Tuesday, April 28, 2009

3rd Grade comes to The Flower Tree

Monday morning we watched the largest yellow school bus pull into the parking lot, filled with three of the 3rd grade classes from Lahontan Elementary school. The nursery was filled with the active little voices of future gardeners. We visited with the worms in the bin, walked through all the different areas identifying trees, perennials, annuals, evergreens vs. deciduous and had a great time. The teachers are to be commended, the children were not only attentive and well behaved - there were 67 of them!!! but they knew a lot about plants and the environment. I had a great time.

The 3rd grade classes of :
Heidi Emeke,Kari Ellison & Teri Funsch

Nevada City Winemakers Event

A grand time was had by all when Nevada City Winery came to town for our Winemakers Event for the month of April. See you at the next one on May 21st when we will be joined by Tahoe Ridge from beautiful Genoa, NV.
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Saturday, April 25, 2009

Happy Birthday Big Brother

April 25, 2009

Today is my brother David's birthday. While many times I have written about growing up in Miami, Florida - both my brother and I were born in California. He in Pasadena, and I in Lancaster. My Dad was a deputy sheriff with the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department, and this photo, taken in 1962 was one of the few times we were allowed to dress up in his uniform.

We moved to Florida the week I turned seven, and that will always feel more like "where I grew up", but this photo seemed to sum up where my thoughts have been this week.

To My Brother David,
You were always there for me, in good times and bad. You were the strong silent one, that always had the right answers. You could run faster, jump higher, swim faster, and spell better than I ever could. You could make me laugh, and you have always filled me with pride at being your sister. You are an amazing man, and I will always be grateful that we were born into the same family.

Happy Birthday Big Brother! Love, SusanPosted by Picasa

A brother shares childhood memories and grown-up dreams. ~Author Unknown

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Luce & Son's Wine Tour

Every year the different distributors that we buy wine from put on a huge show up in Reno. This last week we attended the Luce & Son's Spring Gala. It was a great way to meet with the winemakers from over 62 wineries, sample their wines and spend an evening with the girls. Watch for quite a few of these new varieties to be arriving at Red Zinnia over the next few weeks. We traveled the world, in Reno, and found some wonderful new varieties we think you will enjoy as much as we did.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Fallon Home & Garden Show 2009

Lucia & Michelle hit it out of the ballpark once again with their display at this years Home & Garden Show. The theme for their booth this year was "Pollinators" and it was filled with information on mason bees, worm farms, square foot gardening, containers, and on and on and on. The creativity that goes into this booth every year is award winning !!!! If you missed the show, a mini booth is being set up at the store next week, just in time for our 9th Annual Spring Fling on Saturday, May 2nd. Here are a few pictures from the booth, but they don't do it justice. It was incredibly beautiful, informative & fun !!!!! Lucia - Michelle, YOU WOMEN ARE AMAZING!!!!!

Saturday, April 18, 2009

The Sounds of My Garden

With temperatures in the high 70’s last night when I got home from a day playing in the garden at The Flower Tree, I ventured out to the side yard and washed off the Adirondack chairs, filled the fountain and the birdfeeders and swept off the outdoor rug that sits inside the gazebo. Wind chimes were straightened and the mosaic table I made a few years ago was scrubbed off in anticipation of my morning cup of java.

This morning marks my first early morning venture out to the side yard gazebo. With coffee cup in hand, and papers tucked under my arm, I settled into my favorite chair. It is still a little cool out this morning, but with a long sleeved shirt and comfortable pants on, it feels just right. I am a ritual person, and this way to start my morning has been missing for the last few cold months. In the fall, I stretch it as long as possible, until the fountain water is freezing over at night, and the long sleeves turn into a jacket. During the winter, I settle into a comfortable warm chair inside the front room, Harley, our little dog, tucked into the side of the chair with me. However, all winter long I gaze outside at the side yard and long for the days that will take me back out to my favorite morning spot. This morning, while the coffee in my cup was still steaming, and before the papers were even opened, I sat and listened to the sounds of the early spring garden. The birds are back in force already – robins bobbing around in the front yard in search of worms, the petite yellow finches have found their bright yellow sox filled with seed, and the doves are everywhere. Even in the hanging planter on the front porch. I will not be planting this one anytime soon. I want to move it to a protected spot in a tree, but I am not sure she will return to it when I do.

Life in the morning garden, at least in my little corner of the world, is the most peaceful place I know. Even with the occasional car passing by, all I really hear is the voice of nature. Filling my side yard with its wonder and peace. I have missed my little morning place in the world. I hope you have one in your world also. Till later, Susan

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Harvest of the Worms

This morning, on a gorgeous and sunny Easter Sunday, we anxiously awaited the arrival of Darren Murphey, owner of Sierra Worm Solutions. Today was the day! We were going to harvest our first batch of worm castings from our large bin out back. When he first arrived, we unloaded the new Can-O-Worms that he also supplies us with. However, this time there was an extra-added treat. Instead of just bringing the bins, he had taken the time to fill them with worms and bedding so that they were ready to go for people to really see what the system was all about. He brought three “ready – to – go” with him, and two more for us to have on sale at the store.

