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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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2019-02-15Feb 15, 2019

An annual ritual for rose growers is the pruning of roses sometime from December to the end of March.  But why do the bushes need to be pruned?  For centuries they were left to their own devices and each year they bloomed. One year a rose garden was accidentally burned and that next spring the garden was full of huge rose blossoms. For many years, the roses were burned to the ground which allowed the new growth to provide lovely flowers. Eventually the head gardener decided that there had to be a less drastic way to get those blooms without the risk of burning down the residence.  Today with grafted roses, this method would not work as well since the graft might be burned and the blooms would be from the rootstock – not what we are looking to see.  Each year roses need to go into a dormancy once the nights become cool or frosty so that the Spring is full of the expected large, full blooms.  Here in Sonoma County, it really never gets cold enough to do this naturally, so we prune.

2018-10-11Oct 11, 2018

For me, few things are more satisfying than planting trees and seeing them grow. I’m always amazed to see how they’ve matured. I feel a sense of pride when seeing a tree that is 10, 20 or even 40 years old and being able to say, “Hey! I planted that tree.”

2018-10-11Oct 11, 2018

Improving our society's composting systems is imperative to fighting global warming. In Sonoma County, a new company is attempting to help achieve the county's ambitious composting goal. 

2018-10-11Oct 11, 2018

We made history Saturday September 15, 2018. According to Coastwalk, our regional Coordinator for California Coastal Clean Up Day 2018, this year’s 1,200 volunteers broke all previous Sonoma County attendance records for this annual event! And the best part? Together we removed 8.7 tons of debris from our county’s inland waterways and from our beaches.

2018-09-27Sep 27, 2018

The Aztecs, the last of the great pre-Colombian native civilizations adored the avocado and made “bitter water” from ground coca beans and spices. They incorporated the areas older and newer cultures, along with their agricultural methods, in the mid-15th century.

 

2018-09-26Sep 26, 2018

In the not so distant past, the controversies around what risk different chemicals such as Glyphosates posed to human health pitted the Federal regulators against the Industry representatives. Now, in this new era, many of the leaders at the Environmental Protection Energy have actually come from the ranks of Chemical Industry lobbyists. Not surprisingly, despite increasing evidence of human toxicity, these regulators seem to be losing interest in limiting human exposure to these potentially dangerous substances.

2018-09-14Sep 14, 2018

More than 20 volunteers, 66 volunteer hours, and 20 cubic yards of mulch later, Petaluma’s new SMART train platform is looking beautiful!

2018-09-10Sep 10, 2018

Since the October 2017 firestorms, the University of California Master Gardener Program of Sonoma County (UCMGSC) has worked to develop a series of recommended actions property owners can take to create more fire-resistant landscapes and properties.

2018-09-01Sep 1, 2018

Back when I was a professional gardener, I had clients who insisted on having me lay down landscape fabric then putting bark on top of it to discourage weeds. I hated this practice and tried to talk them out of it. Weeds come anyway because seeds find any crevice to tuck themselves into and bark has plenty of crevices.

2018-08-30Aug 30, 2018

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed, citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”—Margaret Mead

2018-08-22Aug 22, 2018

The UC Cooperative Extension Sonoma County is hosting an all-day symposium on fire resilience this Friday, August 24, at Shone Farm. Attendees will learn how wildfires operate in Sonoma County’s wildland urban interface, how to maintain a fire safe community, and what natural resource management strategies best improve the survivability of people, property, and homes.

2019-02-05Feb 5, 2019

A wide variety of family entertainment is planned for the upcoming President’s Day Weekend. The community supported Cloverdale Citrus Fair kicks off the Fair Season in California showcasing its spectacular citrus fruit displays and honoring the citrus belt that was once part of the Northern Sonoma County landscape.

2019-01-30Jan 30, 2019

When creating a new landscape, understanding goals and seeing the potential, are the most essential elements.  We analyze what is there and then try to imagine what could be there. In most gardens we design, critical spatial goals include screening and privacy, circulation, destinations, and focal points.  A majority gardens have many layers of previous features; plantings, trees, hedges, fences, walls, terraces, steps, water features and more. Even if adequately maintained over the decades, some of these features may not serve your needs today.

2019-01-03Jan 3, 2019

I thought our property was free from mountain lions. But, after mysteriously losing four goats within a few months, I learned more about mountain lions than I ever wanted to know.

2019-01-02Jan 2, 2019

Redwood Creek is a tributary to Jonive Creek, which weaves under and along Bodega Highway before entering Atascadero Creek at the northwest corner of Ragle Ranch ParkAtascadero Creek then flows through Graton into Green Valley Creek, which meets the Russian River in Forestville. Green Valley Creek is renowned as a critical and productive stronghold for endangered coho salmon and was the last stream in the Russian River watershed to support three consecutive year classes of coho (representing all year classes, given that coho have a three-year life cycle). For decades, it has been a focal point of local salmon recovery efforts, but comparably little is known about the potential of Atascadero Creek and its tributary streams to support salmon.

 

2018-12-30Dec 30, 2018

Give them an inch and they’ll take an acre…as the California Invasive Pest Council says. There are a whopping 195 invasive plant species in Sonoma County. In the northwestern forest region which includes Mendocino County, 265 invasive species have been identified. An invasive plant species is non-native and aggressively out-competes native species! In other words, they spread fast and crowd out other plants, harming ecosystems and impacting water quality. Native plants provide shelter and food for native insects, birds, and animals. Invasive species tend not to have habitat value. In fact, they sometimes destroy the very habitats native species need to survive. 

2018-12-21Dec 21, 2018

In 1875, famed horticulturist Luther Burbank referred to Sonoma County as “the chosen spot of all this earth.”  This quote holds up today.  We live in a blessed spot with an almost overabundance of beauty, generally pleasant climate, good rainfall and a wide variety of topography and natural features. Roger Raiche and David McCrory of Planet Horticulture is a design-build landscape contractor team that specializes in custom designed gardens in Sonoma County.  They have been developing gardens together for the past 20+ years...

2018-11-16Nov 16, 2018

When we first started planting milkweed two years ago with intention to help the Monarch endangered species, we met a man who was even more nutty about monarchs than we were! Merle has been tracking monarch activity around the Bay Area for a long time. He has been raising butterflies and keeping track of the West Coast migration for years. Normally, he had hundreds of caterpillars and chrysalides in his own backyard, but two years ago he had only 2 caterpillars. Meanwhile at Swede's Feeds, we were getting all the action. We met Merle on his hunt for the missing butterflies. The past two years he hasn't had much luck, even though he only lives less than 10 miles away from Swede's Feeds. Now the tables have turned. The monarchs have not been seen in Kenwood and have returned to Merle's. He has generously given us 3 armies of caterpillars this season. We could not be more grateful!

2018-11-01Nov 1, 2018

A friend who knows I love gardens and gardening, introduced me to Sonoma Horticultural Nursery, a place of timeless beauty, jewel-toned clematis arbors and pathways that lead to a meadow, through groves of rhododendrons, unusual rare shade plants and an azalea and wisteria bordered pond

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