Category Archives: Gardens Grass Valley

Garden Scenes in the Foothills around Grass Valley

Too hot to garden today!  Thought I share a few local garden scenes to make you smile while you wilt in the heat , or when you come back from your escape to a cool body of water today. These 5 photos were all taken at the same place… does anyone recognize the location?IMG_3746 IMG_3733 IMG_3728  IMG_3725 IMG_3719


hint….its not Grass Valley….

If you’d like to come stay with us at Spring Hill Cottage in grass valley – let us know!

Garden Raspberry Canes to Share This Year!

red ras

Today I was cutting back and cutting up raspberry  canes in prep for this summer’s harvest. We really miss  the dozens of daily raspberries we harvested all summer last year.. .I’m hoping these cuttings made today root so I can share them-  I cut canes so that each cane has 2-3 buds underground ( in plant pots in the yard) and at least 2 above the ground.  I expect to have at least 50% root so I can plant them around the outside of the cottage fence and/or give to friends – contact me if you’d like some.  As always – first come first gifted to….  I expect about 20 – 50 cane pieces  to root and am so happy to share them. this year I am re-using last years photos until some thing exciting happens ( canes are just twigs in dirt for the moment) but will update with new photos soon. yellow raspberry  rasp pic  fence raspHowever, we are still harvesting from the gardens – today we  dug up some sun-chokes and picked some fresh spearmint-growing in a tree pot for lemon mint tea.

How about our weekend gardening trip to Petaluma?

We were heavily inspired to start early gardens by out visit to the Petaluma Seed Bank visit which we had over the weekend. see inside the seed bank. Please see our next post for details.

If you are local to grass valley and you want me to save you some of these canes let me know:

If are not  local to grass valley and you want to stay at the cottage for a visit, also let me know:

Lilacs in Grass Valley at Cottage

Lilacs in Grass Valley at Cottage








Raspberries are Ripe and Prolific

This year is a raspberry wonder for us! Everywhere you look fresh raspberries abound. The fence, the trellis, random support poles, tomato cages and the outside gate are all fair game for the raspberries that have made their home at Spring Hill Cottage. (see photos below) Fragrant and lush, our variaties are primarily thornless and range in color from golden yellow, to salmon to blushing rose. As far as flavor, they are all most delicious, fresh from the stalk, with golden sunlight warming your shoulders.

See Spring Hill Cottage garden raspberry photos below:

rasp pic

fence rasp Green chemistry tips Green Plant with raspberry   red ras yellow raspberry

Favorite way to eat them?  With fresh unflavored yogurt, or if I’m feeling really decadent, I go for layered greek yogurt, raspberries and whipped cream.

We invite you to reserve Spring Hill Cottage today through our VRBO SITE reservation portal


Decorated port-a-potty in the garden? See this one at a nearby fruit stand!

Garden Fruit stand on the way to Chico

We stopped at this family garden fruit stand on the way to Chico. Fresh herbs and flowers just add to the charm


When you are into gardening, you keep an eye out for what other people do, what’s  cute and what’s just a great idea..  We stopped by this  roadside fruit stand on the way to Chico yesterday, and found a great selection of fruit, a cute garden shed, and the prettiest port-o- let ( port-a-potty) that i Had ever seen. I had to take photos and share the experience with you!

Here’s the port- a potty!

When you open the door of the port- a- potty you see an spotlesslessly clean interior – decorated  with country charm  see photo below:

a) main view – straight shot  from front to back- colorful wall hangings, dried herbs along the windows, butterfly stickers, and signage all feels welcoming!





B)  Looking to the right  from front, you see the detail of the sign, fresh and dried herbs, and additional decorations – note how CLEAN it is!!DSCN2503



C) somehow they were able to rig a foot pump with running water – for me that’s huge since I’m a fanatic about washing hands after the restroom and prior to eating. Also a choice of soaps, fully stocked paper towels and again cute and CLEAN!!  DSCN2504


Go find Tony’s on rt 99 to Chico,  buy some fresh fruit and  even if you don’t use their public restroom – go look at it!  see Tony’s Fruit Stand for their fruits and veggies!

Plum Blossoms after Snow

eye level plum blossumsSpring is here.  Grass Valley is catching up to the rest of California with plums in bloom and daffodils smiling. The green house is full of trays of soon to be seedlings and the temperatures are in the 50’s and 60’s.  The primrose’s are bursting with color, while the first dandelions have expressed their cheerful hello’s to the front yard.  We covered the pool at Spring Hill Cottage, with its solar cover to start the spring warm up, and it will be a big week in the orchard with moving compost, mulch and the last of the big fruits and small berries to fun and sunny places in the garden. We’ll be adding annual veggies and flowers in succession as they mature in the green house on  Mosswood Lane. Stop by, say hi, and join us for our 1 annual plant giveaway on u our May 11 Open house!  See you soon!


Daffodil and Collards

Daffodil and Collards


Spring Blooms at Spring HIll Cottage

Spring Blooms at Spring HIll Cottage

Gnome with 'shroom

Gnome with ‘shroom


Plum  Bloss at Spring Hill Cottage

Plum Bloss at Spring Hill Cottage

Grass Valley Mulberry wood

Mulberry wood after snow melt

Pineapple Guava near wood chip pile

Pineapple Guava near wood chip pile

eye level plum blossums

Plum brnach angain rainy sky

Grass Valley Plum Blossoms


Cold,Warm, Cold, Warm, Hot: What a Spring in Grass Valley!

