Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Doubling Down

Gardening can be discouraging.  Even well thought out plans can fall short of expectations.  Especially if patience isn't part of the plan.

Last fall, I wrote quite a bit about the perennials being planted on Wildwood Farm's highway frontage.  They were supposed to pump up our curb appeal this year.

The Asters and Salvias tripled in size and even flowered.  They're just not very noticeable with traffic whizzing by at 60 mph.  With the onset of summer and triple digit heat, I could have written off the entire experiment.

Instead, I cut back the salvia blooms and fertilized everyone with a slow release 10-10-10 mix.  Then, I added a mix of dwarf double blooming hollyhocks.

If your garden needs a pick me up, there's no better way to do it then doubling down with double blooming hollyhocks!

Friday, June 21, 2013

No Maintenance Never Looked So Good

The first day of summer - sun, pool parties, barbecues on the back lawn - so much to look forward to.  Mowing the underutilized front lawn is not something to look forward to!

A young couple in Sausalito, CA had those same ideas in May.  Their back lawn was plenty big enough for their two young children to play on.  The front lawn needed to go.

Studio Wildwood redesigned the front to have seasonal color and large evergreen trees.  They'll be able to cook with the Rosemary and Sweet Bay [Laurus nobilis].  The Bee's Bliss Sage along the flagstone path has great fragrance.  The Matilija Poppy [see May's The Statement Poppy], Pacific Iris, and Pink Currant provide color throughout the season. 

They'll definitely be spending more time relaxing this summer instead of mowing.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Impressionism's Best

This weekend I visited the new exhibit on sailing at San Francisco's Legion of Honor.  With the likes of Renoir and Monet included in the exhibit, it was easy to sit and soak in all the 'action' in the paintings.

Many of the paintings are scenes of regattas and life along harbors.  All these had amazing reflections of boats, buildings, and people in the water.  Reds, yellows, greens [generally every shade but blue] blended together to make awesome rivers and oceans.  Some of the boats are blue so we can tell where the water starts!

This adventurous use of color, shading, and juxtaposition made the visit special.  There are so many ideas to absorb at the show.  It's definitely a fun overwhelming.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Thinking Gardening

Gardening is more than planting, dividing, watering, and pruning.  A great deal of gardening is thinking about what there is to plant, divide, water, and prune.

Visitors to Wildwood Farm often arrive looking for new ideas about what to plant.  They usually find many new ideas. Sometimes they like help deciding what plants to use in their garden, even asking us to visit their garden to make suggestions.

On a recent visit to a home in Sonoma, I found a young landscape with mostly deer resistant, drought resistant, gopher resistant Olives, Flax, Hopseed, Rosemary, and Sage.  Definitely a Mediterranean look.  The owner would like to incorporate Maples and is open to adding other types of plants.

So, what's the best way to go from Mediterranean to Californian?

Monday, June 3, 2013

Wildwood visits Menlo Park

Wildwood Farm traveled to Menlo Park, CA this weekend.  It felt like home away from home.

The destination was Sunset Magazine Headquarters.  There aren't rows and rows of grapes but there is a Sunset Wine Club.  We were stationed next to the Wine Club for Celebration Weekend.  After their complimentary tasting, people were in a fairly jolly mood when they moved on to us.

With our extra tall tent we created a mini forest for people to walk through.  In a ten by ten booth we had twelve different varieties of dogwoods in bloom, eleven varieties of maples, six varieties of dwarf ginkgos and more!

Many of the plants are back home at Wildwood now.  They promise to be on their best behavior when guests from the South Bay arrive.