleasant feelings of tranquility and harmony. Blue hues appear to be refreshing as well as calming and soothing to body and mind. In the garden, blue…

  • Ruth Bancroft Gardens
    Northern California Regional Reports

    A Visit to the Ruth Bancroft Gardens and Nursery

    A visit to the Ruth Bancroft Gardens in Walnut Creek is particularly rewarding in late winter and early spring. While most of our own landscapes are still looking drab, this…

  • Julia Rose peony
    Northern California Regional Reports

    Intoxicating Itoh Peonies for Northern California

    What exactly is an Itoh peony? Itoh peonies were first developed by Toichi Itoh, who experimented for many years with crossing tree peonies (Paeonia suffruticosa cvs., Zones 4–8), which are…

  • Poached Egg Plant
    Northern California Regional Reports

    Great Native Plants for Northern California

    Growing native plants is the gardening equivalent of having your cake and eating it too. Not only are these plants beautiful and more likely to thrive in your landscape, they…