Two decades later, I am still not a professional writer. I am merely a horticulturist who happens to write about it. I never studied journalism, or literature, . . . or anything of the sort. Back in the autumn of 1998, I submitted my first gardening article to the Los Gatos Weekly Times. It was more of a dare than a career venture. Brent Green, my career-long colleague blurted it out one day as we were expressing our frustration about the inaccuracies that we were seeing in the gardening sections of our local major newspapers. He was just as annoyed with the Los Angeles Times as I was with the San Jose Mercury News; but he loathed writing even more than I did. The Los Gatos Weekly Times had just published an article about a tree planting project that Brent and I had done in Live Oak Manor Park, so I was not too proud to ask if they would like to publish a garden column. To my surprise, they did. It did not go well. Did I mention that I am not a professional writer? However, after only a few months, the article became a weekly feature instead of just every other week, and was shared with the two other newspapers in the group. Over the years, the group expanded into several local newspapers in the western Santa Clara Valley. The weekly gardening column has been added to a few more newspaper groups between San Francisco and Beverly Hills in Los Angeles County, including the King City Rustler. the Santa Maria Times, and finally, the Aptos Times.
This blog is another outlet for my gardening articles, as well as a few unpublished odds and ends about my own horticultural experiences. My weekly gardening articles feature a main topic and a featured plant. These two components will be separated here on the blog, so that the main topics will be in one category, and the plants will be in another. I will probably recycle old articles when they are in season. In regard to the unpublished odds and ends; anything goes.
After earning my bachelor of science degree in horticulture from Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo, I spent most of my career in the nursery industry, especially with citrus trees and rhododendrons. I am also an arborist, and happen to have worked for some of the best arborists in the Santa Clara Valley and the Santa Cruz Mountains. As much as I loath the landscape industry, Brent Green, the career-long colleague I mentioned earlier, happens to be a famous landscape designer in West Hollywood, and the only horticulturist who is as serious about what he does as I am. If you read this blog enough, you will probably learn more than you want to about all our . . . adventures.
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You were helpful to me once in the past, and I’m wondering if we could arrange a time for you to come to my home and give me some advice. For one thing, I have a large Bay Laurel tree that, just this season, has a lot of brown spotting on its leaves, and I wonder several things: will it recover on its own, does it have sudden oak death syndrome, should I have it removed, etc. There are oak trees nearby! Also, I have some other trees that I need advice on. Please email me, or phone me at (408) 202-2954. I live in the Santa Cruz Mountains, off Summit Rd. and near the Loma Prieta School. Thanks.
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I will telephone over the weekend, so I hope you do not mind getting such calls on the weekend. I am no longer in the business of consultation, but can make exceptions for former clients, especially if you are able to work around my odd schedule.