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Scotts Valley
April 20, 2024
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Tag: Santa Cruz Mountains

Are the Dog Days of Summer Getting you Down?

They’re called the Dog Days of summer. You know those sultry days with the hottest summer temperatures. The Romans associated the hot weather between July 24th and August 24th with the star Sirius which they considered to be the “Dog Star” because it’s the brightest star in the constellation Canis Major (Large Dog). The Old Farmer’s Almanac uses slightly different dates but the Dog Days of summer are definitely here.

Scotts Village Sells for $15.35 Million

 Scotts Village, a prominent neighborhood shopping center in Scotts Valley (Santa Cruz County), California, has sold to a Northern California-based real estate firm for $15.35 million. Anchored by Safeway and CVS, the shopping center comprises 121,296 square feet (sf) of retail improvements including several high-profile pad buildings occupied by Chase Bank, McDonald’s, and Taco Bell. Scotts Village was developed in 1984 on a leasehold interest.

You can never grow too many tall bearded iris

 Last May I was fortunate to be able to spend the morning in Scotts Valley painting the tall bearded iris growing at Jim and Irene Cummins place. On their property they grow hundreds of varieties and if you are an aficionado of this regal flower you have a chance to add to your collection when the Monterey Bay Iris Society hosts their annual sale. Your first opportunity is at Deer Park in Aptos on August 4th from 9:00-noon and another sale takes place at Cabrillo Farmer’s Market on August 11th also from 9:00-noon.

Lavender- Everything you Ever Wanted to Know

Lavender, a member of the mint family, is found across Europe, the Mediterranean, north and eastern Africa, southwest Asia to southeast India and fits right into our similar environment. Everybody has their favorite type. Mine happens to be a compact English variety called Hidcote but there are hundreds available including a new, tough, variegated one called ‘Meerlo’. Here’s how to grow yours so it flourishes and doesn’t end up woody and spindly.

The cutting garden

Bringing flowers indoors, whether displayed in a simple mason jar or a crystal vase, brightens my day. I wish I had more flowers growing in my own landscape.

Harvesting, drying and preserving herbs

Now that you have an assortment of herbs growing nicely in your garden what do you do with them? Mine seem to be growing more exuberantly than I anticipated and if I don’t keep up with snipping them often some will go to seed or get leggy and unproductive. Then what would I do when I’m putting together my favorite nectarine-caprese salad with fresh basil and mint leaves?

As fire season starts, how to prepare

As summer approaches, so does California’s dreaded fire season. In recent years, fires have run rampant in Northern California, including last year’s Bear Fire which destroyed 400 acres of land.

All about herbs

I’m helping my friend Colly, the food columnist for the Press Banner, with her cooking class at the new Boys & Girls Club in Scotts Valley. Colly has planned a summer program filled with delicious recipes and I’m looking forward to learning along with the kids in the class. The first week was all about eggs. I’m sure we’ll be using herbs in a future recipe so I’m getting my own herb garden ready. Whether you grow herbs in pots or in the ground here are some tips.

A plan to reduce animal-vehicle collisions on Hwy 17

Several local agencies are working towards creating a way for wildlife to cross Highway 17 without causing vehicle-animal collisions. Still in the early stages of implementing the project, California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) hosted a public information meeting in Scotts Valley last week.

Growing Great Vegetables – Part 2

I know many people who wait until the beginning of May to start their vegetable gardens for the summer. Conditions make not be right for them to grow cool season vegetables like beets, cabbage, cauliflower, kale, lettuce, unions, radish and spinach. Those plants don’t mind cold soil and chilly weather. But it you’ve been waiting for the perfect time to plant those scrumptious tomatoes you crave- wait no more. And if you plan your garden right you can still grow some of the cool season crops in the shade of your other sun lovers.

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Emergency guardrail repairs result in daytime lane closures for Highway 17...

Maintenance crews will be performing emergency repairs to the guardrail in the median on Highway 17 near Scotts Valley on Monday, April 22. Travelers...