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

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Cleaning out the Blogger Closet!

November 3, 2013: Disclaimer! I've been thinking of blogging, taking pictures for future blogs, but not "doing it!" for the last 2 or 3 years! I have a backlog and just found the perfect vehicle to set things straight - the National Blog Posting Month (NaBloPoMo) - a November tradition (yea, contest), where participants post daily on their blogs, as well as the NaBloPoMo site on  BlogHer. I did this once before in '09 and found it a good exercise in just, well, "doing it!" So, I'll be cleaning that backlogged closet full of ideas. I know I will benefit, we'll see about you! Here's my first entry, from the first day of the Garden Bloggers 2013 Fling - saved and waiting to be posted! J

June 27th: I. am. excited. We're leaving for "The Fling"! A soundtrack from the old movie, San Francisco, plays in my own personal entertainment system (my head!), although an octave lower and a bit more Broadway.

Jeanette McDonald charming Clark Gable with her high notes!

We arrive in record time, check in to our hotel and go for some look-around. My roommate and travel partner is Tina Henricksen, a fellow garden designer from Roseville. We have fun getting settled in.

It is a day made for heaven. I used to work in this area and have great memories. "San Francisco! Open Your Golden Gate!"

The pigeons seagulls (ahem) at the Yerba Buena Gardens at 3rd and Mission are having a bit of a splash!

We have so much fun, we miss the bus to our opening event! Jeeze ... we take the Bart over and get picked up. All is well.

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

Monday, August 19, 2013

Winner of the Chickeny Giveaway

Congratulations, Nancy Murphy, of Pine Haven Resorts In Hatfield, WI. She wins this first prize in our Geno's Garden Blogaversary Giveaway Month: an autographed copy of "Gardening with Free-Range Chickens - For Dummies" (not that you are) and a pound of Peaceful Valley Farm and Garden's Omega-3 Chicken Forage Blend. Thanks to everyone who commented and entered the giveaway. Our next Giveaway will be a pair of Corona Fruit and Vegetable Snips and some Botanical Interests Seeds. Post coming (very) soon ... aka tomorrow.


 Note: if you're a chicken owner and would like to put pictures on my Pinterest Chicken board, let me know. Chickens are such fashion mavens. They're trend setters and should be appropriately represented ... don'tcha think? Check out the board at

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

The Chickens of Sacramento Valley & A Giveaway!

One thing I find most gardeners love? Animals ... cats, dogs, goats, squirrels, ferrets, bunnies, birds. But, while we love our dogs and cats, it seems the chicken is the up and coming fancy pet of the urban gardener! Not the rooster, because most gardeners and their neighbors don't want to wake up at 4 a.m., , but the hen! (The one who lays eggs.)

The famous chickens of Fair Oaks Village grazing at the park

More and more cities are saying ok to this trend. Sacramento officially said yes in August, 2011 after 2 years of discussion. Folsom, Loomis and Fair Oaks have been chick-willing for some time! Sacramento County requires your property to be 10,000 square feet, or approximately 1/4 acre. Pity for me, I have only 6500! A farm girl at heart, I'd love chickens and a goat. Too bad for me...

Read more here:

But I can pretend at events like the upcoming Urban Homesteading event at Talini's Nursery in Sacramento, this weekend (Saturday, from 10 - 4), and, who knows, maybe I'll find out I can have chickens! The makers of these adorable chicken coops will be there, along with refreshments and lots of info! 

Geno's Garden 5th Anniversary Giveaway

Today is the 5th anniversary of this blog, and in true blogger style, we'll be celebrating with a Giveaway! Actually, a series of giveaways ... as there will be giveaways for the next month, all of them inspired by my recent participation at the 6th annual Garden Bloggers Fling in San Francisco. 

Fling Attendees from U.S, Canada and England! Great Group!

The two items below were provided by two of my fellow bloggers, Bonnie Manion "Vintage Garden Girl" and Charlotte "Daffodil Planter" Germaine, who also does charming posts at Dirt du Jour and lives down the street from Peaceful Valley. 

The winner will receive the following:

Autographed copy of Gardening with Free-Range Chickens for Dummies, by Bonnie Jo Manion and Rob Ludlow, owner of the Backyard Chicken. I learned from this book that you can train your chickens with a clicker (!) so they know when to come to dinner. I would so love to do this!!! 

Your chickens can forage on their PVFS Omega-3 Blend

...AND, from: Peaceful Valley Farm and Garden Supply in Grass Valley 1 pound of PVFS Omega-3 Chicken Forage Blend. Charlotte tells me that this can be grown in a wire cage (you'll see the picture on the product page) so that the forage stays lovely like above, with the cage being removed when it's time to eat and then replaced so the chickens don't devour it to death!

To enter this giveaway, leave a comment below. The winner will be drawn by a totally fair method in 5 days (August 18th). Make sure you leave or email me your email address if it's not part of your comment, so I can send you your prize when you win!!!

I close with this totally cute video from Peaceful Valley ...

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

Tuesday, August 06, 2013

For the Love of Summer Flowers

I usually will tell people they shouldn't plant flowers (trees, shrubs, whatever) in the summer. Certainly not in Sacramento! I mean really! Poor little rootlets likely won't get enough water. The plants will struggle and die. Use common sense, wait 'til the cooler weather. Yep, that's what I preach.

Sweet sitting spot in the Nichols Garden, as seen on the Fling
But ... ahhh ... sigh ... how come I don't care? Why do I keep heading to the nurseries? It's largely because a month ago I spent 4 wonderful days in the bay area (San Francisco) with 70 other garden bloggers (U.S., Canada and England) at the 6th Annual Garden Bloggers Fling, and, I'm too inspired to stop!

My little Black-eyed Susie
Also ... my perennials (like this Black-eyed Susan) are back better than ever and they want company! Why do I keep buying plants? It's cuz I've got the fever. I can't help it!

Last summer my husband and I drove up to Oregon to visit the middle chicklet. She lives in S.E. Portland which has a marvelous mix of old houses and gardens, some wild, some tended. Beautiful flowers everywhere ...

... in  the forests near Mount St. Helen's ...

Overflowing Border in Cannon Beach, Or.
... and along the  Oregon coast, where gardens have an easier time in the heat of August than those in our Sacramento Valley. Sigh. Envy. Seeing the gardens of the Pacific Northwest,  I had decided we should settle for less in Sacramento.  But, Nope!  I've got the fever. I can't help it!

The lessons I have learned this summer and am now willing to share are that if you are going to be dumb and try to plant in the summer, try to use gallon plants - they have a stronger root base. Also, get them in the ground quick! After that, water them carefully as their root base is still small, and, guard them as carefully as a baby in the sun (that is to say, create some artificial shade when it's a scorcher!).

The other lesson - and the most important one -  is there's beauty to be had. Why wait?!? If you include spring, gardens in our area can give us pleasure and contentment for most of the year . Stick your neck out. Dare to blow it. Just don't blame me. I've got the fever. I can't help it!

Daylilies and Daisies - My Sacramento Garden
On a serious note, I am a trained and qualified Green Gardener. There are plants that work in our climate. Try to use them!!!! 

 I know I've been absent on my blog ... you've probably gotten discouraged from even stopping by. But, do keep an eye out this month. because I'll be posting stories about all the wonderful, outrageous and inspiring gardens we Flingers visited last month. Jeannie
Whether you need garden design, coaching, seasonal maintenance or planting, Geno's Garden can help! 
Call me at (916) 764-5243, or email