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Sonoma County Gardeners Resource Guide Introduction

This guide to locally-owned garden businesses came about because I was once a professional gardener. Purchasing plants for clients was my kind of Retail Therapy. I found the best specimens at small nurseries where plants were born and raised right where they live the rest of their lives.

Want a coast plant? Go to a coast nursery. We used to have one in Tomales, but don’t fret - Mostly Natives moved to Point Reyes which is not much farther away and certainly worth the ride! Get lunch while you are out there!

I am a firm believer in California Native plants because they were born to live here. They adapt and they survive gardeners like I have become. One who doesn’t have time to garden! My go-to is CalFlora* in Fulton.

With my impending retirement, I look out my office window and know that by this time next year I will be on the other side of this wall with my hands covered in warming soil. I will use these lists to find the products I want for my long-neglected garden.

I buy Mango Mulch by the truckload from Grab n Grow* and have since I gardened for a living. We find materials and plants close to home to save time, gas, and to nurture businesses where we live.

I’m not a shopper by nature, but when I need Retail Therapy, even now, I go to Harmony Nursery* to their Deep Discount section where aging and pot-bound plants need to be rescued. Sometimes they come home and suffer more until I get them into larger pots or into the ground. But I have saved many lives this way and saved a lot of money in the process.

Providing habitat for birds and pollinators, insects and spiders is my passion. As my husband, Alan, says, I provide safe harbor for all things finned, feathered, and furry...I add scaled as well since I LOVE lizards and snakes. A few years back two boys had gopher snakes in a box to sell. I brought them home. I see holes in the ground but no snakes...and no gophers either! These are wonderful snakes to have around!

I love spiders and all insects - except flies and mosquitoes. Insects are a food source for so many other critters...birds, frogs, toads, other insects. A friend was telling me about an aphid infestation for which he applied insecticide. How many other beneficial insects will die in the process? Like killing mice and rats with poison that will work its way into the food chain and reap unintended consequences on innocent creatures who eat those poisoned pests.

We need to think beyond our own immediate need to the consequences of our actions. Of course, this philosophy and way of living could be applied to every aspect of life. Can you imagine living on a planet where people think of others and the impacts of our behavior before saying something or taking action? But that’s another topic entirely and has little to do with gardening.

There are many poems, cliche´s, etc. about the joys of gardening It’s not for everyone, but even non-gardeners can feel elation from watching something grow and thrive as a recipient of our time and attention.

To all those who get excited in spring, who bury our faces in the scent of soil, who find joy in shaping our environment with time, attention and energy…this guide’s for you...Enjoy!

Vesta Copestakes

* California Flora Nursery, 2990 Somers St, Fulton, 707-528-8813,

* Harmony Nursery & Supply, • 3244 Gravenstein Hwy North, Sebastopol, 707-823-9125 • 5400 Old Redwood Hwy N, Petaluma, 707-665-6345,

* Grab N’ Grow Soil Products, 2759 Llano Rd, Santa Rosa, 707-575-7275,

Advertisers Index and Gardeners Resource Guide listings by service type

>> Advertisers Index & MAP - UPDATE 2020

Please use our Advertisers Index & MAP to find locally-owned garden businesses who make this FREE guide possible. They pay for the research and production of this guide that supports ALL local garden business. We appreciate their support encouraging Gazette readers to use local businesses when shopping and hiring services. THANK YOU!

>> Nurseries & Plant Propagators UPDATE 2020

Supporting locally-owned nurseries is important not just for their economic health, but also for the health of Sonoma County’s agricultural heritage. When we purchase plants that have been grown outside our area, we risk importing insects and diseases that could negatively effect our farms and agricultural businesses. Please support these nurseries and plant propagators who grow plants meant to thrive in our unique climate and fragile environment.

>> Landscaping Supplies & Materials 2020

Every garden needs materials that supplement and nurture plants, whether it’s compost for nutrients, mulch for moisture-retention, or gravel and rocks for garden architecture and paths. These businesses bring you a wide variety of products to enhance the beauty of your landscape.

>> Garden Centers for everything in one place shopping 2020

A garden center is a retail operation that sells plants and related products for the domestic garden as its primary business. It is a development from the concept of the retail plant nursery but with a wider range of products for home gardeners.

>> Landscaping Construction, Installation & Maintenance 2020

Some gardens need services that specialize in commercial and residential landscape design, installation, maintenance and building of retaining walls, sidewalks, decks, patios, pergolas and more.

