Monday, March 30, 2009
Sunday, March 29, 2009
I do love this business.................called gardening. See ya soon, Susan
Saturday, March 28, 2009
The evening of Tuesday, March 24th, found a group of us over at The Slanted Porch. Wine glasses in hand, we had wandered over from the Red Zinnia where we had gathered in anticipation of our "Team Building with Ryan Scott" event. Ryan, you may remember from an earlier post, was a participant in Season 4's Top Chef Chicago. He has been a guest Chef at The Porch these last few weeks, and he had agreed to do a cooking class/demonstration/dinner for us. We booked the event a few weeks ago, in between his trips to San Francisco to scout out locations for his new restaurant, trips to New York for his role as one of the spokespersons for Morningstar Foods, and trips to Southern California and ????? This young man is BUSY!
We entered through the back door of the restaurant into the immaculate kitchen, and took our seats in the bar stools that had been set up around one of the large stainless steel prep tables. The scent of garlic already filled the air and we watched as his prep cooks finished up some last minute details. Glancing at the brochures we had been given, my mouth was already watering in anticipation of what we would be preparing, and then later enjoying in the candle lit dining room. There were 11 of us total, and the atmosphere was fun and festive as the knives started flying, and the recipes were discussed in preparation of the first course - an amazing salad and homemade vinaigrette.
Over the course of the next three hours, we leaned basic knife skills, some tricks of the trade, and how to prepare some amazing food. Our dinner conversation was lively and animated as more and more dishes kept arriving out of the kitchen. Wine was poured, the pairings having been selected by Ryan's sommelier out of San Francisco, and the only way I could finish describing the meal would be to tell you this: If you get a chance, book your own evening event now, while he is still in town. Thank you Ryan, we had a great time!
Thursday, March 26, 2009
As you see the Bonnie truck in our parking lot, take the time to say hello to Andrew. He carries a wealth of information about the plants that Bonnie's grows, as well as a wonderful enthusiasm for gardening and life in general. We are glad to see him back in the neighborhood!
Sunday, March 22, 2009
Preparing for our upcoming visit to them again this spring, I came across a folder that I had put them in when I returned last year. I thought I would include a few sites here that they had chosen for Spring of 2008. (I have checked those listed to make sure the URLs are still active.) With all the BUZZ'zzzzz about home vegetable gardening this year, it seems like the perfect opportunity to educate ourselves about pollinators and the importance they play in our gardens.
This colorful and photo-rich U.S. Forest Service site includes games for kids, teacher resources, and sections of general interest about native gardening, wildflower ethics, insects that pollinate, and more.
Pollinator Partnership Home
This site has a wealth of info that includes free educational materials and media resources, downloadable Eco-regional planting guides, a digital library, and bee keeping resources.
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service - Pollinators
Info about endangered butterflies and plants, backyard habitats and pollinator gardens.
Pick the Pollinators Game - PBS / Nova Site
A fun, informative game with nice color photos and interesting tidbits of info.
Have fun browsing through these great sites, and send over any new ones you might find. I will include them in our link list. Happy Gardening, Susan
Friday, March 20, 2009
Fast forward to 2008, and life in Fallon, Nevada. Last year when the vegetable craze really started to take off we had a lot of gardeners come in and ask how to "quickly" correct bad soil issues. We would go over all the natural choices that came to mind; replace the existing soil, add in organics, add in more organics, correct the salt issues, add in more organics....... Sometimes, we would realize, that what they really wanted was not so much a large garden plot to tend, but something simpler and easier to work with. We would then go over the basics and benefits of raised bed gardening.
About a month ago, two of our steady gardening customers, Diane and Stan Legaux came by to check availability and pricing for some basic soil amendments. We started talking about what they were working on and what they were thinking of growing. Enter the Square Foot Gardening method. We started talking about the book and my own research on their website. They had made a raised box for themselves, and I guess they could tell by my enthusiasm that I would love to see some pictures of what they had built. They did me one better - they brought one by for me to see, and asked if I would like to possibly have them here at The Flower Tree to sell. They were enjoying working together making them, and really felt strongly that this was a way for people to continue to enjoy gardening well into their 80's and beyond.
