- Author: Karen Metz
This time of year I start to get really excited. The San Francisco Flower and Garden Show is coming up; this year it runs from March 21-25. It's been a tradition for my mother and I to go together. Usually we go on a Friday. Some years we run into a group of Solano County Master Gardeners who also have a tradition of going to the show together. I have great memories of the shows.
When I first started going they were at the Cow Palace, their home for many years. I continued to go when they moved to the San Mateo Event Center. Further changes occurred when the management changed hands, but it has continued to be a wonderful experience.
Why go? After all it's a long drive. First of all the exhibits, you will see plants you've never heard of in colors you've never dreamed of. Secondly new ideas for plants you are familiar with, sod and grass roofs, succulent walls, or edibles grown decoratively in your front flower beds. Thirdly, go for the intoxicating experience of being surrounded by people just as enthusiastic about flowers and gardening as you are. Lastly, there is the shopping.
The shopping deserves its own paragraph. There is usually the most wonderful collection of vendors: dahlias, succulents, orchids, drought tolerant, you name it. There are also handy garden tools, garden inspired clothing and jewelry, and garden art. There is just about anything garden related that you can think of. Just touring my back patio reminds me of various years at the flower show. I love my Harry Lauder's Walking stick, Corylus avellana 'Contorta", with it's wonderfully twisted branches. Then there is my weeping pussy willow that I haven't seen elsewhere. Finally there are my wonderful blueberries that are special varieties that can do well this far south. They are wonderfully tasty as well as pretty and in full bloom right now. Who knows what I will find this year; did I mention I was excited?
- Author: Jennifer Baumbach
I just wanted to report to you about our Public Plant Exchange we had this past weekend. It was widely publicized, but if you missed attending, here is what you missed.
We have been doing the Public Plant Exchange for a few years now. At first, we just exchanged plants internally amongst the Master Gardeners (MGs). It became so popular with them, they wanted to share with the public.
The MGs love to propagate plants at home. Many are experts at growing plants and love to share. So, they bring in to the exchange any plant, seed, cutting or bulb (including rhizomes, tubers and the like). Knowing there are home gardeners out there who also like to do home propagation, we invite them to share their wares with the MGs. We bring everyone together on one date to share their knowledge and exchange plants. It is a free event we hold in the fall and sometimes the spring.
At our event we also have other items related to home gardening. The MGs bring in their books, gardening tools, pots, and magazines. This year we had a huge assortment!
We hope to plan another plant exchange for the spring, but if you're interested in attending one before then, I know of one happening in Oakland called the Lakeshore Avenue Free Neighborhood Plant Exchange. Here is the information: Saturday, October 15, 2011. 3811 Lakeshor Avenue (easy parking). From 12:00 noon until 4 p.m. For more information visit this site www.plantexchange.wordpress.com.