>> Garden Décor & Furniture Gardeners Guide 2020

These businesses feature garden structures, outdoor furniture, architectural elements, fountains, statuary, and anything that enhances your outdoor living environment.

>> Outdoor Power Equipment Gardeners Guide 2020

These businesses range from outdoor power equipment, service or parts, renting & selling hundreds of types of equipment, from tractors to hand tools to a full range of general engineering construction services.

>> Butterflies, Birds, Bees, Fish & Seeds Gardeners Guide 2020

This is where critters become an integral part of your garden as you plant flowers for hummingbirds, bees & butterflies, learn to harvest seeds, put in a pond for fish and to encourage habitat for toads and frogs…who knows where this will lead! From local organizations & businesses that help people learn how to raise bees, to those who give us what we need to keep water features healthy in our landscape, these businesses will guide you to create and maintain a full-featured landscape.

>> Garden Clubs & Organizations-Gardeners Guide 2020

Here are wonderful ways to expand your knowledge as well as offer social opportunities to make friends with like-minded individuals. Some groups raise plants to sell in order to raise scholarship funds to send kids to college, others plant community gardens to feed people or encourage pollinators. No matter what, you will enjoy the company of people who share your passion for plants and the joy of nurturing life with soil, water, sun, and kindness.

>> EDUCATION: Learn & GROW! Gardeners Guide 2020

Every opportunity to learn more will make you a better gardener. From learning which soil amendments work best for your kind of soil, to how to collect seeds, grow plants from cuttings, when and how to prune, etc. There are classes on rainwater harvesting and graywater systems that will allow you to garden during drought years. So much to learn…here’s a list of local venues to learn something new.

>> PLANT SALES for Good Causes Gardeners Guide - 2020

Many garden clubs and even schools propagate plants in order to raise money for their missions. For some, it’s way way to finance college scholarships. For others the funds keep their organization functioning. These plant sales are Good Causes so we encourage you to take advantage of their events that benefit what you want to support in our community. DUE TO CURRENT COVID GUIDELINES, PLEASE CONTACT EACH ORGANIZATION FOR UPDATES. Listings are in DATE ORDER. Those with #s are ADVERTISER. Please support plant sale hosts that support our guide...and tell them you found them through the Gazette - THANK YOU!

Gardener’s Guide 2020 Articles

Here are LINKS to articles in the 2020 Gardener’s Guide

Who Could Be Nesting in Your Garden? >>

As we spend time in our garden in spring we can’t help but wonder what kinds of birds are nesting in our humble suburban gardens. And what do they need in order to nest in our gardens?

Save Butterflies & Bees — Pollinators in Jeopardy >>

For Monarch butterflies, loss of habitat is a key cause for its population decline. For both the Monarchs and honeybees, the use of pesticides is another key factor.

Monarch Butterfly Habitat Garden in the town of Sonoma >>

The Monarch Butterfly Habitat Garden in the town of Sonoma began because four individuals were concerned about the alarming population decline of Monarch butterflies. The garden evolved through a partnership with the Valley of the Moon Garden Club, California State Historic Parks, the First Congregational Church, Sonoma, and its Earth Care Committee.

Seed Library Sprouts in Santa Rosa >>

Central Santa Rosa Library has added a seed library, in partnership with the School Garden Network, which provides the seeds. The seed library opened in January 2020 and is brimming with seed packets.

Habitat Corridor Project

Habitat Corridor Project creates and promotes California native plant restoration gardens that support wildlife in the urban environment. So far they have replaced over 350,000 SF of traditional landscapes (mostly TURF!) to 100 percent native landscapes. Saving over 5 million gallons of water per year. The website provides Open Source free plans with a list of of plants for each plan.

Designing with and care of variegated plants

When designing a garden it’s nice to know that many variegated foliage plants like to live in dappled shade. This is great news because some solid green foliage plants can get a bit lost in shady spots. Adding variegated foliage creates a more dynamic design.

5 Landscaping trends that will dominate in 2020

Soil erosion, deforestation and disappearing native wetlands are three of the most formidable environmental problems being faced by our planet. In 2020 and beyond, more landscaping contractors will respond to the imminent threat by adopting regenerative practices such as composting to rebuild soil organic matter and restore degraded soil. ( more articles below advertisement )

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