Smart & Sustainable, Green Garden Design, Coaching & Seasonal Maintenance

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Blueberries for Jeannie

Woke up early this morning thinking about blueberries and my garden and my blog, life. My husband thought I might be "tetched" in the head, but it was really a poetic sort of moment. I wanted to be up with the sunrise, planning my blueberry patch for the front yard. I thought about the children's classic, Blueberries for Sal, by Robert McCloskey. My oldest daughter, Julie, is up for a visit ... it would be a good project for our time together!

A good companion - IMHO - for the concept of lawnfree front yards is "edible front yards". Why is this? Yea! It's Soapbox Time! Well, I think it's a quality of life issue ... an enjoying of the space you have to the max. Just like creating a gathering spot to enjoy the sunset (or your neighbors' company), or, creating a  native plant border that invite native polinators to share your bounty, doing the right thing, enhances all areas of life. Especially as contrasted with it's opposite: tired, mostly weedy lawns, shrubs that were installed 20 years ago. Why is it there??? It just is.

So, I address this subject while there's still time to buy, plant, pick, enjoy!

Key Points:


It used to be that blueberries were limited to northern climates. They needed abundant "chill hours" and those of us in California and the southern states didn't get enough of those. I first started hearing about "southern" highbush blueberries, maybe 20 years ago ... around when they started showing up in the nurseries.


A blueberry's version of  evergreen, is a "sort of" thing, like our roses that seem to never go really dormant. The value of this is that they continue to contribute the green-ness factor throughout the winter season. I don't believe in stripping our front yards of all vegetation come November and December in the name of lawn-free. If one can do something to blend in one's front yard with the neighbor's, I think it will be appreciated. Much more so than the dried-out, summer's gone, native yards that is often see. Not pretty. But blueberries have their own garden design value - spring blooms, colorful leaves in the fall, and their lingering, "evergreen-ness".

Blueberries and Planting Advice at Peaceful Valley Nursery in Grass Valley

We have a great resource for organic fruits and berries and growing supplies here in the Sacramento Valley ... Peaceful Valley Nursery, located in Grass Valley. They have wonderful videos on just about every topic. Here's what Trisha has to say about planting and growing blueberries:

Blueberries and Pizza at High Hand Nursery in Loomis

Southern Highbush Blueberry are on sale. My man and I went up and had breakfast in their cafe this last weekend. They currently have a 2 for 1 sale on 2-gallon Sharpblues!  ($20 for 2 blueberry plants.) I plan to scoot up there to buy a few, and, perhaps have some of their Outdoor Pizza Oven pizza, or their tri-tip with blue cheese sandwich. It's yum! As for the blueberries ... if you're going to get them, this is the weekend!!! (More about their Sharpblues)

Whether you need garden design, coaching,
or just have a question or two, Geno's Garden can help! 
Call me at (916) 764-5243, or email

Friday, March 21, 2014

San Francisco Flower & Garden Show

My friend, Darlene, and I headed to the Bay Area yesterday for the SF Flower and Garden Show. This guy from the Lyngso Garden Materials was there to greet everyone!

My favorite display garden was created by Jim Grandy, the Bamboo Man. Sometimes in a convention center it's hard to get good photos and this small piece of his is the best I have. But, did he have Japanese tea houses!!! If I ever get the opportunity to design a Japanese dream garden, I know where to get the real deal. He's located in Washington, but says he travels, and delivers...

I was intrigued by this (as the sign says), Coral Fountain. Long rush-like arching branches with pretty dark red tubular flowers ... seems like it would be perfect for some special spot, although not sure what spot that might be! This was in a garden created by students from U. of Arizona in Phoenix.

New Leaf Landscaping, from Santa Rosa seriously mastered the natural water cycle ... permeable pavers, rain gardens, gray water recycling thru the garden and these cool containers that capture roof rainwater (not that we have any!) via the gutter downspouts.

Ok ... what is this? A big walk-thru orb made of old has-been grape vines. Want one? Contact Terra Ferma Landscapes in San Francisco.

This was my favorite new flower ... Limnanthes douglasii, or Meadow Foam. Full and "blousey", and a California native as well! Turns out Annie's Annuals in Richmond sells it! Oooooh .

Besides all the show gardens and vendors, there is an impressive program of seminars. Darlene learned how to care for her tools, and I attended a Pinterest workshop!  If I were returning tomorrow, I'd spend the day in their "Eco-Friendly Track" classroom... learning about how to lose the lawn, plant natives, attract birds, butterflies and other backyard wildlife. Cuz, that's what I like ... that's what I do ... 

