Saturday, November 26, 2016

Holiday Photos

This year's holiday card will be canine friendly.

Benson is a cocker spaniel poodle mix that is a new addition to the Wildwood family.  This is his first holiday with us so he's featured on the card.

The backdrop is a manzanita with tiny white blooms in November!  John Dourley is a low growing ground cover variety that is quite vigorous.  We like it better than Emerald Carpet with its glacial growth habit.

Of course Benson only cares that he gets treats for sitting still.

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Crazy Happenings

Yesterday evening, something caught my attention.  First it was the noise - a loud fluttering, squawking, chirping, crunchy cacophony.  Then I saw what all the fuss was about.

The parrots of Telegraph Hill were having a party on a fruiting olive.  And by parrots I mean at least fifty.  They were hopping around the branches gorging themselves on ripe olives.

Tropical meets Mediterranean!

What's next?

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

SF Botanic Garden Plant Sale

During the growing season, SFBG has a monthly plant sale.  The October 8th sale will feature ferns, rhododendrons, and trees.
Many of the trees will be from Wildwood!  The handpicked selection is only available in SF the morning of the sale.  Dwarf ginkgoes, hybrid dogwoods, and a sprinkling of other rare trees will be on display at the entrance to the garden.
Stop by and visit!

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Behind The Scenes

The gold Smokebush looks great behind a pink and green Japanese Maple.  They are from two very different climates so it is tricky keeping them happy in identical conditions.

A maple needs to be mature to withstand 100 degree heat and frequent watering.  Hidden deep root bubblers provide water.  The cute blue flowers are on the Ceratostigma are actually 'mulch' in disguise, keeping the roots cool!  The smokebush likes very little water.  It is downslope from the maple so it recieves some runoff.

Constant pruning will keep the groundcover, maple, and smokebush in balance over the seasons. 

Monday, September 19, 2016

Raised Beds

Most raised beds are reserved for vegetables.  Sometimes, beds are practical for other plantings.

In Mill Valley, where the hills are steep, the deer are gluttons, and the soil is clay, the smart option is tough plants.

Wildwood's combination of flax, black mondo grass, heuchera, dwarf red hot pokers, iris, agave, and other succulents look right at home in their rocky confines.

A mini mesh fence is enough to deter the deer when the plants aren't being photographed!

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Fall Sale

The Fall Sale at Wildwood Nursery is entering its last week.

Tiny and towering trees are on sale along with complimentary plants.  Select a Japanese Maple in time to enjoy the fall color in your garden.  Pick out a Dogwood that's blooming or one that has a showy spring display.

Pack a lunch or pick up a snack at the Glen Ellen deli to enjoy in our picnic area.  Food will help fuel your search for great trees!

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

August Getaway

Passing a Gondola
New sights and sounds help refresh and recharge.  Cities like Budapest, Prague, and Venice all provide unique views into the past and future.  Up close and personal, they are quite amazing.  So many great photo opportunities and cafes to relax at.

A whirlwind tour has its hectic moments, it's great to be home in California!

We hope your summer was full of highlights.

Saturday, July 30, 2016

Triple Digit Yellow

Both plants and people can be shade lovers.  They can also be sun worshippers.

Smart shade lovers work in the springtime and cool of the morning.  When the mercury spikes, they retreat to an arbor or umbrella to enjoy the view.  Iced tea tastes better while taking in the sights and sounds of a garden.

Here's a view down the garden of a cut flower enthusiast in Kenwood.  Tall sunflowers and cactus dahlia radiate yellow in the hot afternoon.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Pokemon Go Gym

Quick, What do maples and Pokemon have in common?

They both like to train at Wildwood Nursery at 10300 Sonoma Highway Kenwood CA 95452.  So far there are more maples training at the Nursery.  They like to use bamboo stakes and green ties to acquire their desired shape.

The Pokémon have yet to show up en masse to the Pokémon Go Gym.  Judging from the 9000 players that strolled through San Francisco yesterday, it is only a matter of time before the Pokémon descend on Wildwood.  It could be an interesting spectacle!

