Author: Diane

A Del Mar Gardener’s Collections

We often kick off our Del Mar Garden Club meetings each fiscal year at the charming home and garden of Marnie Mahoney. This is quite appropriate as Marnie was key in starting the thriving Club over 25 years ago! Marnie’s garden is a peaceful haven along the crest of Olde Del Mar, set among the Torrey Pine trees, overlooking the Pacific Ocean.  While I wanted to photograph every artistic and healthy plant arrangement, I also was compelled to click away at her collections of birdhouses, watering cans, pots and other garden collectibles that accentuated the plants. These tell you Marnie is not only a serious gardener,...

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Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve

Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve is a 2000-acre reserve located at 12600 North Torrey Pines Road between La Jolla and Del Mar, north of the City of San Diego, California. The Reserve looks as it did before San Diego was developed — including the rare Torrey pine trees, the maritime chaparral, miles of unspoiled beaches, and a lagoon for migrating seabirds. I especially enjoy parking at the base of the Reserve, walking the road up to the Visitor’s Center, and then taking the Beach Trail down to the ocean. It is only a short walk back to the parking...

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Bonnie Jo Manion – A Taste of French Country Living

While perusing my e-mails a few weeks ago, I saw this: “More than a cooking class, it is a culinary experience. Come spend the day in France, and enjoy a leisurely French Country cooking class and lunch. Your day includes an overall extraordinary culinary event with a garden and vineyard tour, cooking class, lunch, and a chance to shop!” (from I LOVE the French countryside. I invited a couple friends and we had one of the best “French” experiences of our lives–in San Diego County! Yes, it was much more than a cooking class and much more than...

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Succulent Magic in Escondido, California

I was working on an art project at the home of Kathleen and Larry Delancey in Escondido, California, and took a little break to stroll through the garden. With camera in hand I slipped out, hoping to get a photo or two. I had been to Kathleen’s garden on several occasions and was always in awe of her plant artistry and her way of incorporating succulents into the landscape. But this time I really noticed the myriad of decorative elements throughout the garden. Her use of color, textures, pots and whimsy provided interest and delight virtually everywhere I looked. Kathleen’s attentive soil prep...

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Apple Blueberry Crisp by Susan Sbicca

This Apple Blueberry Crisp recipe was submitted to the Del Mar Flavors cookbook by Susan Sbicca, former co-owner and executive chef of the award-winning Sbicca in Del Mar, California. In 2006, Susan was named Chef of the Year by the San Diego Chapter of the California Restaurant Association and Chef of the Year at the California Restaurant Association Educational Foundation Hall of Fame Centennial Celebration. It was only the second time in CRAEF’s 25-year history that the award had been presented! Susan is now the founder and owner of Millie’s Vegan Gelato. She created a gelato that was “both...

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I am Diane Uke (pronounced “you-kay”) and would like to welcome you to my new website and blog. This is where I get to share all my many and varied passions with you including my favorite DIY tutorials, recipes and lots of inspirational garden and travel photos! There is also a Shop for my mixed media paintings, prints, jewelry, and anything else I feel you may enjoy. Please stop by often as there will be regular updates.