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Posts from the ‘Visiting Gardens’ Category

Great weekly purchase at Full Circle Farm today

 

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Full Circle Farm Heirloom Tomato Tasting and U Pick Tomato Event

Wonderful Full Circle Farm Volunteer adding up my bill

I attended the annual Heirloom Tomato Tasting at Full Circle Farm for the second time last friday.  I was able to drag my friends Anna, Nancy, and Rebekah over.  They quite enjoyed the variety of tomatoes.  I believe there were at least 30 if not 40 kinds of tomatoes sliced up and offered for our tasting pleasure.  My favorite was the Lime Green Salad tomato.  There is a strong flavor of lime in it.

I gotta say, this is seriously the BEST deal in town amongst all heirloom tomato tastings.  Usually the prices in San Jose for a similar event can range from $50-100.  $100 being Sent Sovi’s tomato themed dinner, so not exactly comparable, but this is still an excellent way to find out what your favorite heirloom varieties are.

Lime Green Salad Tomato

Tomato Table – See Rebekah on the right side!

Anna Tasting Tomatoes

Nancy tasting

Nancy and Anna chatting

Two days later, FCF had a U Pick tomato event where you could pick the tomatoes you had enjoyed at the tasting.  It was so much fun!  I bought 6 lbs of tomatoes for $9! What a deal!

Picking tomatoes

Fresh off the vine!

All 9 lbs of heirloom tomatoes

Silicon Valley Gardeners, prepare for March 31st for a plant shopping extravaganza!

March 31st is going to be an extremely fun day in San Jose because both the Master Gardener’s Spring Market and the CSSSJ’s Plant Sale will be held.  Unfortunately they will be at different locations, but maybe next year they can iron out that detail!  Please pass on this info to any friends whom you think may be interested.  These events happen only annually!

Here are the event details:

Spring Garden Market

A great event to buy heirloom varieties of baby plants, a huge variety of flowers, and herbs.  I will be volunteering at the California Native Garden Foundation booth!  Come by and say hi!

Time open: 9am-2 pm.

Location:

History San José
1650 Senter Road
San José, CA 95112

Cactus and Succulent Plant Sale

I love the Cactus and Succulent Society of San Jose.  What an interesting group of folks!  They are totally obsessed with finding or growing from seed these highly unusual species of cacti and succulents!  They’re such nice people too and always willing to answer questions without being overly technical.  Come to this sale if you are looking for unusual plants…I guarantee you’ll find some.  I’m sure they will have your basic succulents and cacti as well that might be more forgiving to a beginner.  But remember don’t over water the cacti and succulents!

Time open: 9am-5pm.  Also open on April 1st from 10am-4pm.

Location:

Marian A. Peterson Middle School
1380 Rosalia Avenue
Sunnyvale, CA 94087

Hiking and Identifying Native Plants in Point Lobos

I planned this wonderful trip with Henrik down in Monterey.  And my was it a fun filled activity packed weekend!  We  first met up with my friends Raul and Kelly on Friday night to have dinner at Passionfish which is a famous local seafood restaurant.  We had a fantastic time as I always do with Raul and Kelleeeh.  When the four of us get together, we make quite a ruckus where ever we go!  🙂  The next morning Henrik brewed us some fresh coffee and off we went, sans breakfast, down 1 South.  I was surprised how close our destination was to the Carmel Barnyard/Crossroads off 1.  Even though I have lived in Monterey during my high school years, I had never been to Point Lobos!  So we got in with no issue and were notified that our $9 admission would also get us in free to any of the other parks close by.  It was heavenly!  Point Lobos is sooo beautiful!  I took lots of photos as you can see!

I’m still learning about my native California plants.  I have signed up with http://www.CalFlora.org which has helped immensely in identifying plants.  Trouble is, being so inexperienced at this, and with the plants not all having bloomed, the pictures are a little more difficult to identify.  So any help would be extremely appreciated!

I’ll tell you though, I’m hooked on Dudleyas!  I found that patch of beach plants at the Del Monte Blvd Exit in Seaside was a really interesting community of Sea Thrifts (Armeria Maritima) and lots of Dudleya Cymosas.  I later figured out that I had also seen Dudleya Edulis, which I mistook for being related to the ice plants that have taken over as a non native.  I have also been able to identify Dudleya Farinosa that I found in Point Lobos.

I also enjoy Salvias.  There is a large variety of native salvias and I only own one.  Again, I found large bushes of salvias in Point Lobos, but because they haven’t bloomed yet, it was impossible for me to identify them.

Kick off the new gardening season with the Master Gardeners’ Spring Garden Market!

If you are in the San Jose area and want to explore an amazing collection of heirlooms…mark your calendars!  The MG’s are knowledgeable and are very helpful with questions about plants, soil quality, watering specs, and light needs.  I personally want to add some Salvias to my collection.  I so far only have the Black and Blue Salvia.  So I’m still on the look out for natives to attract beneficials.  I also want to grow food on the patio this season.  With so many heirloom varieties, I will surely find some mouth watering specimens!

