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Specializing in colorful, water-conserving gardens

Specializing in colorful, water-conserving gardens

My Newest Venture: My In the Garden Column Will Begin Running in Noozhawk


I’m happy to announce that I’ll now be contributing my In the Garden articles to

Noozhawk, “the freshest news in Santa Barbara,” is an online-only news service that delivers essential local news and community information to readers in Santa Barbara, Goleta, Montecito, Carpinteria, Summerland and the rest of Santa Barbara County.

The beauty of an online “newspaper” is that it’s not limited to traditional deadlines, it’s always ready to post breaking news, you can easily retrieve any article day or night, and you never again have to struggle with rain-soaked pages or smudge your fingers!

Here’s my introductory article, which is running now. Or if you prefer, you can read it, along wtih my first column about planting California natives, at

Why, that's me! In the Garden!

Why, that’s me, in the garden. Imagine that!

Hi there. I’d like to introduce myself as Noozhawk’s newest features columnist.

I’ve been writing about gardening for more than 25 years, have been designing colorful, water-conserving gardens for nearly 20 years, and have had my hands in the dirt for more years than I can count.

While I can’t say I’ve never met a plant that I didn’t like, there are very few that I don’t appreciate in some capacity or another. Fortunately for me, as well as my readers and clients, we live in an amazingly benevolent climate that allows us to grow a phenomenal number of different, beautiful plants in any number of combinations and styles.

For my In the Garden features for Noozhawk, I plan to provide practical, hands-on advice about designing, planting and caring for gardens throughout Santa Barbara and the Central Coast. I’ll write about edibles, too, including seasonal crops, perennial vegetables and fruit trees.

I could throw around words like sustainable, green gardening and the like. But whatever you call it, I believe the most successful gardens are filled with a broad mix of California natives and other Mediterranean plants that are well adapted to our seasonal cycle of warm, dry summers and mild, wet winters.

That diversity is sure to attract and sustain smaller forms of wildlife, such as beneficial insects, bees, birds and butterflies, all of which help to create a good biological balance that in turn promotes healthier plants.

However, you’ll still find me muttering occasionally about larger foragers. Deer top my personal list of pesky mammals, but gophers, ground squirrels and rabbits are rather annoying, too.

My husband Tom and I garden on 4 acres of heavy clay soil in western Goleta. We’ve planted several thousand perennials, shrubs, ground covers and trees on what was once a raw, weedy plot when we moved here 21 years ago. We also grow about 30 avocado, citrus and fruit trees, along with vegetables and herbs year-round. Our previous home, in the heart of the Goleta Valley, had rich, loamy, beautifully fertile soil. Our new spot has taken some getting used to, but we’ve pretty well figured it out by now.

I’m looking forward to sharing my knowledge, and appreciate your interest.

Copyright, Joan S. Bolton. All rights reserved. Reproduction of text or photos in any form is prohibited without written permission.

9 responses to “My Newest Venture: My In the Garden Column Will Begin Running in Noozhawk
  1. Hi Joan, Now that I have found you on Noozhawk I will be looking for your helpful columns. I especially enjoyed your Nine California Natives and the refresher on Poinsettias. This is a great addition to the website. I love reading someone (you) who has personal experience with soils, climate and plants for the 805.

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