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

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Halloween: It's That Time Again!

Liesel Hanson
Seems to me, somebody was partying a bit too hard last night ...

Yup, it's that time of year to dress up and get ghoulish! Or, if something a bit more sedate is your pleasure, there's a  Fall Festival happening this Saturday from 8 am to 1 pm at the Davis Farmers Market, featuring:
  • Live Music by Music Matt, the Peter Franklin Band
  • Davis Farm to School's Avenue of the Scarecrows
  • Kid's Activities, including "Pet the Baby Piggies"
  • Farm-fresh Pizza and Harvest Pie-by-the-Slice
  • Plant Sale and Free Flower Seeds
  • ...and as always, the happy, healthy, (w)holesome products offered twice weekly at the market, organic fruits and vegetable, locally produced cheeses, honey, olive oils and the like, even (MEAT)!

To find out more, visit the Davis Farmers Market on the web. And, make sure you go while they're open ... last weekend my husband and I got there 1 hour after they closed. yea.

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

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Plant Profile: Tulbaghia violacea, Society Garlic

Tulbaghia violocea, a Flickr photo by IngaMun

A South African native, society garlic is a garden trooper! You probably won't find it on many lists of favorite plants, and yet it looks good and flowers for an incredibly long time! It does have a smell of onion or garlic, but that doesn't deter me from admiring this easy plant. It looks fine without maintenance (deadheading spent flowers) from a distance, but will look fresher up close and produce more new flowering shoots with a wee bit of TLC.
Dense clumps of straight, narrow, evergreen leaves send up slim, 1 - 2 ft. stems  topped by clusters of small, trumpet-shaped, pinkish lavender flowers Suffer frost damage at 20 - 25 degrees F, but recover quickly. Start plants from containers or divisions at any time (though early spring or early fall is best in hot-summer areas). (Sunset Western Garden)
While the flowers are the same color, its evergreen leaves are available in a few different colors, the main one being green, my favorite being, 'Variagata', which has a white stripe down its middle.

One of my favorite uses of society garlic is in a big planting, like in this garden at the Getty Center in August,
Tulbaghia violacea, 'Silver Lace'

or, this bed with the cool sculpture at the Rancho La Puerta in September
Tulbaghia violcea, the green one

society garlic clipped to ground in the winter
A buzz cut in the winter keeps this Starbuck's bed of society garlic and fortnight lily behaving (mostly for the benefit of the fortnight lily, which can get downright ratty if allowed to run rampant!) ...

the border rebounds!
... and, here they are at the end of June.

Try this in your garden and I think you'll find your thumb feeling a bit greener!

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

Friday, October 01, 2010

Te Recuerdo, Rancho La Puerta, September, 2010

my villa in the morning mist

I just returned from a wonderful week at Baja Mexico's Rancho La Puerta, which is celebrating it's 70th anniversary this year and was deservedly voted Travel and Liesure Magazine's 2010 "World's Best Destination Spa." They have many activities one can take part in. I'm so glad I took an art class with the wonderful, Big Sur artist, Erin Gafill! She had us do an exercise to awaken our creativity:

Close your eyes and recall the Ranch, then write down your impressions, starting with "I remember..."

I remember sage - silver and gray sage,

Salvia leucophylla, Gray Sage

and the light and shadow of the plants as they form a community.

Salvia apiana, White Sage

I remember mountains surrounding the ranch, with sunlight...

the hills west of the ranch

and rocks forming groupings,

and yellows and ochres and buffs.

I love this sculpture

And the meadows...

Gaillardia and an old cart

and the quiet.

sculptures and art are found throughout the Ranch

My sister, Julie, organized this trip. A former travel agency owner and now a social media coach and strategist for businesses, she brought along, as well, 7 other wonderful bloggers. It was a pleasure getting to know them, as well as the many other staff, guests and guest presenters we met at the Ranch.

I have more to say, and I shall (!), but I don't want to hog the conversation. What do you remember?

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