Mary Sue Ittner

My garden is located in coastal Mendocino County, California. I live at about 840 feet (256 meters) with a distant view of the Pacific Ocean. My climate is a Mediterranean one with rain usually starting in the fall, building in the winter and tapering off in spring. Summers are completely dry. Temperatures in winter occasionally get below freezing, but not usually much below and not for long. With climate change the amount of rainfall we used to get has reduced dramatically with drought years. Summer temperatures were moderate in the past, with only occasional hot days in a row almost always followed by coastal fog that cools things off, but this has changed a bit as well. The temperature usually drops in the evening. It can be very windy, especially in spring and summer, which makes our part of the coast less foggy.

Our property was once mixed evergreen forest and we retain a lot of trees including Sequoia sempervirens (Coast Redwoods). Native soil is very low in nutrients, mostly decomposed sandstone.

Geophytes are grown in the ground in my garden, in raised beds in pots set in pots with a sand/gravel mix surrounding the pots (see photo below), in containers on benches in a structure that is covered on the top and open on the sides to limit the direct rain for bulbs that are from drier areas, and in containers that are on uncovered benches, in my greenhouse, and wherever else I can find for them to be. Most of the bulbs I grow are from Mediterranean climates and are therefore dormant in summer. I grow a lot of native bulbs from California and a lot of bulbs from South Africa and thanks to many seed exchanges and swapping from friends a lot of other things as well.

pots in raised beds, Mary Sue Ittner

My husband, Bob Rutemoeller, and I have added many pictures to the wiki of bulbs I grow and have grown and ones we have seen in the wild. For more than ten years I served as an administrator for the pbs list. I was a founding administrator for the pbs wiki and continue to help administrate it. I'm an active volunteer in my community, and enjoy hiking locally and seeing plants in the wild.

I can be reached at msittner at

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