After a brief demonstration of these in home/garage worm bins, we ventured out back to start the harvest of our bin. A large group had gathered by this point and everyone was excited to see the progress that had transpired since we installed the bin last September. This is where a small amount of disappointment came in. Just two weeks ago, we had been out to the bin after a class to show everyone how the worms had not only wintered over, but also thrived in their warm little habitat. We had thousands of them crawling around amongst the left over pumpkin skins and we knew that it was going to be a great harvest. When we opened the bin--------------No Worms---------on the surface area at least. This is where Michelle started to get worried. It seems that Darren had called her at the beginning of the month and asked her not to water or feed the worms anymore until we did the harvest. He was concerned that it would be to wet and we would not have good results. The one thing he hadn’t counted on is that Michelle had been taking extra special care of “her” bin, and that our worms were very, very happy. After the initial shock of not seeing any worms, he told us what happened. We had not killed off our worms, whehhh……..we had just sent them south…that is, and they had gone deeper into the bed in search of moisture and food. Once we started gently digging around the sides of the bins we saw large amounts, but with the way there were now arranged in the bin, it was going to make it very hard to harvest the castings. Darren made the decision to hold off on the harvest for another couple of months, and let them get fed and happy again. It would not be beneficial to stress the worms out so much just to try to get the castings at this time. While a small amount of disappointment set in, it was quickly turned to happiness when we realized that we had not damaged out growing population of worms.

Luckily, for us Darren had brought with him 10lbs. of worms to set up the Can-O-Worms, and to have some for sale. So we set up a table over in the shade, watered it down so the worms would not stick when we took them out of his plastic tubs, and conducted our own “harvest”. The main thing Darren was trying to show us was how to separate the worms from the castings without stressing them too much. It seemed like most everyone was anxious to get their hands into the piles, myself included.

We ended the afternoon with a talk on the benefits of “Worm Tea” and I will include some links at the bottom that explain it much better than I can. Oh, and the Can-O-Worms, four out of the five he brought are gone, the worms headed for a new home. We have one left for sale right now, and it is set up, filled with worms and ready to go. Darren will be getting us some more in the next week or so.

Have a great day, Susan



Saturday, April 11, 2009

Everything's Coming Up Roses

First off, announcing our first shipment of gorgeous roses for this season: Wednesday, April 15th!!!!!!!

Today officially starts "rose season" at the nursery. The first spring class on pruning and care is at 11am, and I am looking forward to the enthusiasm that will follow. I used to be, not so long ago in the grand scheme of things, a rose novice. Growing up in Florida, having a rose garden was not something that most people thought about. Except my Mother-In-Law, Sharon. One weekend, when I was about 20 or so, and living back at home while Robert was stationed overseas with the Coast Guard, she announced that she wanted to put in a rose garden. A formal affair, with hybrid teas (I thought, at the time, that she was referring to the afternoon luncheons we would be having) that would scent the entire area around the front portico leading up to their home. Their house was situated on a grand corner lot in Coral Gables, a neighborhood that was filled with large homes, and beautiful well manicured and cared for gardens. She already had an extremely large orchid area in the back of the property, bromeliad beds that tumbled out into the lawn, and enough flowers, ferns and fauna to fill my yard here in Fallon 10 times over. But she wanted a rose garden, and that is what we planted. The finished garden was strikingly beautiful and it did achieve her goal, a vase filled with long stemmed beauties graced the front entry table most days.

Fast forward 20 years or so, I am now living in Fallon, and enjoying another "rose experts" passion. Sooz Ellis and I worked together in an office for many years, and during that time her desk was always filled with the most incredible blooms during the high summer season. The heavy scent of old growth roses, the incredible beauty of her hybrid tea's and some days it was almost overpowering, but always in a good way. I had been growing a few roses of my own over the years. I always had a Mr. Lincoln, Tropicana and Queen Elizabeth in most of our homes around the country, but it wasn't until I caught "the rose bug" from Sooz that my passion for roses was re-ignited. When we built our house on Silver Circle, one of the first items to go in was a rose garden. With Sooz's help, we planned out the beds, figured out all the right amendments and organics were added and roses were soon filling my home also. Since that time, 12 years ago, I have added a rose or two every year and I don't see it ending anytime soon. I love roses! Any kind, any color, any scent....I can't get enough of their quiet beauty.

So today, we will gather in the back rose garden and I will do my darnedest to pass on my passion for roses to anyone attending our class. I have not found a flower that is more perfectly suited- and gives you more bang for your buck - here in Fallon than roses.

Another plus in our column of wonderful things happening at the nursery this spring, Sooz Ellis has agreed to be our "Rosarian" this season. After our large shipment comes in you will find her most weekends, back in the rose garden, spreading her passion for roses to all. Welcome to our garden Sooz, we can't wait!

Hope to see you at the class, Susan


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