In the meantime, enjoy some photos and descriptions of the 2008 tour:
Bloomin' Backyards took place Sunday, June 22, 2008, featuring several unique and delightful gardens of Master Gardens in the central Sonoma County region. The highly successful event, a massive collaborative effort of dozens of master gardeners featured plenty of docents to lead tours and answer questions, and both a plant sale, at which over 2,000 hand-propogated plants were sold, and a garden craft sale, which provided hundreds of hand-crafted garden items.
Educational components or exhibits on the tour included:
- A demonstration hive by The Sonoma County Beekeepers.
- A demonstration by The Sonoma County Water Agency of how you can test your lawn watering efficiency with little catch cans, in order to determine if you're overwatering or underwatering in certain areas.
- How to deal with gophers and moles.
- Expert talks on "firescaping," which is landscaping to reduce fire risk for property.
- Composting and Wormcasting.
- Growing olives for oil pressing.
- Growing California native and habitat plants.
Flora's Garden: A Collection of Gifts
Flora began here with nothing. No plants, no hardscape, only a house and her imagination. She threw herself a
house-warming party to which she invited family, friends
and other Master Gardeners. "Don't bring presents," she told
them. "Bring plants."
And so her garden was born of the gifts they all brought. She is a plant collector extraordinaire who never says "no" and always finds space for yet another one, be they edibles, vines, perennials or some unknown. Flora's garden is truly a paradise for the plant aficionado.
Gwen's Garden: "California" English Country
Gwen's garden has a "Wow!" factor to it, beginning with the dramatic 300-year-old oak tree whose cascading branches gracefully shade the entire backyard. Gwen is a collector of unusual perennials and roses. As a landscape-design consultant and arborist, she has access to the wide variety of materials that
she has used to transform this 2½-acre property.
It's a true California-style, English garden, complete with islands of perennials, corridors of lush lawns, vines climbing enormous wood structures and roses growing in all directions.
Joan's Garden: Mediterranean Mood
To these, she added masses of ornamental grasses, lavenders,
butterfly bushes, salvias and nepetas, all producing an undulating
rhythm, a softness. Olive trees, oreganos and Russian sage were
added to the mix, giving a Mediterranean presence to the entire garden.
In 2002, her gardens were certified by the National Wildlife
Federation as a "Backyard Wildlife Habitat" in recognition of her
devotion to providing an environment where birds, bees, butterflies, and bugs feed and frolic throughout the year.
Susan's Garden: A Shady Urban Vignette
If anyone has a personal relationship with her garden,
it's Susan. Though she grows a wide variety of plants, she
selects each one carefully because of its uniqueness, its unusual
texture, its unknown mature height, or its unfamiliarity to her.
She's drawn to odd or tall sculptural plants such as Verbena
bonariensis, Joe Pye weed, bronze fennel, and oakleaf hydrangea.
She coaxes them to grow and flourish, plants and prunes everything herself, and offers each new selection many chances to perform before giving up on it. Her plants thank her for persisting with them by thriving in a cozy garden "room" with both deep and dappled shade.
Amanda's Garden: Partnering Man and Nature
flowing form, the repetition, the gentle rises, and
the textures and color, all unify under Amanda's
practiced eye to demonstrate how man and nature
can work together to produce an aesthetic and sustainable
garden. She and her husband, Ray, have worked for more
than ten years to rejuvenate and restore the property, once
an old farmhouse in an overgrown, oak woodland, to its
original beauty and function without detracting from its
Click here for the Bloomin' Backyards 2008 photo montage