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

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Wrapping up the Cal State Home and Garden Show

the morning commute

It's 7 am and I'm leaving Los Angeles, heading back to Sacramento. The Cal State Home and Garden Show opens tomorrow at noon. I've never been a vendor before, and this booth and my presence is being thrown together! Sherry Larson, owner of the show, has a spot for me if I want it. I want it! Sherry has been so encouraging and supportive of me (and, of course, totally willing to throw me in over my head!). While this is my first vendor outing, I've done display gardens at her last two Cal State Flower, Food and Garden Shows at Cal Expo. This should be easy, compared to those undertakings!

After a hot drive up the 5, I stop in at Cornflower Farms in Elk Grove to pick up plants for my booth. I spot this beautiful maiden grass, load up my car and my friend, Jenn (The Vegetable Garden Coach)'s, truck  and head for the Sacramento Convention Center.
Miscanthus sinensis

The Show - we all agree the show is slow, competing events, attendance is down, it's not bustling, but there are many, many good things. Farmer Fred does 3 killer workshops (he's the only one I hear cuz he's just around the corner from me). I discover 3 vendors that I think my clients will love and I meet some great people who I think will be great clients!

The Plants (all provided by Cornflower Farms, super source for CA natives and drought tolerant plants. Visit them on their open public 2nd Saturdays in October and November, and at the California Native Plant Society sale at McKinley Park, September 24th and 25th from 9 - 3)
Agastache, Achillea, Cleveland Sage - and grasses
  • Panicum virgatum 'Haense Herns'
    Red Switch Grass
    U.S. Native grass
    full sun to light shade
    any amount of water
  • Scabiosus 'Butterfly Blue'
    Pincushion Flower
  • Schizachyrium scoparium 'The Blues'
  • Little Bluestem 2 - 4 'tall x 1-2' wide U.S. Native reg water, sun
  • Salvia clevelandii 'Allen Chickering
    Allen Chickering Sage
    CA Native
    3 - 5 ' tall x 5 - 8'
  • Populus fremontii
    Cottonwood, CA Poplar (same species as Quaking Aspen)
    Sunset Western Garden says, get yourself a male Poplar, if you don't want to be dispensing the cottony seeds all over your neighborhood (ahem)
    Populus fremontii
  • Rhamnus californica
    CA Coffee Berry
    4-8' tall x same
    Evergreen, upright growth habit, birds love its berries
  • Miscanthus sinensis 'Arabesque'
    Arabesque Maiden Grass
  • Miscanthus transmorrisorensis
    Evergreen Maiden Grass
    2.5 - 3.5'tall x 3=4' wide, 5-7' tall with blooms
  • Lavandula x intermedia 'Provence
    Provence Lavender
    2 x 3
    Good Hedge
  • Penstemon x gloxinioidies 'Firebird'
    Border Penstemon/Bearded Tongue
  • Penstemon 'Firebird' with ornamental grass, Panicum virgatum
  • Agastache barberi 'Tutti Fruitti'
    Mexican Hyssop
    moderate water
  • Bulbine frutisens 'Yellow Form"
    Caoe Balsam
    little to regular water
    South Aftrican Native
    Full sun to part shade
    10-20" x 3'
  • Erigeron karvinskianus
    Santa Barbara Daisy
    great evergreen groundcover, blooms year-round
  • Achilea 'Salmon Beauty'
    Salmon Yarrow
  • Rosemarinus offinialis 'Mozart'
    Dwarf Mozart Rsemary
  • Lupinus albifrons
    Silver Bush Lupine
    Evergreen (ever gray-green?) with pretty blue spikes in the spring.
    Full Sun
(Also along for the ride, a Toyon and a Garrya from my house. What was I to do, they begged to come along!)

Other Vendors - I was particularly interested in ... MiJardin, here's their window-box like planter filled with my plants,
Schroeder Patio and Garden, great hardwood and synthetic tables and chairs for eating, loungers for, well, lounging,
dropleaf patio table
...and, Northern California Grills - source for professional barbecue islands.

All great products at reasonable prices. I'll certainly be recommending them to my friends and clients.

Well, guess I'm done. and, like they say, (do they really?), "That's a wrap!"

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

Friday, September 02, 2011

It's September ... Time to Plant Something!

Red Maple Leaf
flickr photo by Tigerzeye

Every fall I write the same thing .... plant now ... plants can settle in before the winter dormancy sets in ... get a head start over plants that don't go in til spring. Mother Nature wrote the rule book and some things don't change! Here are the links to those posts:

Me:  I'm off to LA Land, for some R 'n R. Got me some tunes, our new convertible PT Cruiser, and it's I-5 all the way. When I get back, I'm gonna be calling you!

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