Recent Posts by Carolyn Mehran

Swiss Folk Art

We just returned from the Swiss Alps, enjoying all of the snow in Europe this winter. One thing I always love about Switzerland is the beautiful architecture and their decorative folk art, evident on their buildings, furniture and objects everywhere. It is uniquely Swiss, and you can see it broadly throughout the Tyrolean region of the Alps. To me, both are…
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Ho’omaluhia Botanical Garden

I have a few glorious days in Hawaii this week, beginning with a couple of days in Honolulu, Oahu, where I happen to be born. While my husband was in meetings, I sought a botanical garden outside of the hustle and bustle of Honolulu. A local recommended The Ho'omaluhia Botanical Garden, located in Kailua about 30 minutes from Honolulu…
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David Austin roses are here

I received my David Austin 2018 Handbook of Roses in the mail today, which is always an exciting event. This year's catalog is a gorgeous, glossy booklet with cover full of - what looks like - Graham Thomas yellow roses. Bonus: they're offering 15% off if you order before February 28. One of my favorite…
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Don’t give up on boxwood

My dear friend Mary shared several back issues of Country Life with me last week and I started going through them today. Country Life is a British weekly magazine (owned by Time Inc UK) with many of the subjects we love about English life - gardens, country homes, glass houses, garden and other art, and interiors.…
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Treasure Hunting at Farmers Markets

There was a wonderful article about farmers markets in the travel section of the New York Times this past Sunday by Shivani Vora. She quotes the French chef Alain Ducasse who says that "No matter what city or town they're in, farmers markets are a year-round attraction and about much more than produce. They're photographs…
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RIP Ruth Bancroft

Ruth Bancroft, founder of The Ruth Bancroft Garden in Walnut Creek, California, passed away on Sunday at the age of 109 years of age. Ruth spent over 76 years of her lifetime tending the garden in her namesake - a well-known green treasure in Northern California. Following are words about her legacy, as shared by her family: "Mrs.…
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Winter favas

It's the Thanksgiving weekend and I was lucky to have my family with us in the Napa Valley again this year. On Saturday - looking for a fun local project - my gardening-inclined  Mom, sister-in-law Susanne and niece Kate went to one of our local nurseries to scout around for winter goodies. As soon as we arrived, each of us meandered…
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Fleur T

My new friend Tessa sent me a wonderful gift last week prior to a dinner we were hosting - a flower arrangement from San Francisco florist Fleur T (pronouced "flirt"). And it wasn't any old flower arrangement - it was a beautiful box, lined with colorful tissue paper containing three small glass vases, each with their own…
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A Growing Hope

Thanks Ben Lendardt from the Garden Conservancy for forwarding me the CBS This Morning news clip about the wonderful benefits of gardening for our veterans. The Chicago Botanic Garden in Glencoe, Illinois is providing a wonderful program for veterans to work in this very special botanic garden, which helps them heal from the stress they have experienced and begin…
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Royal Botanic Garden

The grand finale of our garden tour in Scotland was the Royal Botanic Gardens in Edinburgh, which was established in 1670. They expanded their gardens to include Benmore in Argyll in 1929, Dawyck in the wooded hills of the Scottish Borders in 1969 and Logan on the southern penninsula of Dumfries & Galloway in 1978…
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Teasses Estate

As I mentioned in my last post, I was in Scotland a couple of weeks ago and my lady friends and I spent a day touring gardens. Our second stop was the stunning Teasses Gardens, a 60-acre property which has been owned by Sir Fraser and Lady Morrison for the past 16 years. The residence…
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Wormistoune House

Last week I was in St. Andrews, Scotland with my husband and friends and had the opportunity to visit some local gardens in between rounds of golf. One of the gardens we visited was Wormiston House (renamed by the current owners to "Wormistoune House") in Crail, roughly 15 minutes from St. Andrews. The original property…
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Hudson Ranch & Winery

I had the opportunity to visit Hudson Ranch & Winery on Monday, located in the scenic Carneros region of the Napa Valley. What I discovered there was so exciting! Christina and Lee Hudson (owners) are the embodiment of living off the land - they make everything, which I find personally inspiring. While I waited for the others…
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Dogwood Fruit

For some reason, I never before realized that dogwood produces fruit in the fall! And depending upon the kind of dogwood you have, the fruit will vary. The fruit comes in red, white and blue colors. We have the red ones (above and below). Are they edible? Native Americans used to eat them, but some believe the…
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Butternut Squash anyone?

I love butternut squash and have planted it in my garden the past three years. But I hadn't found the right spot for the large spreading plant until this year. My gardener suggested planting our 8 plants in a sunny area adjacent to our driveway which I have always considered a gardening challenge area (a unattractive, large dirt…
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Summer Anemone

A couple of years ago, I picked up some perennial anemone at the nursery for its late summer flowers and height (about 3-4'). I hadn't had experience with this plant before, so I only bought a few to try. Anemone immediately became my favorite late summer plant, so I purchased more when I found it in…
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It’s Fig Season

Years ago I planted a Celeste fig tree for our Napa property and over the years it has matured into a beautiful medium-height rounded tree yielding the most delectable, sweet figs you have ever tasted (in my opinion). I've since learned that these figs are called Ficus Carica or "Sugar Fig" as they are popularly…
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Plants during an eclipse

My husband and I travelled to Sun Valley, Idaho this past week to see the total eclipse of the sun. This was a special moment to view the total eclipse because the "path of totality" (the 70 mile north-south zone within which you can experience a total eclipse) went from South Carolina to Oregon on…
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Blistered Padrons with Pimenton

It’s padron pepper season again and there’s nothing better than blistered padrons early in the growing season. This simple appetizer can be made in 15 minutes – my kind of appetizer! Simply put a generous tablespoon of ghee in a skillet and melt. (For more information about the  health benefits of ghee, see my separate post). Once…
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Echibeckia

Ever heard of echibeckia? I hadn't, but I found it in the nursery as I was searching for a replacement for a 'Prairie Sun' rudbeckia this morning. (One of them sadly got scorched in last week's 100 degree temperature). 'Prairie Sun' rudbeckia  While I can luckily order my replacement, I bought a 'Summerina' echibeckia in case my…
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