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Sonoma County Gazette

Garden - Landscape, Plants - Farms

If it grows and nutures life - we're interested in learning more. Please refer to our 2017 Gardeners Resource Guide for locally-owned garden businesses, plant propagators and more.

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2019-12-05Dec 5, 2019

End of year. For many the end of the calendar year  is  the time of year your landscape is moving at its slowest pace, even though it is simultaneously waking up for next year, the changes are subtle.  Every month is another chance to re-evaluate you garden or landscape.The leaves have fallen, and your space is at its most naked; it’s a good chance to evaluate what failed or bothers you, and what you want your garden to become. 

2019-07-18Jul 18, 2019

Defensible Space is space that can be defended. It’s as simple as that. If you prepare your home and neighborhood so that it doesn’t burst into flames and spread rapidly from home to home, it can be defended. Take a look around...

2019-07-18Jul 18, 2019

This summer I would like to feature a common, yet often overlooked bird in our area—the Song Sparrow.This bird does not get a lot of attention. It is small and brown. This bird can really sing. If you have ever been on any trail in Sonoma County, you have heard song sparrows. Males sing year-round. They have one of the most musical songs of any local bird. It is quite ornate. It only lasts a couple seconds, but it is repeated frequently. Interestingly...


2019-07-17Jul 17, 2019

Early summer is a great time to propagate your favorite plants from cuttings.  While many plants are quite easy to root from a cutting, there are a couple of tips to give you the greatest chance of success. You want to help the cutting survive by protecting it from bacterial and fungal infection and to encourage rooting. Raw honey works because it is a natural anti-biotic and anti-fungal.

2019-06-30Jun 30, 2019

California buckwheats. A great group of native shrubs and sub-shrubs for summer flowering, loved by many pollinators, are the CA buckwheats in the genus Eriogonum. These are not the plants that produce the seed called buckwheat but are in the same family. The genus Eriogonum has diversified extensively in Western North America, and there over 250 species. Most grow in specialized habitats, but there are a handful of dependable garden-worthy species available in nurseries – primarily native plant nurseries, that you might want to try to fit in. All need full sun and do best grown mostly dry once established.

2019-12-02Dec 2, 2019

As the seasons change, gardeners everywhere are tempted to pack away the shears for a few months, while others get creative and bring their garden indoors.Thehealth benefits  of gardening can be felt at any age, so it makes sense why more and more growers are finding ways to set up successful indoor gardens without investing in a state-of-the-art greenhouse. If you’re one of the people searching for a way to keep up the healthy hobby, consider transforming your garage into an indoor growing space.


2019-10-28Oct 28, 2019

This is a good time of year to appreciate the abundance of the previous season and start thinking about the promise of the next. Enjoy the colors of the foliage, late fruits, and veggies. There is a tendency as things go dormant to over-clean our landscapes, removing every leaf and excess twig and fallen fruit or seed head. Since we are likely to be beyond the prime fire season, give your space some breathing room, there are many months ahead to clean up, and many forms of life that need some of these resources to survive. Few images are more autumnal than leaves on the ground.

2019-09-26Sep 26, 2019

Fall Ahead. Anyone traveling down our backroads experiences drifts of leaves flying hither and yon, tints of red and yellow in the trees and underbrush, and that exhausted look of once golden grasses giving their last gasp in beige. We may feel this exhaustion too in our gardens, or how they look. It’s time to slow down. Don’t rush to cut everything down or heaped on the compost pile, allow some of the late fruits, seeds and such to feed the wildlife whose very lives depend on how they can stock up.  Consider letting some of your fallen leaves remain on the ground to help develop the soil.

2019-09-18Sep 18, 2019

With rising costs in everything on the market today, people are starting to search for natural and organic ways to save money and recycle. But what should you use for nutrients to ensure optimal growing without having to pump your produce full of chemicals or worse? Compost is a great idea that allows a person to recycle food scraps into productive waste as well as help the environment in the process. 

2019-08-30Aug 30, 2019

There are common-sense ways of reducing fire risk. Reducing vegetation can reduce fire intensity and speed.  Keep flammable mulch and excess fuel away from structures. Create gaps in combustible fencing near structures.  Make areas around structures lush and adequately watered. In a wind-driven fire-storm, no habitat with any vegetation is safe though, and people should be prepared to speedily evacuate and save themselves, loved ones and pets.  In the Tubbs Fire (2017), wind-driven fires crossed freeways and burned buildings surrounded by parking lots. 

2019-08-29Aug 29, 2019

I sat with Mike Boss in a rustic gazebo on the grounds of his newly acquired 7 acre horticultural preserve outside Sebastopol, CA. Now renamed the Hidden Forest Nursery, for decades it operated as Sonoma Horticultural Nursery, specializing in rhododendrons and azaleas and featuring rare botanical wonders along its beautiful forested garden paths. 

2019-07-27Jul 27, 2019

August (and September) tend to be a relatively laid-back time in gardens, time to enjoy the work put into your landscape earlier in the year. Not that there’s nothing to do, but with the heat and dryness, better to sit back with a refreshing drink and appreciate what’s there, rather than burning yourself out on chores. Observe. While you’re sitting outside relaxing, don’t fail to notice what is missing in your landscape or garden. The glass is half full, but let’s consider how to fill it up.  These can be added later in the cool season, but make a mental note about what you might like to grow.

2019-07-24Jul 24, 2019

Mayor Amy Harrington has signed the National Wildlife Federation’s Mayors’ Tri-National Monarch Pledge ( committing to the protection of Monarch Butterflies and their habitat in the City of Sonoma.

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