- Author: Betty Homer
Last month, I blogged about the Capay Valley Mother's Day Tour which I took in May 2016 (not to worry; it is returning in May 2017 so consider this your early heads-up) in which I featured the tour at Full Belly Farm. This month, I am featuring another farm and garden on that tour, and that is the Garden at Good Humus. Many of the farms and gardens on this tour, are not usually open to the public, so to visit them, you will need to sign up for the tour.
The owners of Good Humus, Jeff and Annie Main, established the farm in the Hungry Hollow area in 1984. This 20-acre organic farm grows flowers, herbs, and fruits. A special feature of this farm and garden is that many of the flower garden plants come from the garden of Annie's grandmother. It is a bit like traveling back in time, as you are seeing the same plants that someone else was viewing from a time before you were born.
Flowering trees and shrubs, native hedgerows and Australian Beefwood demarcate the boundaries of this garden. The owners left the central area of this farm and garden to grow vegetables, flowers and to plant a stone fruit orchard.
A unique feature of these this Capay Valley tour, is many of the sites, including Good Humus, will all you to bring your packed lunch to their site (which is usually their home) and to set up a picnic there. Also at some of these site including Good Humus, will sell plants, fresh flower bouquets, jams, jellies and dried fruit. Enjoy the photos below.
- Author: Mike Gunther
Wow! The fair is here!
Play it Again Solano
- Author: Betty Victor
For several years the UC Master Gardeners of Solano County have entered the Solano County Fair amateur garden competition. This year we did it again.
Master Gardeners come from all walks of life: teachers, retirees, office workers etc. and work hard to create a display based on the fairs theme. This year's theme is “Play It Again Solano”. So with that in mind, a meeting was held and the decision on our entry was made.
A replica of a piano was built, with the top and keyboard planted with flowers, (it is an amateur garden competition). A sheet of music on the piano is “As Thyme Goes By” written by one of our own MGs, Cheryl Potts. The planter box both top and bottom were then filled with a multitude of colorful flowers. These beautiful flowers were donated by DJ's Growing Place, a nursery in Napa, along with plants from the master gardeners' own yards. A walk way representing a piano keyboard was put up the middle to the piano on the top. The mulch for the garden was donated by Organic Solutions.
The Master Gardeners also did the fairs entry garden-which designates the entry to the competition gardens. This garden is not judged. A sun rising was painted yellow with the fairs theme “Play It Again Solano” across the top. In the top box, colorful flowers were planted, the bottom box was filled with Asparagus Fern and Fountain grass that was donated by Hines Nursery in Winters.
In the middle of the bed is a sculpture of a horn playing gentleman in bright red, this was donated by Chad from Glashoff Gallery and is the centerpiece to this entry garden. The Master Gardeners donate time and energy for this garden, even with it not being judge, so the public can enjoy it.
So after several days of hot, hard work all we need to do now is wait and see how our amateur garden entry will be judged. We all think it's perfect and hope the judges agree with us.
- Author: Jenni Dodini
Those of you who know me know that I have a thing about birthdays, especially mine.
For those of you who don't, here is a little background.
Having worked in a union environment for most of my career, I developed an appreciation for the rule about being able to take one's birthday holiday anywhere in the period of 30 days before to 30 days after the actual date. Sometime around my 40th birthday, I decided that one should celebrate one's birthday for 30 days before and 30 days after. This is a tradition that I encourage others to embrace as well.
Anyway, I must get to the point. (Eventually I always do.)
For my birthday this year, Toni took me for a surprise outing to the Sunset Gardens in Sonoma. I know that there have been several blogs about the gardens, but this IS different. Aside from the oohs and aahhs which others have described, I was distressed that there was no nursery for my birthday shopping pleasure. I was lured in by an unknown in the clematis garden. I should have had a clue as I was IN the clematis garden. Eventually, we found our way to the head groundskeeper who quickly identified the pictures below as Rooguchi clematis. She said that there is also a white colored variety which blooms later in the summer.
I went to The Sunset Western Garden Book and looked up Clematis, and there is a good deal of information on the 3 pages about this plant group. Nothing about this one though. So, off to the Internet. This particular variety is native to Japan, and like the rest of the "family", is a deciduous evergreen vine. It likes full sun to partial shade and zones 5-11. Unlike the rest of the "family", if left to grow on its own, it will grow along the ground and weave itself into other ground level plants. If one wants it to be on a trellis, it must be assisted up the trellis. If trellised, it can be pruned back to the current year's wood during the winter. This plant is also suitable to grow in containers. On a very positive note, hummingbirds and bees are attracted to these beautiful bell shaped flowers.
The other thing about birthdays, it is a good excuse to buy oneself a present. I guess that you can figure out what I will buy for myself this year!
- Author: Betty Victor
Two fairly new gardeners, at least to vegetable gardening, decided they wanted a small vegetable garden. Even with a large yard, they decided to do “square foot” gardening in a raised bed
So redwood was purchased the raised bed with each square 12 X 12 with a total of 14 squares built which can be worked from a chair if needed. Soil and compost were added, it was ready to plant, but what plants to plant? Of course their favorites.
'Early Girl', 'Beefsteak', 'Black Krim' and 'San Marzano' tomatoes (which they hope to make sauce from and freeze) are growing in 4 of the squares. Two squares are filled with jalapeño, banana, sweet Italian chocolate, purple and California bell peppers. Pickling cucumbers which they plan on canning are growing up small tomato cages in two of the squares; the last two squares have bush beans.
All the plants in the beds are doing well: the tomatoes have fruit, the cucumbers and peppers have blossoms, and some of the bush beans have been picked.
The gardeners decided they needed to plant the tall raised beds that they had with herbs, several different basil, parsley, and thyme. The plants are growing-some picked and used.
So their first adventure into square foot gardens for this couple is turning out to be fruitful-literally.