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

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Annie's Annuals Giveaway Fun

It's A Contest!!!

Here's the Deal:
Annie's Annuals, a boutique nursery offering wonderful annuals and perennials not found anywhere else, is doing a July giveaway here at Geno's Garden!!! Three winners will receive their choice of 3 plants from the Plant of the Month or Current Availability. This includes free shipping. How cool is that!?! Here's a sample:
a July Plant of the Month, Brugmansia arborea
To Enter This Contest:
  • Go to Annie's Plant of the Month page
  • Return to this post and leave a comment about one of the plants...if you have to post "Anonymously", include your name and send me your email address in the link provided...sorry, it's Blogger's fault!!! Bad Blogger!

Additional Data:
Deadline for all entries is midnight, July 31st. Winners will be chosen with the randomizer. A note from Annie's: if the winners want to add on plants, they can get up to 8 plants with free shipping (that is how many fit in one box). They are welcome to add more than 8 of course, but we would have to charge them for the second box ($13.95 CA, WA, OR, NV, AZ, UT and $28.95 all other states). Annie's only ships to the continental U.S.

Good Luck!

Monday, July 20, 2009

More About Limes

I love citrus in the garden. It's evergreen, has lovely flowers that perfume the air (especially orange trees). It doesn't require much pruning...just enough to shape it. It can even be indoors (which is one reason greenhouses became so popular). If I had a big sprawling manor house in England, you can bet I'd have a conservatory with citrus. I might call it my conservatory, or I might call it my orangery...'twould all depend on my fancy at the time.
I currently have a Valencia Orange, a Meyer Lemon and a Clementine Tangerine...and as of yesterday, a Bearss Lime. Say lime and a dog named Pippi
Some tips regarding successful citrus growing:
  • Buy a dwarf citrus...these are regular fruit grown on a special root stalk. They usually range in size from 6 - 12 feet, and in containers even less. Otherwise you may become the owner of one of those 20+ feet citrus that drops grapefruit all over the sidewalk!
  • Protect from frost (the easiest, and cutest, method is a string of Christmas lights at the base)
  • Prune out shoots from below the graft...this is a knobby area below the main branches where your citrus was attached to the root stock. These shoots won't do you any good and just take away energy from your tree.
  • Fertilize with special citrus fertilizer. I've often done the "neglect experiment" with my citrus...not applying fertilizer on the correct schedule, noticing the leaves get "chlorotic" (unable to produce chlorophyll, and thus increasingly less green), baby fruits drop off, etc. Give 'em some fertilizer and Yowza! sweet green growth, blossoms...the whole "I'm healthy!" thing.
  • Remove your tree carefully from its container. Seems like the growers use a lot of sand in the potting mix and so roots don't hold a lot of their planting medium closely. They do fine, but it bothers me to take a tree out of a 5 gallon pot and have most of the potting soil stay in the container. So, I like to cut the plastic container away, slicing it to it's base and then carefully transfer it to its new home...the ground, your wine barrel or a large pot.

One more picture of my new lime...notice the large lime on the bottom right and all its wee limes!

Tomorrow I'll be posting about Mojitos, the popular Cuban drink that will make a lime lover out of anyone!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Good Morning Talini's!

"Limes" by pfibiger on Flickr

About a week ago I was asked if I would like to be on Good Day, Sacramento, Channel 31's morning show (seen in Sacramento on Channel 12). The reporter, Julissa Ortiz, is a novice gardener and was especially interested in the Mojito Garden I blogged about a few weeks ago. I thought that would be fun...immensely rewarding and easy as a beginning garden project, but also something any gardener (or cook) would like.
We're going to be shooting at Talini's Nursery tomorrow morning. Talini's is located at 5601 Folsom Blvd. in Sacramento. According to a recent article in the Arden-Carmichael News,
"Founded by the late, Italian-born Pietro Talini, who once supervised and cared for the gardens at the Vatican, the garden center opened after Talini left war-torn Italy for the United States with the dream of opening his own nursery. Now, owned by Talini’s son, Louigi – better known to customers and employees as “Lou” – the nursery continues to have a matchless charm, and prides itself on having products buyers can’t find anywhere else."
It really is a great nursery, lots of veggies, shade plants, annuals and perennials, trees and shrubs. By the way, a great resource for growing and using citrus is the grower's website! Check it out...Four Winds Growers.

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

Friday, July 03, 2009

Red Hot Perennials from Annie's Annuals

Annie's Annuals in the San Francisco Bay area (Richmond) is to gardeners what Willy Wonka's chocolate factory was to, well, chocolate lovers! There's always something happening and always an enormous variety of perennials and annuals not found elsewhere. Their Fireworks for Flower Floozies Sale runs thru July 5th, with a 20% discount for online orders until midnight.

Penstamon eatonii "Firecracker Penstamon" - full sun, perennial, zones 3 - 10

Fuschia fulgens pt. sun/shade, zones 9 - 11

Bomarea species, "Climbing Alstroemeria" - Perennial vine, zones 9 - 11.
Take a look for yourself...Annie's Annuals

Have a happy 4th of July!