Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Negative Ions

The last four years, hikers have had a difficult time finding negative ions.  These are commonly found under waterfalls and offer numerous health benefits.

Fortunately, this winter it is much easier to find waterfalls and the negative ions they create.  One great place for hiking and waterfalls is Mt. Tam.   Almost every valley has a small stream feeding into a larger one.  Zig zagging up the hill is great exercise and offers numerous resting places to enjoy pool and drop waterfalls!

Friday, January 22, 2016

Wild Chanterelles

Mushrooms are like icebergs.  They are a small sign of a vast underground network.

These fruiting bodies rely on extensive branches of thread like hyphae to absorb nutrients.  This network of hyphae is very difficult to picture. It's presence and the functions it performs mean the soil is robust and very healthy.

At Wildwood, Chanterelles have popped up under the heritage oaks.  They like a deep leafy layer of oak leaves so we only rake the aisles at the nursery. 

The Chanterelles are one of many signs that Wildwood is a thriving ecosystem!

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Pruning Fruit Trees

Time to unfold those orchard ladders!

Fruit trees should be pruned back this time of year.  The long whips won't be able to support fruit next year.  Splintering and breaking branches are very damaging to a tree.

If left untamed, fruit trees will get too tall for even the largest ladder.  Leaving fruit on a tree or on the ground to rot invites insects and diseases.

After pruning, remember to spray copper oil on the branches to ward off common ailments.

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Where Art & Nature Meet

A New Year's visit to the SF Presidio started the wheels spinning about what lies ahead.  Looking down on Goldsworthy's Wood Line, one feels the 'pull' into the distance.

What lies around the next curve?  What lies ahead tomorrow?  Where are the connections between logs? Do eucalyptus branches curve?  The artist's statement sheds light on aspects of these questions.

Wildwood has many layers of human intervention and natural evolution.  We'll see what 2016 sets in motion.

Thursday, December 31, 2015

Heading Higher Into 2016

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This Cedrus deodora 'Pendula' looked a little too droopy this past week.  Tucked in an out of the way part of the garden, it was hidden from view.

That needed to change.  Luckily, there is a massive stand of timber bamboo a few feet from the Cedrus.  Where some people see bamboo, other people see stakes!

The bamboo was nice enough to donate stalks to use as tripods for the Cedrus branches.  Thanks to a friend, the Cedrus branches arch up and out. 

It already looks like it will have a spectacular 2016!

Monday, December 21, 2015

Maple Glade in Monte Rio, CA

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The variety of landscapes in Sonoma County is staggering.  It is easy to travel from Tuscany to Seattle on the roads that crisscross the county.

A recent visit to Monte Rio, reminded us of a scene from the Pacific Northwest.  Towering Douglas Firs shade western sword ferns and native huckleberry.  One resident thinned the canopy of Douglas Fir to provide light for a grove of young Japanese Maples.  Bright Coral Bark Maples, deep red Emperor Maples, and soft Lace Leaf Maples simultaneously contrast and enhance the native foliage.

In a few years, it could look like Japan.  Or, with a group pruning effort from Studio Wildwood and the homeowners, it could look like Sonoma.

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Mediterranean Garden

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Fall planting is in full swing!  This time Studio Wildwood redesigned a Redwood City front lawn.

Out is the 90/10 tall fescue blend.  In are English Lavender, Collingwood Ingram Rosemary, Amazing Red Flax,  Karl Foerster Grasses, and Russian Sage.

There but not visible [yet] are Dutch Master and Fortissimo Daffodils for Spring.  And for summer, Gladiator Alliums [6" purple flowers] will jazz things up.

Can you see the Grace Smokebush in the background?