Garden wisdom from deer country!

Gardening in the Sierra Foothills with Carolyn Singer

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Garden information written by a gardener is difficult to find. Perhaps it's because the gardener is so busy outside. This site will connect beginning and experienced gardeners to valuable garden wisdom..

Deer-resistant plants do exist! Learn about deer-resistant plants, soil preparation and landscaping, plus selecting and caring for plants for your garden design. Included will be lots of expertise about flower, herb, and vegetable gardening, and even the care of fruit trees and small fruits.

If you live in or near Nevada County CA in the Sierra foothills, you can even take advantage of a summer propagation garden class to gather material from the hundreds of unusual plants in Carolyn's garden.

Two references of deer-resistant plants by Carolyn Singer are now available from

"Deer in My Garden, Vol. 1: Perennials & Subshrubs"
"Deer in My Garden, Vol. 2: Groundcovers & Edgers"

Each volume details hundreds of deer-resistant plants for description, cultural requirements, seasonal interest, landscape use and companion plants, propagation and maintenance.
Information is based on more than 30 years of research.

Check out our online listing of garden articles written by Carolyn Singer, "the seasoned gardener" and originally published in The Union in Grass Valley CA....

Go to the articles.

How to contact us:

Carolyn Singer Gardens
formerly Foothill Cottage Gardens

P.O. Box 333
Cedar Ridge CA 95924

(530) 272-4362

E-mail Carolyn!


Carolyn Singer has been gardening since she was a young child. Early horticultural lessons were from her parents, first in Berkeley, and then in Sebastopol, California. Extended family in Sonoma County were all gardeners, adding to Carolyn's enthusiastic connection with the earth. Gardening in the Denver area for eight years, and camping in the beautiful Rocky Mountains were influential in her growing interest in rock gardening.

Since 1977, on her property in the Sierra Nevada foothills near Grass Valley, California, she has been testing hundreds of perennials for their performance and deer-resistance. Carolyn’s perennial nursery, Foothill Cottage Gardens, and display gardens in Grass Valley were open to the public for 25 years. Her nursery was recognized nationally in several publications: (Organic Gardening, Fine Gardening, Country Gardening, Sunset) and in Taylor’s Guide to Specialty Nurseries.

Garden classes have been held every year. She has also taught at Sierra College. Students continue to enjoy her propagation classes, held each summer in her garden, to propagate from the huge assortment of plants, many deer-resistant. She has also taught a series of organic gardening classes at Peaceful Valley Farm & Garden Supply in Grass Valley CA.

Since March 2006, Carolyn has written a garden column"The Seasoned Gardener" for her local paper, The Union in Grass Valley, California. She has published garden articles in The American Gardener (American Horticultural Society),Fine Gardening, Garden Gate, Better Homes and Gardens Special Interest Publications, and Sierra Heritage magazine.

She has been employed as a revegetation consultant with Nevada Irrigation District, advising about hydroseeding and restoration with natives. Working with fire-safe native grasses is a special interest. Fire-safe and water-efficient landscape consulting is Carolyn's top priority when meeting with property owners.

Carolyn's rock garden, which is the inspiration for many of the perennials in "Deer in My Garden, Vol. 2: Groundcovers & Edgers", has been featured on HGTV’s Paul James, “Gardening By the Yard”. When they filmed the segment about gardening with rocky soil, Carolyn's garden was a perfect site.

Her designs have been published in Home Landscaping Western Region (2010) and Home Landscaping California Region (2001), by Roger Holmes and Lance Walheim (published by Creative Homeowner Press). Her work is mentioned in Judith M. Taylor’s Tangible Memories, Californians and Their Gardens, 1800-1850 (published 2003).

In 1995 she contributed to the updated Time-Life, Complete Gardener: Perennials. She is a member of California Native Plant Society (CNPS Redbud Chapter), the California Native Grasslands Association (CNGA), and the Xerces Society. Past associations include the Perennial Plant Asociation (PPA) and the American Rock Garden Society. She has received the honor of "Lifetime University of California Master Gardener".

©2016 by Carolyn Singer. All rights reserved.

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