Rainy days and cold nights are a perfect time for cozying up with a good gardening book for fresh inspiration. Lately we’ve had a few interesting releases come across our inboxes. Urban farming, seed saving and garden crafting are among the topics covered in some of the new titles. So, take a look, pick a favorite and kick back for a good read.
Friday, January 27, 2012
Tuesday, January 24, 2012
|Repurposed wine barrel in Novato|
Rain! More and more backyard gardeners across the Bay Area are installing catchment systems of all sizes, shapes and sorts to collect and store the winter rains for use during the drier months. Saye Izuta, a Newark gardener from the 2009 Bay-Friendly Garden Tour, set up a simple system using garbage cans. She noticed that her acid loving plants didn’t like the chlorinated city water and began filling 20 garbage cans with the water from her gutter. Watering cans are filled with the collected rainwater and used for her avocado, blueberries, dogwood and kiwis during the dry season.
Tuesday, January 17, 2012
I saw this cool idea about turning a pallet into a container garden on Fern Richardson’s blog Life on the Balcony. This is a good way for anyone who doesn’t have a big yard to make some growing room by using vertical space. It’s also a Bay-Friendly practice since it reuses a commonly disposed of packaging material. Anyone who knows how to use a staple gun can build a pallet garden. It basically involves closing up the sides, back and bottom of an old pallet with landscape fabric, filling it with soil, and planting in between the boards.
Wednesday, January 11, 2012
Showers of fluffy coyote brush seeds are filling the void left by the lack of rain showers this past month. Coyote brush, Baccharis pilularis, is one of those plants that native enthusiasts tend to really love in the garden or think of as better left in the wildlands. At its best, coyote brush is a quick growing drought tolerant native bush that is easy to propagate, provides valuable habitat and whose subtle blooms have a sweet fragrance. On the flip side, coyote brush is a quick growing shrub eager to take hold most anywhere its seed falls and tends to get a bit scraggly when untended. I admit to finding myself somewhere in the middle—appreciating its opportunistic nature but also considering that same nature to be a bit pesky if left unchecked.
Tuesday, January 3, 2012
Marin County will be hosting a "Bay-Friendly Training & Qualification for Maintaining Existing Landscapes" for landscape professionals beginning next month. The course starts February 1 and will meet weekly through March 14, 2012. This fast-moving program includes professional speakers and hands-on demonstrations for experienced public and private landscape professionals who design, construct and/or manage landscapes in Marin County.