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Gail's Garden - July 2016


Gail's Garden - July 2016

by Gail Fanning

Well, I don’t usually do product placement, but I just have to tell you about the wonderful tool I’ve found. For some time now I’ve been yearning for a tool that will let me pull weeds without crawling around on my hands and knees all day, and without straining my back or wrists. I’ve found the answer! I ordered the Rocket Weeder on Amazon last week and it has been amazing! For only $32, this clever all steel device pulls weeds quickly and easily with no pain or strain. 

The tool, which weighs only a couple of pounds, is very easy to use: simply position the Rocket Weeder’s jaws over the center of the weed and step on the foot pedal. The jaws grab the root under the ground. Then use the handle to rock the Rocket Weeder back toward you and it pulls the weed out of the ground. Press the ejector handle and the weed falls effortlessly into your garbage or compost bucket. Done! I weeded my entire lawn in less than an hour and enjoyed it! Check this out on Amazon if you think it would help you enjoy your weeding more: Yard Butler RDT-1000 Rocket Weeder All Steel.

Garden Conservancy Open Days are coming to the East Bay on July 30: six excellent gardens are open for your enjoyment and the price is only $7 per garden (or buy ahead for a discount). Gardens in Berkeley, Walnut Creek, and Orinda are included: see for all the details.

Sign up now for Summer Pruning and Espalier coming up on August 16. Instructor Ellen Solomon will teach you the principles of pruning your own fruit trees: in the morning you learn in the classroom, then in the afternoons you have hands-on practice in the orchard. This is absolutely the best way to learn this simple skill that will lead to healthier trees with better fruit production. Register through Santa Rosa Junior College Community Education

I’m enjoying the enormous and bright blooms of the “Naughty Nineties” poppies that I bought early this spring at Harmony Farm Supply in Sebastopol. Grown by Annie’s Annuals, it is 4’ tall and each plant is loaded with buds. Although each flower only lasts a couple days (partly my fault for planting them in the path of the lawn sprinkler!), they are awesome! I hope they reseed as Annie says they may. Yes, this is a hybrid of papaver somniferum, the opium poppy. Although the opium poppy is a Controlled Substance under US law, gardeners are rarely prosecuted for growing the flowers, and in fact, they are grown at the United States Botanical Garden on the grounds of the Capitol in Washington D.C. But if you are worried about the legality of growing these poppies there are plenty of others to choose from: check out the website for everything you ever wanted to know about poppies!

Interested in travel and garden visiting around the world? Visit my new website to see highlights of places my husband Mike and I have visited and tips for enjoyable travel around the world. We call the website Serendipity because often the parts of our trips that are most enjoyable are those unexpected and unplanned detours that happen when we are wandering around without a specific plan: the lovely hill town in Spain that we wandered into looking for lunch, and stayed to enjoy a delightful night in a wonderful B&B; the Scottish wedding at a ruined castle whose garden we were exploring; a visit to our taxi driver’s family farm in Egypt; and a private boat ride on a Wyoming lake with a view of the Tetons at sunset. Check out the website and be inspired to travel more! As Mark Twain wrote: “Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness…”

Planning a garden party? I can help you get your garden looking it’s best for the big event: call me at least a month ahead of the date for on-site advise and suggestions: 707-829-2455 .