I only just found out that San Jose Mercury-News garden writer Holly Hayes died of cancer in early April. Her obituary is here, but I suggest you read her husband's loving tribute as he chronicles his efforts to keep her garden going.
I've read Holly's garden coverage on and off for years in the Merc–it was never my hometown paper, but I picked it up whenever I was coming through town. She was a true reporter, writing in-depth and thoughtful pieces and covering the whole of the Bay Area, an enormous region both geographically and in terms of climate and gardening sensibilities. She truly picked up the slack for all the other newspapers in the region when it came to garden coverage. Proof of her dedication can be found in the fact that she filed her last story a week before she died.
Here are just a couple of the kinds of stories you could count on from Holly: a run-down of sculptures made by local artists, and a nice bit of reporting on the impact of an unusual freeze on the local nurseries. She also followed the medfly quarantine and other critical pest issues that have cropped up in the Bay Area of late. It was solid, reliable journalism on subjects that mattered to the Merc's readers. Her absence will leave a hole in the Bay Area's garden coverage that will be difficult to fill–if the Merc even tries.
If you appreciated Holly's work, a memorial fund that benefits the zoo has been established in her name.