Readers’ corner |

Readers’ corner

If you have land at all – or even a patio for a container plant or two – I’ll bet this great weather has brought out your inner gardener.

After the unrelenting rain and snow we experienced through winter and part of spring, it was beginning to feel like I would never get my hands in the dirt again.

Lots of us who moved here from other places had to learn to garden all over again. My first Christmas in Nevada County, I bought about 20 Poinsettias and lined my long front porch in Grass Valley with them. They looked beautiful – until the next morning, when the cold and frost had turned them into leafless eyesores. Silly me. I thought if they sell these plants here, they must be OK in our climate. Expensive mistake.

Although I’ve learned a lot over the years, I realized I had much more to learn when I purchased Carolyn Singer’s first book, just published this month. Called “Deer in My Garden, the Yucky Flower Series,” it is a terrific resource for plants that thrive here. As an added bonus, Carolyn uses plants that are truly deer resistant. How many of us have bought expensive plants that were advertised as deer resistant, only to find them chewed to the nub a day or two later? (See above example on Poinsettias.)

“Deer in My Garden” is very user-friendly; the plants are in alphabetical order, and each plant has an origin of name, description, cultural requirements, bloom, seasonal interest, companion plants and landscape use, propagation and maintenance. There are lovely photos, as well.

One of the coolest things about Carolyn’s book is the fact that she made peace with the deer that roam her property. Instead of trying to hang soap in the plants or buying something that makes noise or squirts water, she instead hunted down plants that were truly deer resistant. There is a Zen-like quality to adapting to what is.

We are thrilled that Carolyn is writing for our Home and Garden section two Saturdays a month. She has been published in many prestigious magazines and is an authority on the challenges of gardening in the Sierra foothills.

The “Yucky Flowers” part of the title comes from a comment made by Marcus McMillin, 3, Carolyn’s grandson. He said, “Why don’t you grow yucky flowers, Grandma? The deer wouldn’t eat yucky flowers!”

“Deer in My Garden” is available at Maiden Lane and J.J. Jackson’s in Nevada City; The Bookseller, Weiss Brothers Nursery, B&C Hardware and Peaceful Valley Farm and Garden Supply in Grass Valley; and Prospector’s Nursery is expecting a shipment any day now. Cost is $19.95.


Dixie Redfearn can be reached at 477-4238 or by e-mail at, or by fax at 477-4292.

Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

Readers around Grass Valley and Nevada County make The Union’s work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.

Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.

Your donation will help us continue to cover COVID-19 and our other vital local news.


Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.

User Legend: iconModerator iconTrusted User