I’m Randi, the gal behind Freckled Californian. I started this blog as a way to spread my enthusiasm for a lifestyle inspired by the garden and the seasonal food we can grow here in Southern California. As a self-taught gardener,my goal is to share my own growing experiences in hopes that fellow gardeners can glean helpful information and feel inspired by what I’ve learned.
Both my parents were into plants. My mom always had plants growing around my childhood home, and both of them loved collecting unique fruit trees. But, it wasn’t until I had moved out and was cooking on my own, that I started to feel pulled to grow my own food.
After graduating in 2010 with a degree in anthropology, I dabbled in non-profit work, the wedding floral industry, and eventually began working as an insurance agent while cramming in alllll the gardening I possibly could in my spare time—-that was how my blog, Freckled Californian was born! Since I had started posting all of my gardening experiences over on Instagram, the questions started to roll in and I found that there was a need for local, climate-specific gardening information for Southern California. My approach to this blog is not from a “garden expert” perspective, but rather as someone writing to garden friends who share similar interests.
My dad always told me he thought I’d be a writer, no joke. I didn’t believe him, nor did I want to be a writer. He was passionate about sharing knowledge, and often took us camping and hiking. We lost him suddenly after my first year of college and it changed my life forever. I think of him often, and feel that he must have always known Freckled Californian would happen. Here I am, Dad, I’m a garden writer.
There is another very important contributing member to this gardening blog, and that’s my husband Sam. We met in 2006 at a friend’s dinner, and have been together ever since. Sam works full-time as an electrician. To this day, I still think he’s in disbelief that my gardening hobby has overtaken our lives.
Not only do we love growing food, but we also share a love for the great outdoors. When we aren’t gardening we are usually camping or hiking. In 2020 we bought an old 1980s travel trailer and completely renovated it into our home on wheels. We feel lucky to reside in a state full of beaches, mountains, and deserts so we let none of it go to waste. John Muir once said, “Most people are on the world, not in it—” We strive to be in it and inspire others too!
One of our future goals is to build a garden in a climate completely different from our own. We don’t know when or how this will come about, but that’s part of the adventure!
About our Garden
The original kitchen garden (est. 2016), Orange County, CA
In the winter of 2015 we moved into our home, which was in major need of TLC. While the backyard is roughly 3,000 sq feet, our home is a quaint 715 sq feet—which we wanted! I’ve always been an outdoorsy, sun-loving gal so the backyard was a place I knew we would spend the majority of our time. The minute we moved in, we started drawing out the plans for our very first garden. Our vision was along the lines of a small, accessible kitchen garden that would allow us to grow some of our own food. Both of us had never had a garden of our own. The day before we were supposed to start building our raised beds, I changed my mind (which Sam has become accustomed to) and quickly sketched out the main garden layout that still stands there today—five raised beds for a total of 119 square feet. This was the start of our small urban garden.
The DIY cattle panel trellis
After gardening in our original red wood raised beds for a bit, we started looking into other ways to grow our garden space—this included vertical gardening! I had this vision of growing all kinds of squashes and small melons suspended in the air on large cattle panel arches. To this day, one of our most popular blog posts is our DIY cattle panel trellis tutorial. This beautiful metal arch addition gave us an extra 40 square feet of growing space, and loads of charm in the garden!
The California native garden (est. 2021)
Eventually, I started landscaping all around with fruit trees, edible perennials (like our artichokes), and I developed a passion for California native plants. In 2021, we removed more of the grass and installed our first ever native garden for pollinators. This new area brought so many more birds, butterflies, and native bees to our backyard while also saving us money on our water bill. Delving into native plants has become one of the most rewarding experiences for me.
The rose garden (est. 2022)
I’ve always had a passion for homegrown, homemade, and slowing down to appreciate all the simple things. This includes bouquets of homegrown flowers in the house! In 2022 we removed even more grass to create our David Austin rose garden. If you love homegrown flowers too, you’ve got to check out how this project turned out!
Thank you again for joining both Sam and me here at Freckled Californian. I hope you enjoyed learning a little more about us and our journey. We are constantly loving on our garden and dreaming up ways to grow even more food and flowers in our urban backyard! Coming soon, is a garden area dedicated to sweet homegrown strawberries. Overall, we are looking forward to our fruit trees really reaching maturity and learning more about seasonal foods. If you’re new here, we’d love it if you’d follow us on YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest as well! Feel free to contact us using this form.
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A collection of simple recipes that make each season just a little more delicious. Yummm…