I had such a busy week this week (the grandgirls came up for the holiday- we tried out my new firepit and watched the fireworks over the Russian River) - I did not put shovel to dirt even once...have some making up to do this weekend.
Here at the Farmhouse Inn our Gardner, Yana does such a great job of keeping our gardens up without having them too manicured. It makes me jealous and inspires me all at the same time.
And this is a picture of our firepit here in the gardens here at the Farmhouse...if you haven't tried our s'mores you should visit sometime!
We have many fantastic opportunities in Sonoma County above and beyond just what people think of as nurseries. My gardening friend, Marie and I are regulars at the "Jail Sales" in the spring - Here's a "commercial" explaining what they are doing over at the Jail...they have open sales on a few Saturdays in the fall and again in the spring and are open by appointment at other times. The video is a little long but everytime I am over there they have Master Gardner's handy with answers to my questions and lots of free advice.
Nice..the plants are cheap enough that I can do some experimenting. Always looking for something the deer will leave alone...I bring them home and park them behind the garage and wait to see what the deer will eat. If they don't eat it I buy more next time. If they eat it I am not out a fortune but no more of that. They have many of the Sonoma County natives I like to focus on...and water wise is paramount in this area. I am on a well so I don't have to pay the city water rates but still- we are always conscious of water use in California.
This last weekend I took my sister over to the Willowside School Sale. They also have a few sales each season. They get a lot of plants donated by the local nurseries so you never know what you will find. She picked up a couple of Coral Bark Maple Trees for $25/ each. And Ginko trees for $10- the deer have never touched my Ginko trees- not sure about the maples but they will be on her back deck so maybe out of harms way. And purchases support the school- the students are learning about gardening, grafting, and making some money besides.
Every fall I try to make it to the Sonoma County Native Plant Society Sale usually about the second weekend in October at the Veteran's Hall in Santa Rosa. But get there early - the best stuff goes quick. Again experts on hand to answer questions- these gardening people are so helpful and always willing to share.
Last Thursday Marie and I made it over to one of our favorite nurseries in Santa Rosa for their open house. A Midsummer Night in the Garden...celebrating King's Nursery's first 115 years in business! From the invite:
Potting and Hanging Basket Demonstration
-Food made with King's Ingredients
-Drinks and other Refreshments
-Acoustic Music w/guitarist Josh Stevens
-Organic Experts to Answer your Questions
-Local growers w/all the Latest and Greatest Flowers and Edibles
King's Party Animal
and you know you can't have an event like that in the wine country without having some wine too. (Which we did!)
We really enjoyed spinning the prize wheel - everybody was a winner of something!
I won a wonderful dwarf buddleia in a color I don't already have- you can just see it here in this picture (well, maybe not). And then Marie up and won the same thing and we were just talking about how many we have..you trim it, stick it in the ground and you have a new plant!
I love King's- not just for their plants which are all rather wonderful but they have such a terrific sense of humor. I love seeing their ads in the local newspaper...short and sweet and not just selling you something. But a definite reminder that they are there. They always have a big word that has nothing to do with gardening and then they manage to tie it in somehow.
"If I worked here I would never call in sick, it's so beautiful.
Thanks, why not take a personal day and spend it with us. Super healthy plants, mostly present staff!"
See what I mean- that's their ad- always the same size and brilliant! I actually look for their ad to see what they are up to this week.
Then at the party they had another of their "flash mobs" - Here is the video for you!
Like I said they are just way cool.. all the time. Must be a great place to work- they all seem so happy playin' in the dirt.
I haven't even mentioned Luther Burbank Gardens or the...or the...and the...
So that's what I shall be doing this weekend...with a little wine country "sunshine" thrown in, of course. I seem to always have 30-40 plants waiting to go into the ground...that is my own private nursery!
What great secret gardens do you have in your area?
And- What are you doing with your weekend?