Here is the official event description:

The 18th Annual Spring Garden Market 

See you at the Spring Garden Market!

Saturday, March 31, 2012     9 a.m. – 2 p.m. 

Join us at beautiful History San Jose for our premier plant sale, sustainable gardening showcase and fair (Directions | Parking Map)

Our plant sale features unique heirloom varieties you won’t find elsewhere

Loyal fans have been coming for years for the 75+ varieties of  tomatoes and 100+ varieties of peppers, and now you can pick up beans, eggplant, collards, lettuce and other greens, Chinese broccoli, amaranthus and kohlrabi – and strawberries.

But wait there’s more! We’ve also expanded our offerings to include herbs and flowers.

Itching to start planning the garden?  The descriptions of plants we sold in 2011 are tantalizing! The selections this year are mostly the same but we’ll post soon the updated lists. One special new tomato: the hybrid purple tomato, Indigo Rose, bred for even higher levels of antioxidants.

Master Gardener Sustainable Gardening Showcase

Man with dog at the marketThe Spring Garden Market is a day when you can learn about sustainable vegetable gardening. Master Gardeners abound and are easy to spot in their blue aprons, so bring your questions.

Join us for short and long talks on a wide variety of gardening topics. Chairs are set up and you can pick up snacks or lunch and relax in the shade. Browse the calendar of talks we gave in 2011 for an idea of topics.

  • 40-Minute Talks in the Educational Circle (40 minutes) These in-depth talks include Growing Great Tomatoes and How to Build a Raised Bed.
  • Short Talks all around the Market (10 minutes) Taking care of your new plants. Feeding the soil, composting and mulching. Waterwise gardening with native and Mediterranean-climate plants. How to attract butterflies, hummingbirds, bees and other beneficials to your garden. And more!

Stroll along Master Gardener Lane lined with tables with information and hands-on displays about organic, earth-friendly gardening.

  • Favorite Plants Waterwise and native plants. UC Davis Arboretum All-Stars. Succulents. Cut flowers.
  • Hotline LIVE! and Plant Clinic Drop by with all your gardening questions.
  • Animal Pest Control Got gophers, moles, voles or other critters? Drop by for advice.
  • Tool Care It’s easier than you think to keep your tools sharp and in tip-top condition.
  • And much more … Composting, worm bins,  fertilizing, DIY drip irrigation and everything in between.

We’re asked so often about our favorite tools that we’re bringing our Top Ten Favorites to market. High on the list are the great publications from the University of California.

  • Our Favorite Tools Sale We compiled over 25 years of experience from 330+ Master Gardeners to come up with our top choices of books, tools, gloves and gardening items.
  • UC Gardening Publications Display Oodles of free pamphlets as well as excellent reference books for you to browse. Not on sale at the market: browse the catalog and purchase online from UC with a 10% discount when you use our promotion code PRCLA43.

Green Elephant Sale In a category of its own, our Green Elephant Sale features treasures from our garden sheds and garages to yours – tools, pots, apparel, books, trellises as well as unusual items you can repurpose to use in your garden. Everything but the kitchen sink … although one year we did have a kitchen sink for someone to plant in! The prices can’t be beat and we only put out items in good condition.

Vendor Fair

Booths line both sides of the Main Street in History San Jose. Plant nurseries, gardening societies, urban farmers, beekeepers and conservation groups are found alongside vendors of containers and raised beds, apparel, mosaics and even chicken coops. See the list of vendors for an idea of our colorful “Main Street.”

Amenities

A Plant Daycare can be found right next to the plant sale, where you can leave your purchases securely. There is no charge.

This year six gourmet food trucks will provide coffee, lunch, drinks and snacks.

But perhaps the best amenity is History San Jose itself. Wander the beautiful park and see the historical buildings, beautifully restored, along with their gardens.  In 2011 we created a demonstration garden at the Umbarger House where we’ll be holding some of the gardening talks and giving tours of the new garden. And don’t forget to visit the old-fashioned ice cream shop in the Hotel building!

The Spring Garden Market is sponsored by the Friends of Master Gardeners of Santa Clara County.

Visit to #Succulent #Gardens in Castroville, CA

Last Thursday I was driving back to San Jose from Monterey and decided to look up the address of Succulent Gardens nursery and see if it was on my way back home.  Sure enough it’s located off of highway 156 prior to connecting to the 101.  I arrived and was greeted by the very friendly sales manager and was told I had 30 minutes till close.  I was so blown away by the depth and breadth of their collection of succulents.  Unfortunately they only accepted cash or check, so I was only able to buy two of the six specimens I had picked out.  Mind you, the prices here are amazing!  The tiniest 3 inch pot specimens are only $3.  It’s the best deal for succulents I’ve found ever.

Here is their website:

http://sgplants.com/

Here are the two plants I bought!

Succulent Gardens

Giant Sunflowers

On my trip to Monterey to visit my dad yesterday, I found these giant sunflowers bordering someone’s yard. They are much taker than me.. > 5.1feet. Enjoy the pictures! Ps… The stems were so strong and thick that the flowers apparently did not need any vertical support.

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