This has been a week of changing weather. From snow and school cancellations to warm and setting up the little plastic green house, its been all seasons of fun over the space of 7 days.  We drove down to Sacramento today to 70 degree weather and blooming fruit trees, and drove back to a 49 degree Grass Valley welcome, that warned “Do not even think about putting summer veggies in the greenhouse”.  Its true that the folks in the valley have 2-4 months more of summer than we do. Its also true that our winters, while cold, are sunnier than those of Sacramento and Davis.  Sitting prettily above the clouds during the cold months does have its advantages.  Photos today? Some of everything.

Grass Valley in the woods stairs – not Spring Hill cottage
Berries in the Mist on the Mountain

Berries in the Mist on the Mountain

Spring Hill Cottage Liquid Amber Tree Against Blue Sky

Spring Hill Cottage Liquid Amber Tree Against Blue Sky

View  on other side of Fence from Spring Hill Cottage Grass Valley Area

View on other side of Fence from Spring Hill Cottage Grass Valley Area


Spring HIll Cottage Fenced Yard in Snow

Spring Hill Cottage Fenced Yard in Snow


Snow in the Garden


Snow Sled at Spring Hill Cottage

Snow Sled at Spring Hill Cottage

Spring Hill Cottage and Gardens got SNOW  this week! This is a big storm that is winding its way across the country leaving a blanket of snow on mountains, deserts, lakes, rivers and forests.  Here it was big  enough to make it look pretty, and little enough to not have to shovel. In Grass Valley it normally melts off in a few days, so we’ve learned its ok to leave alone.  I took some pictures of the new gardens and orchard with their very first snow dusting. Cottage Garden  in first snow photos are kind of like a baby’s first steps I think. The parents think its wonderful and the rest of the world in just kind of indulgent. So thank you for indulging me…

Snowy Rose Bush at Spring Hill Cottage

Snowy Rose Bush at Spring Hill Cottage

Welcome to Spring Hill Cottage in the Snow!
sled in front yard at the cottage

sled in front yard at the cottage

Our new mini orchard in snow

Our new mini orchard in snow

Spring Hill Cottage Pool in winter

Spring Hill Cottage Pool in winter

Fenced yard in Snow

Stone wall, fence and pool in snow

Stone wall, fence and pool in snow

Wooden Board Fence Corner with pines in Snow

Wooden Board Fence Corner with pines in Snow

Snowy Garden Shed at Far  Corner of the Garden

Snowy Garden Shed at Far Corner of the Garden

Spring Hill Cottage Garden Wheelbarrow in Snow

Spring Hill Cottage Garden Wheelbarrow in Snow BRRRRR!!  Spring is coming soon!!




















Grass Valley Winter Gardening Before Superbowl!

Here in Grass Valley sometimes we have the opportunity to rush the gardening season a little bit. Yes! Spring Hill Cottage Gardening in February!! We had lovely 65 Degree weather today, although that is unusual for this time of year.  So we did some gardening before the Super-bowl…Let’s show you what’s going on. One disclaimer here- all of these have additional winter protection since, in spite of the ground’s claim – I think we’ll still have some cold weather. 

Strawberries growing on wood chips

Strawberries growning on woodchips

Grass Valley garden roses

Can’t wait for these tiny yellow roses that are surely coming soon!


These roses were tiny yellow tea roses that were a gift in the winter – They come live, but never seem to make it to spring ….until last year when I put them in our cool sunporch where they got the light ( and water) they needed until the warmth came.

Herb Garden Marjoram in the early spring

Herb Garden Marjoram in the early spring

Fun trivia on this herb – its very closely related to Oregano, I find it less bitter. Its very easy to propagate – just take a little piece that already has roots and place it nicely in potting soil and keep it moist..It seems tolerant of  soil with lots of oak leaves  and pine needles as you can see here. This will easily grow 10X its size this summer!

Back to the Superbowl…I loved the Clydesdale Horse ad– Did you know that Nevada County fair Grounds has a Draft Horse Classic Event every fall?    Follow the link I just provided. It will also give you the annual schedule of events at the Nevada County Fairgrounds, which include things like the county fair, dog shows, craft shows, and llama shows.

If you’d like to rent a vacation rental with gardens and a pool – Do think if us at Spring Hill Cottage and Gardens, the cottage is a 3 bedroom, 2 and a half bath that sleeps 7-10, is fully appointed and has a gas fireplace for additional coziness. When you rent it, you get to see what we have growing.. and eat it too- in season of course. Hope to see you soon.


Grass Valley Vacation Rental with Gardens

Enjoy your Grass Valley Gold Country vacation in a setting  with herb gardens, flowers and fruit trees, a pool, a yard and a lovely cottage!  Let me show you the lemon verbena we have growing in the herb garden.

Vacation Herb Gardening

Herb: Lemon Verbena at Spring Hill Cottage

Also look at these collards


Vacation rental home and garden

Collards happily growing at Spring Hill Cottage Vacation Rental Home

flowers and treee

Grass valley vacation rental cottage with trees and flowers