Eartheasy Article on Natalie’s Community Gardening Work

Screen Shot 2019-06-19 at 7.33.46 AMScreen Shot 2019-06-19 at 7.34.05 AM

Click to read more: Eartheasy

Thank you to all the wonderful people I met from coast to coast who are creating community gardens and orchards. I am grateful for the time and information you shared with me.

See you in the gardens, Natalie

Touring California Community Gardens: Fun, Sun and Lots of Ideas

Here are three highlights of my recent adventures in California visiting community gardens from Sacramento to the Bay area:

LaybugSacramento: There are waiting lists four and five years long to get into some of the gardens and if you visit, you’ll see why.  The pride and care that goes into the city’s Parks and Recreation community gardens is evident in the upkeep, the design and the spirited innovation.

There are fruit trees growing, individual gardener plots, even a small vineyard (It is California after all!) and artful ways of conserving water and engaging gardeners. For example, a sculpted cistern shaped like a ladybug collects water from giant metal flower basins.  This is just one of many artful touches.

BayerSanta Rosa:  A bilingual garden at the Bayer Community Farm with signage in Spanish and English. This is a welcoming space with garden plots, a large area with a dozen colorful picnic tables, a labyrinth and a teepee trellis house for children.  The garden space accommodates young and older with raised beds designed for people with disabilities.  One of the nicest aspects of the garden is that it is adjacent to a recreational space that was buzzing with activity as neighbors played sports, skated and rode bikes.

PotHill copySan Francisco:  In most gardens your attention is drawn down to ground level where the vegetables, flowers and herbs grow. In Portero Hill Community Garden, located at the edge of a ridge, your eyes look up and out to see a breathtaking city scape. Perched on land that was once the abode of the goat lady of San Francisco, this is a striking garden and so well tended.  The gardeners here love their spaces and it shows.

More to come….

BTW- Sacramento is agricultural zone 9. They plant tomatoes in March!

 

 

 

 

Road Trip: Frost Hill Farm

On a road trip into Vermont yesterday, a friend and I had our cameras fully charged, a map in the car and a willingness to brake for anything of interest…shops, flowers, tag sales, and views.

Our destination: Frost Hill Farm in Belmont, a peony nursery that will leave you breathless. The flowers are so delicate, the petals translucent…and they move in the slightest breeze like dancers in fancy, frilly frocks. This farm will enchant you. If you aren’t sure you need peonies in your garden, walking among the rows of pink, burgundy, white, lemon and magenta flowers will convince you otherwise. The fragrance alone is worth the drive.

Here are a few images:_DSC0574_1295

_DSC0594_1315

_DSC0520_1241

_DSC0529_1250

piink peony

Frost Hill Farm is only open until the 29th of June. If you’re interested, go this week. There is still plenty to see…note all the buds in the following photo.

_DSC0576_1297

Vermont is just beautiful countryside to drive through. Magnificent vistas. Rolling hills. Even the wildflowers along the roadsides were outstanding. I believe the purple flower is spotted knapweed. Is that correct? The orange flower is Orange Hawkweed.

_DSC0452_1173

_DSC0515_1236

While you are meandering the back roads, stop often. We passed a swimming hole in a quarry, talked to an antique shop owner who steered us to great vistas she called “a piece of heaven,” and if we weren’t in heaven…then heaven wasn’t far.