Spring Things

 

Spring is doing it's thing, and we couldn't be more excited to see what great flowers and foliage are in store for us this year. We treasure the slower pace of life that winter beckons, but without fail the promise of sunshine and little sprouts makes the vernal transition so welcome.

Some folks in our area are enjoying the renewal of a seasoned perennial garden, while others are starting seeds in greenhouses for their raised beds. In preparation of the new season, we are assessing what plants survived the winter, which seeds in our collections need planting, and looking for new and exciting changes to our gardens. We are lucky to have various gardens and wild landscapes that we frequent for cuttings, but we are always on the search for new additions to broaden the variety of our offerings.

Being able to offer specialty items like hellebore or garden roses straight from our garden is a major perk, but we also want to have the workhorses like foliage that we use in bulk right outside our doors. Each season and each year our gardens are diversifying, maturing, and offering us a unique advantage in our line of work. Bridging the gap between garden and floral design, and minimizing the carbon footprint of each stem and blossom is hugely important to our business. We love being able to emphasize the beauty and bounty of our area, and in the end just enjoy any excuse to be outside with our hands in the dirt.

Here's what co-owners Camille Rowan and Heather Frye have going in their Spring gardens:

Camille :

With a new home, comes a new garden! We recently moved from Healdsburg to north Santa Rosa, out of the country and into a suburban neighborhood. The previous owners of our home certainly loved to spend their time outdoors and planted gorgeous varieties of succulents, shrubs, and trees that create a private oasis at the end of the cul-de-sac. Not everything is exactly our taste, and not every space is used to its greatest potential which is an exciting invitation to start some new plantings!

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My most anticipated bloomers will be the variety of roses and irises the previous owners left behind, seconded by the seeds my sister and brother-in-law collected from plants they grew for their wedding. Strawberry Blonde + Teddy Bear sunflowers will hopefully find their way up through the clay soil, if the birds don't get them first. I have my fingers crossed that the "Coffee Cream" calendula seeds I planted in every nook and cranny will enjoy the the ample sunshine and bless us with year-round blossoms like I've seen on my parents' farm!

We are also buzzing over our new Satsumo tree (a gift from my parents) which is covered in fragrant blossoms. I removed a struggling, massive buddleia (commonly known as butterfly bush) from the south side of our house and plan to replant the citrus in it's place. This particular area of the garden will be filled with butterfly, bee, and bird attractors - full of fragrance and color.

As the seasons progress and we have more time to address each area, I look forward to the yard of our home beginning to feel more like a representation of its new owners.

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Heather:

I’ve had 5 years in my garden, and woooooww! We’ve come a long way together growing and learning. When my fiance and I moved into our house in the West Petaluma countryside, our sprawling “yard” was all waist high weeds, a couple neglected Boxwood hedges, one Cypress tree, an overgrown Maytin, ruthless Gophers (which remain), throw in some broken glass and rusty nails, and that’s where we started. Combine that with rocky, sandy soil, fog blankets coupled with heat waves and a home in the pasture lands smack in the middle of the Petaluma wind gap and you get quite the learning curve, which we’ve climbed with determination, enthusiasm, a lot of trial and error and yes, many dead plants.

The early years were consumed by pulling weeds, establishing beds, amending with compost, seeding winter cover crops, turning the soil, and pulling out rocks and trash. The weeding, covercropping, and turning is a continuous cycle in managing a garden and building soil health, though the management has gotten easier as we’ve been able to build upon our efforts each year with our experience and upkeep.

We’ve built in various zones that are finally beginning to thrive and at any point in the year, I can now walk out into our garden to cut from a variety of well established and happy plants for our designs and our bellies--finally! The plants in our garden are an eclectic curation of gifts, impulse buys, seed saving, rescue plants, and propagated cuttings from all over -- it’s never boring!

My first success here was our front shade garden, which I immediately filled with Hellebores, Heucheras, and Aquilegia, with some later additions of Pieris, Ferns, and *potted* Nandina. This section of our garden is at its peak this time of year: Hellebores maturing nicely for a sturdy harvest, with the Heuchera’s, Aquilegia, and Pieris leafing out and getting ready to fill in the bloom space as the Hellebores leave.

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The other prime specimens right now are the variety of Daffodils I've scattered over the years, all of our Euphorbias, White Sage, Cerinthe, Bronze Fennel, Geum, Muscari, GIANT Cabbage, Miner's Lettuce, and the first blooms of our Bronzed Beauty Calendula aka “coffee cream” are heading up nicely about to become a forest.

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Throughout our garden, many of our plants are rapidly putting on new growth on account of fresh rainwater and increased sunshine. While I'm eager for more flowers to start blooming, I'm reveling in the perfect Spring weather and the exciting changes in our garden each day during this season.

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We look forward to sharing more with you as our gardens grow.

Happy Spring!

Heather & Camille