An Alameda Garden: About Claire Splan

About Claire Splan

 I'm an Alameda native with a deep appreciation for the joys of gardening in sandy soil and a Mediterranean climate. This is where I share my gardening successes and frustrations (of which there are many), as well as news of gardening events and developments in and around the San Francisco Bay Area. I love writing and talking about gardening and am a member of the Garden Writers Association, but I also enjoy writing fiction and other types of nonfiction.

My Gardening Books

Month-by-Month Gardening

Winner of the 2015 Silver Award of Achievement from the Garden Writers Association!  With a thoroughly detailed chapter for each month of the year, this book tells you what species you should consider planting, precisely when you should plant them, and how to care for them for maximum health. Within each month are recommendations for annuals, bulbs, lawns (and lawn alternatives), natives, perennials, roses, shrubs, trees, vines, and groundcovers. An introductory overview of California's microclimates and soil types, along with a primer on general gardening techniques and a color-coded USDA zone map, prepares you to make your best effort as a gardener in California. Instructions go much further than just the basics, as you learn how to plan, plant, care for, water, fertilize, and troubleshoot your diverse garden spaces during every single month of the year. Fully illustrated with beautiful color photography of the "how to" steps and plants, California Month-by-Month Gardening keeps your garden prosperous through all types of California weather and terrain. Also available as a Nook ebook. (Cool Springs Press, 2014).

California Fruit and Vegetable Gardening

Written for beginning to intermediate gardeners, this book guides you through the basics of gardening (building good soil, planting techniques, small-space gardening, efficient watering, and plant nutrition) and helps you select the best edibles to grow in your California garden. Covers selecting, planting, caring for, harvesting, and pest and disease issues for 62 fruits, vegetables, herbs and nuts. Also available as a Nook ebook. (Cool Springs Press, 2012).

 Other Publications

The Guerrilla Gardener's Guide to the Recession

A Kindle Ebook Short Story
Welcome to Garden Gates, California, a new development in the Central Valley where dreams turned to dust when the housing bubble burst. As one home after another falls to foreclosure, it's up to the Garden Gates Garden Club to keep the struggling town blooming. But when seed-bombing and weed-whacking are no longer enough, the guerrilla gardeners are forced to extend their gardening skills in order to keep their little community intact.

Manhunt in Père Lachaise

A Kindle Ebook Essay
A stroll through Père Lachaise Cemetery in Paris becomes a hunt for a legend in this thoughtful essay exploring the history of this world-famous cemetery and the many soulmates residing there.

The Removable Feast

A Kindle Ebook Short Story
When some of Ernest Hemingway's long-lost manuscripts fall into the hands of a disillusioned Hemingway scholar, he gets a lesson in the fleeting nature of passion in this award-winning short story.



Contact Me

Have a gardening question? Feel free to e-mail me at and I'll try to find an answer for you or refer you to an expert.

Want to have me speak to your gardening club or at an event? 

Check out my profile at Great Garden Speakers for more information. I'd be happy to work with you to create a dynamic, fun, informative presentation.

Follow Me

On Twitter, you'll find me as @AlamedaGardener.
On Facebook, you can like California Gardening Books.
On Pinterest, you can follow my many gardening boards at
On Google+, follow me at
On Instagram, you'll find me as AlamedaGardener.

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