1/3 Peat Moss
Do not try this at home!!!!! Actually, you might have a rose that kinda looks like this one. Old and overgrown, but it still produced the most amazing display of white roses all summer. If Niagara Falls spilled flowers, it would remind you of this rose. We have been asked at least a 1000 times what kind of rose it is. We have recruited ARS judges to help us, we have had at least 25 serious rosearians look at it, we asked the original owners of The Flower Tree, and we did research over and over to try and find out the exact species. We gladly handed out cuttings to any and all that requested them in the hopes that they might bring us back a plant to share. In spring every year we would give it a slight haircut, prune out the dead stuff we could reach, and cared for it with worm castings, fresh organic compost once and awhile but generally didn't do much more with it. With the decision to plant the rest of the beds that surround it this year, and the class when we would do it coming up fast, we decided to tackle it last Sunday.
Michelle and I gathered the tools - large pruners, loppers, gauntlet gloves, rakes and even a shovel to remove another grass that had outgrown it's spot. We spent the better part of the afternoon cutting and stopping - standing back and looking again....and then.....oh my! the haircut this lovely beauty received.
Another before shot..........
But here is the best part.......................look real close...........you will see an original Jackson & Perkins tag. Yes!!! Not only do we know now exactly what rose this is...........it is still available. The suspense is gonna kill ya isn't it........
Friday, March 13, 2009
This day wasn't about looking for petroglyphs though. We were headed out for a picnic and just some plain old good quality time with friends. I can attest that we achieved both. After a slow gentle climb up the side of the mountain, we found the bench and display signs that had been placed there for our education, and we settled down for a feast of Danish Blue Cheese, crunchy french bread, apples and oranges, artichoke pesto, pepper spread, and ginger snaps. We munched for an hour or so, all the while filling each other in on what had been occurring in our lives since we last met. The wind was non-existent, a true blessing for this area, and the sun was shining brightly. After a quick photo stop, we headed back down the mountain, belly's and spirits full. The thoughts and memories will keep me full until we get the chance again. Take care, Susan
Saturday, March 7, 2009
Friday, March 6, 2009
We are hoping to see more of him in the weeks ahead as he bounces between Fallon and San Francisco on the search for a location for his new restaurant. That is - in between when he will be appearing on The Ellen Show, with stop offs in New York and other locations doing radio spots as spokesperson for Morningstar Foods. He is a busy young man, who's energy is contagious.
Wednesday, March 4, 2009
Catching up on some posts after I finally downloaded my camera. This is Karen Rockwood and I at the Norman's booth during the Nevada Landscape show up in Reno last month. Norman's supplies us with a large amount of the trees and shrubs that we sell at the nursery. Most years we have been able to get over the hill in February to choose our own trees, but this year with the storms we had to rely on Karen to pick us out the best she could find. I am happy to report she did a great job. We have worked with her for the entire 8 years we have owned the nursery, and have always been impressed with her quiet and professional demeanor. We are hoping to get back over the hill to the nursery again soon. Somehow meeting at the trade show wasn't nearly as fun as touring around the 100's of acres on the golf cart.
Tuesday, March 3, 2009
By the time 5 rolled around and we went to close the gate most all the trees were tightly tied up, watered in and ready for what would come later. But the rest of the nursery was showing some damage. The gazebo out front was on it's side. Most of the banners on the front gate were torn and blowing in the breeze, trees that were out in displays were on their sides and empty pots that had been carefully stacked in the recycling area were blowing about in the parking lot. Oh, and the greenhouse roof, yep, panels were flying.
Monday, March 2, 2009
It was out back to the display garden next to take a look at the old apple tree that he has been working on for the last 7 years or so. A little bit each year, he takes some branches off and checks to see for the overall health of his old tree. This year he found a bug infestation of scale that was never there before, so the dormant oil, an organic way to control the bugs, will be coming out of the storage room and the tree will get a good soaking this week.
After the class was over, it was on to the worm bin to open it up and check on it's progress. There are what seems to me to be thousands and thousands of worms tucked under the lid. I can't wait for Darren Murphy, from Sierra Worm Solutions to come back out in the early summer to help us harvest our first crop of castings. He is the one that installed the system for us and is the local "go to" guy for all worm related things in this area. We will be having another seminar with him soon, so watch your emails for updates.The day turned out to be a beautiful one. Slightly cool, but the sun was shining and no big winds to speak of. Bob was busy on the forklift most of the day putting away all the trees we just got in. It looks so great to see the nursery filling up with all the promise of spring.
See you soon, Susan