Sunday, July 15 , 2018, 2:45 pm | Fair 75º


New Noozhawk Columnist Joan Bolton Takes Readers ‘In the Garden’

Column will provide practical advice for creating colorful, water-conserving gardens

[Click here to read Joan's first column: Nine Great California Native Plants to Plant Now]

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.

— Joan S. Bolton is a local garden writer, garden coach and garden designer who specializes in colorful, water-conserving gardens. You may contact her through her website,, or email her at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Click here to read previous columns.

Support Noozhawk Today

You are an important ally in our mission to deliver clear, objective, high-quality professional news reporting for Santa Barbara, Goleta and the rest of Santa Barbara County. Join the Hawks Club today to help keep Noozhawk soaring.

We offer four membership levels: $5 a month, $10 a month, $25 a month or $1 a week. Payments can be made through Stripe below, or click here for information on recurring credit-card payments and a mailing address for checks.

Thank you for your vital support.

Become a Noozhawk Supporter

First name
Last name
Enter your email
Select your membership level

Payment Information

You are purchasing:

Payment Method

Pay by Credit Card:

Mastercard, Visa, American Express, Discover
One click only, please!

Pay with Apple Pay or Google Pay:

Noozhawk partners with Stripe to provide secure invoicing and payments processing.

  • Ask
  • Vote
  • Investigate
  • Answer

Noozhawk Asks: What’s Your Question?

Welcome to Noozhawk Asks, a new feature in which you ask the questions, you help decide what Noozhawk investigates, and you work with us to find the answers.

Here’s how it works: You share your questions with us in the nearby box. In some cases, we may work with you to find the answers. In others, we may ask you to vote on your top choices to help us narrow the scope. And we’ll be regularly asking you for your feedback on a specific issue or topic.

We also expect to work together with the reader who asked the winning questions to find the answer together. Noozhawk’s objective is to come at questions from a place of curiosity and openness, and we believe a transparent collaboration is the key to achieve it.

The results of our investigation will be published here in this Noozhawk Asks section. Once or twice a month, we plan to do a review of what was asked and answered.

Thanks for asking!

Click Here to Get Started >

Reader Comments

Noozhawk is no longer accepting reader comments on our articles. Click here for the announcement. Readers are instead invited to submit letters to the editor by emailing them to [email protected]. Please provide your full name and community, as well as contact information for verification purposes only.

Daily Noozhawk

Subscribe to Noozhawk's A.M. Report, our free e-Bulletin sent out every day at 4:15 a.m. with Noozhawk's top stories, hand-picked by the editors.

Sign Up Now >