Down a quiet street in a rural part of the Sonoma Valley is the home of Master Gardener Linda Garaicotchea and her husband, Ron Guest. They live and garden on an acre where they spend their time tending to their many plants and trees that thrive in our county. Vegetable gardening in raised beds, they enjoy a bountiful crop of fresh vegetables each year. Their fruit trees provide them a variety of tasty organic apples, cherries, pears, plums and peaches for fresh consumption, as well as preserving.
Ron’s hobby of crafting home-brewed beer requires a crop of aromatic hops that grown on a sizeable trellis which makes for a dramatic sight. A newly planted small vineyard of Zinfandel and Cabernet Franc vines will soon produce grapes for Ron and Linda’s future hobby of home winemaking.
Looking forward to reducing their use of water, they have begun relandscaping both front and back yards with plants that are drought tolerant, such as artemisia, russian sage, sedum, penstemon and verbena. Participating in Sonoma’s Cash for Grass Program, they removed sections of lawn both front and back. With new planting areas to work with,
they have not only landscaped with waterwise plants but have also established a child and habitat friendly environment. An extensive drip system keeps the plants healthy and happy, with a layer of organic mulch that prevents them from drying out during the hot days of summer.
Their newly re-envisioned garden and landscape presents a model of many of the Master Gardener recom- mended practices of sustainability, waterwise gardening with climate-appropriate plants and reduced water use, and edible gardening.