Monday, July 18, 2016

A Crescendo of Plants

San Francisco Botanic Garden filled their grounds with grand pianos over the weekend.

They transformed the typically sedate setting into a carnival atmosphere.  Aspiring pianists performed a few raised beds away from accomplished masters.  The Jurassic Park theme song waffled out of the cloud forest while Joplin filled the Great Meadow.

The plants look great by the way.  Areas that were planted in 2015 are starting to fill in.  There's a surprising amount of flowers in bloom considering it's winter in SF!

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Refreshed Website

Studio Wildwood has a new look! More pictures and less text, not quite on a 1,000:1 ratio but almost.

The homepage shows wider examples of recent projects.  The picture of the yellow daylillies and orange cannas is a favorite garden.  Small, but packed full of foliage, the narrow backyard looks very lush after barely one year in the ground.

The gallery page has more plant combinations too.  Succulents, perennials, flowering shrubs, and dwarf trees are all represented.  As the seasons change and the gardens mature, more plant combination photos will pop up on the website and in this blog.

Monday, June 20, 2016

Gardening For The Environment

Saturday was field trip day. The destination was a garden oasis in the middle of San Francisco's Inner Sunset District.

A few blocks from the SF Botanic Garden, Garden for the Environment is an urban gardening hub.  With a landscape that has a heavy [trees weighed down with fruit] focus on edibles and lots of flowers for pollinators, the staff demonstrates how to maximize space in small settings.

Tours are self guided.  Sign up to be a member and get 10% off plants at Wildwood Nursery!

Monday, June 13, 2016

Rafting the American

It seems like a decade ago that I spent almost every summer weekend guiding trips on the American.  It has been.

Until last weekend, it had been two years since I had even touched an oar.  It was a silly feeling to be in a boat without having command of its direction.  We went through the first turn sideways, into an eddy, and heading upstream.  In the other raft, Steve thought the episode was hilarious.
By the time we reached Satan's Cesspool, I could slow the raft and turn it so the person I wanted to soak got splashed with the main wave.  I wish that skill translated to the 9-5 week. 

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Cheerful Plant Combos

With barely 8 months in the ground, the plants in this Santa Rosa garden are growing like weeds.

One planting bed has Daylilies with Lomandra in front of Tropicana Cannas plus a Golden Smokebush and Plumbago.  The maples and dogwoods are still very young.

Another planting bed has Dwarf Agapanthus, Watsonia, and Lomandra in front of a cascading Ruby Falls Redbud and espalier Sasanqua Camelias [sun tolerant].

The homeowners enjoy hosting parties and everyone gives the garden rave reviews.  Garden design by Studio Wildwood.

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Poppies for Buddha

Everyone likes flowers.  Sometimes giving flowers can be just as rewarding as getting flowers.

For some reason, it seemed like a good time to give Buddha Matilija Poppies this past weekend.  The poppy beside the entrance to Wildwood is blooming its head off and looks spectacular.  It wasn't going to miss three flowers.

Buddha looked a little more cheerful with the poppies.  We'll be keeping our eyes open for June flowers at Wildwood Nursery...

Monday, May 16, 2016

Wow With Watsonias

Raise your hand if you like Gladiolas.  If you did, you'll like Watsonias too!

They're both in the Iris family so they're practically cousins.  Watsonias are native to South Africa where all they like is sun and occasional water.  That makes them perfect for California.  Since they are a bulb, they will slowly clump out and multiply.

They add an extra hit of color - bright pinks and oranges - in late Spring.  Here is a salmon Watsonia next to Japanese Maples, Oakleaf Hydrangeas, Peony, and Agapanthus.

Garden design by Studio Wildwood.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Snap Pop Pom

May flowers are turning heads in this Sausalito Garden.

A single California Poppy provides all the orange this tiny garden can handle!  The pink snap dragon seeded itself from last year's snaps.  The bright pink and the orange even compliment each other! Big pom poms of color from the hydrangea in the background round out the colorful trio.

Soon the pomegranate flowers will swell into fruits.  Then it will be a tasty and colorful garden!

Garden design by Studio Wildwood.

