Addendum to Herb Society Lecture on Unusual Herbs to Grow
Mendocino--Coast Botanical Garden

Chronicle Drops Garden Columns

A letter to readers of my Chronicle/SFGate Column:

As of July 29, 2014, the San Francisco Chronicle newspaper, and has dropped all garden columns, including Golden Gate Gardener. They are combining the Food/Wine section and the Home/Garden sections into one section, and plan to cover mostly design and food. Gardening will be an occasional topic, mostly based on interviews with garden-related business owners or about particular gardens. There will be an occasional book review.

I am told that this decision is based on a marketing study showing readers prefered more on home design and food, and weren't particularly interested in gardening. I was also told that if they got a lot of letters from people who missed garden coverage, they might reconsider. So what do you think of this decision? You can send comments to

I will still appear in the Chronicle from time to time. I have a book review scheduled for late summer, but no more Q&A column. I will miss being able to help gardeners with questions and get good gardening information out to the Chronicle readership.

I will continue to give talks around the Bay Area, and keep my lecture schedule at the top of this blog.I will also continuer to write in this blog and can offer short answers to your questions here if you send them via comments.  (And if you come to a lecture, please let me know if you are a column and/or blog reader.)

Thanks to all of you who wrote questions to me at the Chronicle and to those of you who told me in persion that my advice was a help in their garden! It was great fun helping you all out!

Pam Peirce




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Chris MacIntosh

I agree - I miss the column a lot. Now I'm happy to have found the blog.
(And hello to France - we were once fellow docents)

Pam Peirce

Hi France,

I am of course disappointed as well. There seems to be the impression in the marketing department that the City and the subscribers in the Bay Area have become too urban to care about gardening how-to. I am contemplating next steps. Possibly another print book, possibly some short e-books marketed through my blog and website. We shall see.
As to plants that move around until they find a place they like, I don't recall writing a specific column about that, but my gardening philosophy includes acceptance that plants sometimes do this. There is much about gardening in this somewhat relaxed manner in my book Wildly Successful Plants: Northern California, which if you don't have already, I recommend to you.
I am also beginning a new series of entries in this blog on the details of gardening, called Gardening: Up Close. I am about to put up the first one, which touches on the subject of plants that sow themselves in the garden.
I continue to give talks and slide shows in various venues. If you have a library, nursery, or other venue for a public talk and want to try to schedule it, put them in touch with me and I'll see if we can work it out.
Happy gardening, Pam Peirce

France Bark

I am one of many gardeners in the Bay Area, specifically from the Stanford campus, who is VERY disappointed to have lost your great garden column. I looked forward to it each Sunday; it was actually one of the few things that I read in the whole Chronicle. A great resource has been taken away from us and we were not even consulted, at least I was not. You have given me such valuable advice for many years. I have saved many of your columns and articles and refer to them often. But there is one thing that I am looking for and cannot find......Did you ever write something about "plants that move about the garden" until they find a place they like. It seems to me that you did write something. This phenomenon happens to me all the time. If you could give me an answer and indication of where I might find the information on this, I would greatly appreciate it.
Thank you again for all your past help. I intend to continue following you through your blog or website.
Sincerely, France Bark

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