Tall Tales about the author…

Hey there! I’m Mary Ann Newcomer – a scribe-scout-speaker – and the Dirt Diva on the River Radio, 94.9 in Boise, ID. In other words, I’m love, eat, see and breathe gardens.

Yakkity Yak:

My articles on gardening have been published in Country Gardens, MaryJane’s Farm, Fine Gardening, American Gardener and Leaf. Several years ago, I did a series of weekly columns for the Idaho Statesman (online) about my summer CSA packagesI’ve authored two books on gardening for our region: The Timber Press Guide to Vegetable Gardening in the Mountain States, and the Rocky Mountain Gardeners Handbook via Amazon.com and at Rediscovered Bookshop in Boise, ID.

A native daughter of Idaho, I started gardening as a sprout, starting with a tiny plot at my grandparents’ home in Latah, Washington. I helped my granddad plant corn and spuds and helped my grandmother in the flower garden.  I learned to cook, can and sew at her side. Now, I am becoming her. I’ve got a penchant for German bearded iris and dahlias. Who knew?

I  served on the Board of Directors for the Idaho Botanical Garden for more than a decade, lavishing a lot of attention on the Contemporary English Garden and the Lewis and Clark Native Plant Garden (a demonstration garden).  With three decades of fund raising in the rear view mirror, I’ve turned my attention back to the English Garden, which is undergoing a major update and renovation to accommodate  the mature trees (those twigs from 20 yrs. past), punching up the color schemes, and installing a more efficient watering system.

My heart is here in the Wild Wild West, and I believe in honoring genius loci, or, the Spirit of the Place.

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All content is copyrighted by me.

38 thoughts on “Tall Tales about the author…”

  1. My son recently moved to Boise. His wife would like to plant a vegetable garden next Spring. Could you refer a book I could buy that tells about gardening in the Boise area. Thanks.

  2. Hey Mary Ann–
    I enjoyed meeting you awhile back and your site reminds me of your zippy zest. Your poppy watercolor wants companions, show us more.

    I’ve finally gotten GARDEN LARGE going. It’s about my landscape design business, my large
    garden and me. Currently, it also tells the sad story of Gifford Garden, which is destined to be literally uprooted because the new guy thinks it doesn’t serve the scientific mission of his institute.

    I hope you’ll visit and have a reason to return to visit http://www.gardenlarge.com.

  3. Good day Duchess!
    I have thoroughly enjoyed reading your blogs…I laughed out loud several times in my office.
    I heard you this morning on the River, mentioning container gardening in regards to sustainable living. I wondered if you had any books, websites, etc that you could recommend for me to dive into.
    Thanks, Tauna

  4. Good Morning, Diva (love the handle!)

    I am a member of the Idaho Earth Institute and we are having a Plant Sale fund raiser on April 19th, 10 am- 2 pm, at Lucy’s Coffee & Espresso, and I was wondering if you could/would be so kind as to “advertise” this for us. We will be selling organic locally grown veggies, herbs and some bedding plants from Canyon Bounty Farm and organically drought tolerant (some of those are natives) plants from Draggin’ Wing Farm. Thanks a bunch. Oh, I simply love this site! You da bomb!!!

    Regards, Bo

  5. Hi Mary Ann!

    It was wonderful to meet you at the Austin Spring Fling. You’re now in my bloglines so I won’t miss out on your writing. We don’t have to garden in the same place on the planet to enjoy reading about being a gardener.

    Annie at the Transplantable Rose

  6. Annie, I, too, adored meeting you and checking out all the garden hot spots in TX. Next time I am coming to Cercis Circus! Thanks, too, for the lovely kind compliments you paid me when we were together……..

  7. Hey MA!

    Just a note to let you know your that recently your website is very slow to load…

  8. Hi Mary Ann, Have thought about ya many times over the years, and wa’la’ here you, awesome site. I am going to Seattle Memorial Day to help plan my daughters gardening foray with her new house. Got any ideas or sites I should go to. You are as beautiful and talented as ever, good thing to see some things never change in this ever changing world.


  9. Mary Ann,
    I just found your website, and so nice to learn that a fellow AMG is writing. Very interesting site. I look forward to more articles.

  10. Auntie Mame,
    Great Great site, I have been involved in gardening ever since..What amazes me is the ideas brought on board each time you read or visit a fellow gardener..I read your blog quiet often and look forward to it regularly. Please do keep up the good post..

    Mon. x

  11. Good day Mary Ann,

    My name is Shelli Carol and I am a student at the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University in Chicago.

    This quarter, a group of entrepreneurial students, including myself, are working on a business that would allow average homeowners to cleanly, quietly, and easily keep organic, egg- laying chickens in their backyards.

    I believe that Idaho Gardeners may be a group particularly interested in this kind of product. Please consider taking our 10-minute survey about it. The link to the survey is here:

    If you feel comfortable, we would certainly appreciate your passing this request to your subscribers, along with whomever else you think might find it interesting. Please welcome them to forward it further.

    Feel free to contact me directly with any questions.

    Thank you for your consideration.