If you have a hankering to head there this weekend, the show will continue thru Sunday at the San Mateo Event Center, Find out more, order tickets here.
Whether you need garden design, coaching,
seasonal maintenance or planting, Geno's Garden can help! 
Call me at (916) 764-5243, or email

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Give-Away Deadline Extended to Sunday at 6 pm

In honor of giving me a break (!) so I can get my design projects done today, I'm extending the deadline for my 5th Blogoverary Give-Away Extravaganza to tomorrow at 6 pm! Here's a reminder of what's up for grabs:

 Seed Sprouter from Botanical Interests

... and a million other packets of seeds for sprouting or planting (some "new for 2014")

To enter, just leave a comment here about anything related before 6 pm tomorrow night (Pacific Standard Time). (For more info about any of these companies, check my other posts over the last 2 weeks.)

Friday, November 29, 2013

Garden Gifting/Garden Give-Away

I want to give special space to the last part of tomorrow's giveaway ... a collection of 10 organic seed packets in their own cute tin from Peaceful Valley Farm and Garden. I love seeds and tins, so I'm hooked. This would be a great item to win, and, an excellent present as well. There are 8 collections in all. (Check them all out: Edible Front Yard, Crafter's Delight, Grandma's Root Cellar and, more!)

"My First Garden, Easy Grow Classics"

While we're on the subject of Peaceful Valley ... here are some of the things I really like about them:

1.   My friend Charlotte (Daffodil-Planter) Germane works there!

2.  Trisha makes all manner of great videos on everything gardening.

3.  They have bare-root fruit trees that will be shipped out in December and January. Most of them are $19.95. (I have a back fence with a slope. I want to terrace it and plant fruit trees along it! THIS year - before the end of February!

4.  They have great resources for DIYers, like goat cheese kits.

 Aurora, the goat, is from Nevada City! I think she's the star of Trisha's goat milking/cheese making video! 

 5.  M-braces Great raised bed system invented by a Woodland teacher. $99 for 4 braces. Just add lumber! 


6. They have a large variety of frost protection products. While this may not seem the sexiest surprise under the tree (!), but, we are coming around to that season where frost snaps can take out your citrus or other marginal plants. And, smart, is sexy!

To see more of the prizes for the Give-Away, check out this post. There's still time to enter ... Give-Away closes tomorrow night!

Whether you need garden design, coaching,
seasonal maintenance or planting, Geno's Garden can help! 
Call me at (916) 764-5243, or email

Thursday, November 28, 2013


Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Wordless Wednesday - Japanese Zen Garden

From my Pinterest Board, "Theme Gardens" ... my most popular "Pin"

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

5th Blogoversary Give-Away ... Sweetening the Pot!

The 5th anniversary of this blog was in August! I ambitiously had back-to-back give-aways lined up to celebrate the event, with all of the prizes coming from the sponsors of the (I know, I know, I talk about it way too much), the 6th Annual Garden Bloggers Fling ...

A paused moment in the garden binging, I mean, flinging.

Well, concurrently with this ambition, was a bunch of new clients! Whoa. Somebody got busy! How happy is that!?! The prizes were lined up, but the give-aways lagged behind.

The Blogoversary Botanical Seeds Give-Away

Enter November and my daily posting with Blogher's NaBloPoMo. The blogging mill starts coming back to life! We currently have one Give-Away  ...

... this very cool Seed Sprouter from Botanical Interests

The sprouter has 2 layers that can have dividers added to create 4 sections. Thus 4 potential different seeds sprouting at the same time, or 1 seed in 4 different stages. The bottom tray catches any draining water. There are also a variety of sprouting seeds to be given away. I'm trying one of these seeds now, using an old spaghetti sauce container. The winner will have way more class than me!

The Give-away expands ... Now we're going to "sweeten the pot"!

Pruners are important. Different sizes for different jobs. I'm always glad to have them around. But these shears have something extra ... they're like an extension of my hand! Comfortable, easy to use. I love 'em!

Variety Pack of Annie Haven Moo-Poo Manure Teas ( "Horse", "Cow" and "Alfalfa")

My biggest gardening weakness is soil fertility. Maybe you, too, need to give your soil and your plants an extra boost. Would be worth a try, don't you think? And, you'll get to try it in all three "flavors".

Suppliers of  everything organic for the homesteader and urban gardener, except tractors and hay balers. Details to come ...

How to Enter, How to Win

How it will work ... post a comment on this post saying something about pruners, sprouts, manure tea or hay balers. (Also, make sure a return link to you shows up in the comment box so I can contact you.) Random drawing for winners will take place on Nov. 30th. Good Luck!

Whether you need garden design, coaching,
seasonal maintenance or planting, Geno's Garden can help! 
Call me at (916) 764-5243, or email