A Passion for Maui and making every day a work of art

Gardening is easy… When you love to plant.

I started my life as a gardener when I was twenty five years old. I’m not a Master Gardener, I’m just a girl who loves to plant. My drought resistant garden below is all planted from cuttings and divisions.

I learned from a friend who was passionate about organic gardening and loved propagating houseplants too.

I would read Organic Gardening and talk to nurserymen at every opportunity about flowers, ground coverings, trees, annuals and perennials.

When I applied for a job at Sassafras Nursery in Topanga Canyon, the lady asked me to name the plants and I knew most of them.

It’s not difficult to be an organic gardener. You just don’t use poisons (Pesticides) or chemical fertilizers.

Creating beautiful soil is all about amending with nutritious compost.
Healthy soil is the basis of healthy gardens. My Up-country soil is rich in nutrients and I continue to enrich it with compost made from every vegetable scrap from the kitchen, including coffee grounds, egg shells, grass cuttings, leaves and weeds that have been layered and moistened, turned until it becomes a rich brown soil.

I’m going to write a series on How to plant beautiful gardens. This will start with preparing the soil, dreaming up your designs, choosing seeds, keeping a garden journal, creating raised beds, planters, potted gardens, digging in the earth wherever you live.

I have planted in Sun Valley, California in complete sandy soil at the bottom of a dry riverbed, in Malibu above the sea in the rockiest, clay mixtures, in Topanga Canyon, Pine Mt. Club, California where decomposing granite makes for rocks everywhere and I always create beautiful gardens. Sometimes you just plant between the rocks. I always dig a foot deep and add a nice potting soil to the mix as well as lots of compost to enrich and aerate the earth.

I will tell you about all the flowers I have learned to love from Cosmos, dahlias, hollyhocks, poppies, irises, tulips, zinnias, morning glories, lobelia, lavender, nasturtiums and the tropicals I have now come to love in Hawaii.

Then I’ll show you how to plant a garden the way I do with companion plants that deter pests, mixed with flowers, vegetables and herbs that compliment one another.

See you in the garden…

~ Marilyn

808 283-9131

Marilyn Jansen Lopes


2 responses

  1. Beautiful! I have dreams of planting a garden someday. I’d love to start with a nice herb garden for my kitchen. I’ve been pinning away ideas for how to plant them – in mason jars, and other kinds of containers. A while back I saw a table of lettuce. There must’ve been 20 different varieties of lettuce and you can just walk over and clip the lettuce you want for a salad. Sweet! Eventually when I have my own place I want to create a garden of native Hawaiian plants.

    February 14, 2012 at 4:23 am

  2. Ihilani, I love that idea for a lettuce table. I was inspired years ago by a National Geographic magazine artticle showing lettuces in in bronze and greens packed tightly growing in boxes in triangles shaped plots. So pretty. You just clip when you like and eventually harvest. I always loved herbs on my window sills wherever alive lived. Even in New York overlooking the city. Thanks for stopping by…

    February 14, 2012 at 1:47 pm

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