    Shelli Carol
    Kellogg School of Management

  12. Edwards Greenhouse will be hosting a Fall into Edwards event on Saturday, September 27th from 9 AM to 3 PM. We are re-opening and re-naming our custom floral shop. Contests and Classses will be held and refreshments will be served. Contact Edwards Greenhouse 208-342-7548 or visit our website wwwedwardsgreenhouse.com for further details.

  13. If you travel to Olympia, WA. come visit my garden. Mostly it is eatables but I designed a garden shed with a Japanese roof line that is special. I have chickens, fruit trees, raised beds for vegs along side more beds ! espalier apple trees along the back fence. I love to talking gardening, recipes and food.

  14. Kelly, I’d love to talk more about this. Sorry it took me so long to respond. I just saw this note. What is your email? I’ll contact you.

  15. Hello,

    I enjoy your gardening website and thought you and your readers might be interested in an interactive version (using google maps) of the current USDA zone hardiness map at http://www.plantmaps.com/usda_hardiness_zone_map.php
    There are also detailed interactive zone maps for each US State.

    There is a detailed zipcode to zone search using the latest US postal service zips and giving the reader their zone down to the sub zone level (a or b). By entering your zipcode you can also get first/last freeze, Heat Zones, drought conditions and annual climatology for your area.
    You can also embed the zip to zone search in your website using the plantmaps widget at http://www.plantmaps.com/hardiness-zone-zipcode-search-widget.php


  16. Hi,

    I would love to talk to you about an issue that I feel is a hot topic in environmental news. I have written an article that I think your readers would be interested in seeing on your blog.

    I’m looking to promote that idea that by encouraging grocery shoppers to branch out from their usual selections and to join the local food movement, they can help to conserve this forgotten species, and create a more sustainable agricultural system.

  17. Hallo…I happened per chance onto your blog and love it…..I would love to mak THAT RHUBARB JELLY….I seem to haver discovered jam making last year! BUt….is that the cups of rhubarb chopped and left as it is? You do not mean cooked and sieved? would love to have a go..and marghariats are a favourite of mine when we are in the States…

    Thank you in advance, cheers


  18. Thank you for taking the time in reading this email, this is Jack D. with the marketing division of York Carpet Cleaning based in the Tri-State area. In finding your website and viewing the type of links offered from your site we feel their may be room for a potential collaboration with our web site as well. We are interested in discussing the possibilities of arranging a link exchange between your site and ours in efforts to drive more organic traffic to both our site and yours. I look forward to any questions or thoughts you may have regarding the matter. Thanks!

    Jack D.
    York Carpet Care, Inc.

  19. I was thinking about you as I drove out to the IBG today. I remember how you used to say that all the little plant tags left in a garden reminded you of a mouse cemetery. Well, right now, driving past all the little color-coded flags next to Penitentiary Road would probably remind you of a mouse political rally! 🙂

  20. Mary Ann,

    Love your website – great ideas. Must get some plant information to share with my readers. Looking for interesting natives to use in gardens to help create habitats (not just ornamental gardens).

    If you’d like a screener of Women In The Dirt contact me – maybe you can do a “book review” type thing. We screened it at UC Berkeley last week and the audience loved it. My crew was walking 10′ tall for the rest of the week.

    Let me know about regionally appropriate plants that people love, so I can give them a plug.

    Sincerely, Carolann

  21. Hi Mary Ann,
    Help! I attended the class you did for the Boise home and garden show on native plants. It was great but Kinko’s didn’t deliver the handouts you had prepared. I am yearning to use plants that require little water and love this area. So here I am a new-to-this-climate gardener, making many mistakes. I was hoping the handouts would be posted on your website. Is there anywhere I could get a copy of those handouts?
    Ever hopeful, thanks,


  22. Hi Mary Ann!
    Finally got to make my own rhubarbtinis and wanted to let you know they were wonderful (making a third batch this evening). I credit you for sharing this rhubarb goodness!

  23. Dear Mary Ann,
    I have been listening to you on the River morning show for several years. You speak very highly about POOH PEA’S. I found POOH PEA’s at the Capital City Market a couple of weeks ago in a 3lb bag. I started using it on my tomato plants and OH MY GOSH! My tomato plants have almost doubled in size and become very busy with lots of blooms and tomatoes starting. I love POOH PEA’S and so do my tomato plants. The new 3lb bag is great and can be purchased at the Capital City Farmers Market, thought you might want to mention this on your next River broadcast.


    Allison Abshire

  24. I am liking the blog and your posts. Would you be interested in exchanging links with Walton Garden products. We can ensure the link is one way so both websites benefit from the exchange. Please let me know if this is of interest to you. We would link to you from http://www.gardenshedadviser.co.uk.

    Keep up the blogging!!!

    Matthew Wilby

  25. Howdy this is somewhat of off topic but I was wanting to
    know if blogs use WYSIWYG editors or if you have to manually code with HTML.
    I’m starting a blog soon but have no coding knowledge so I wanted to get advice from someone with experience. Any help would be enormously appreciated!

  26. Hi Mary Ann! We love your site! Please contact me as we would like to know if you would be interested in hosting a Serenity Health & Home sponsored giveaway opportunity for your readers?

    Best regards,
    B. Jones

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