Monday, May 2, 2016

May Pruning

Many Japanese Maple owners want to know if they can prune a little of this spring's bumper crop of new growth.  Of course!

Light pruning of pencil size branches rarely damages a tree.  If new growth is snipped so that it no longer bends under its own weight, a tree will look much more dignified.

Getting carried away can create serious problems though.  Foliage is the tree's sunscreen and protects the bark from burning.  It's preferable to have a tree with a bad hair day [or hair month] than a tree with scorched bark.

Tree Pruning by Studio Wildwood.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Rated G for Gardening

With a little movie magic, photos from pruning projects around the Bay Area are now more exciting than ever.

In the excitement of seeing new trees to prune, sometimes we forget to take before pictures.  Luckily, most of the trees are multiyear projects.  So the transformation will become clearer in the years ahead.  Tree pruning by Studio Wildwood.

Grab some popcorn and enjoy.

Friday, April 8, 2016

Capturing Spring

Seiryu and Maiku jaku in Glen Ellen
Over the winter months lots of hardwork goes into a garden.  It's not that glamorous and it's definitely not that photogenic.  Until Spring.

All the plants reward us for the haircuts we gave them, the mulch we put on the soil, and the breathing room from weeds they have.

We're compiling photos of all the trees we pruned this past winter to chronicle the change.  Shortly, we'll be winnowing down the photos and compiling the best before and afters.  Stay tuned!

Monday, March 21, 2016

Weekend Workshop

Ten people participated in Wildwood Nursery's Sunday Tree Shaping Class!

They braved the wet weather to learn about the growth habits of different types of Japanese Maples, Dogwoods, and Natives.  They also helped prune several of the trees on the grounds of Wildwood.

They spent the second half of the class inside the barn working with container plants.  We covered both root pruning and canopy pruning.

Wildwood is always happy to schedule private workshops for gardening curious groups.

Monday, March 14, 2016

Swampy Weekend

Near Alpine Lake Mt Tam, CA
Everyone's yammering about the 'March Miracle' in California.  We're back to a Mediterranean climate after the Baja California dry spell.

So some spots in the forests resemble the Bayou and there's vernal pools everywhere!  As excited as we all are it's important to let the ground absorb the water.  Trying to move water from low points in a garden is a waste of water/energy if buildings are a safe distance away.  Working in and compacting soggy soil ruins soil structure.

Stay in the starting blocks a bit longer before jumping into Spring Cleaning!

Saturday, March 5, 2016

Orchard Pruning

A small Glen Ellen, CA vineyard and orchard required an early March visit from Wildwood.

The owners planted pears and apples forty years ago.  These old trees have been kept relatively low over the years.  This requires constant attention to maintain their height. 

An aggressive Spring tree pruning coupled with lighter summer snips prevents branches from breaking under the weight of fruit and allows easy access to all parts of the tree for harvest!

Sunday, February 28, 2016

Helping Out

The plant world is full of new and unusual experiences.  Life beyond the plant world offers many more fun opportunities.

Volunteering in the community is a great balance to solitary work in the garden.  And grade school age kids kick the energy level up.  ROCK [Real Options for City Kids] offers a skill drills program on the weekend.  The kids bounce, jump, leap, run, dribble, and shoot their way through the morning exercises.  They actually do improve noticeably.

Take care of the flora and the fauna!

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Pruning On Cloud 9

Cloud 9 Vineyards called Wildwood to prune their fruit trees this year. 

It had been some time since the trees were pruned in a prudent manner.  The espalier apple and pears were losing their form, the citrus were weighed down with fruit, and the large apple was a cobweb of branches.

After a day of work, the trees regained some recognizable form.  Hopefully they will produce a bumper 2016 crop!

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Spring Preview

Spring has sprung at Wildwood!

At least the decorations have.  We're tidying up for a weekend of daphnes and dogwoods.  The lilac daphnes and daphne marginatas are both blooming!  Lots of fragrance and lots of cheery colors for so early in the season.

There will be a tour of the dogwoods and presentation both Saturday and Sunday to help gardeners understand all the different varieties. 
Take part and take home some daffodils as well!

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 fruit trees, 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.