Friday, February 17, 2012

Cornerstone Gardens, Sonoma

My family and I go out to Cornerstone every now and then and I was surprised to realize I had not ever done a post on the place before. Cornerstone consists of a large space divided into individual gardens designed by many amazing garden designers. There are also great stores, a restaraunt and event spaces at Cornerstone.

We always enjoy going for a bite to eat, a stroll through the gardens and taking a look through the wonderful retail spaces.

I've taken photos on several occasions over the years, some gardens have come and gone - which is great, there is always something new to see there. I'll try to provide as much information about the garden designers as I can but I'm afraid some I didn't get the name on.

One of my favorite gardens is Garden Play by Topher Delaney. Definitely an apt name.

blue courtyard

Garden Play by Topher Delaney

brich and blue backdrop

moveable rope ballsbalancing balls

Nearby is Rise by Planet Horticulture with takes the award for best use of corrugated drainpipe ever.

Rise by Planet Horticulturecorrugated tunnel
Rise by Planet HorticultureRise by Planet Horticulture

We always enjoy The Children's Garden by MIG.

kids garden pavilionkids garden hut

parker on bench

Children's Garden by MIG


I love the plantings in Transcendence by Delmar McComb and Peter Hanson.

Transcendence by Delmar McComb and Peter Hanson

great plantings in this garden

phlomis aurea with euphorbia blackbird

stone, gravel, grey plants

Scattered around are lots of sculptures, most of which I wish I could take home.

steel loopsBelow Above by Stephen GlassmanBelow Above by Stephen GlassmanBlue Tree by Claude Cormier

these are great.

steel ball


In the retail section sculptures/purchasable items abound as well.

cornerstone stores

Renewal by Gary Ratway and Mike Lucas

more stores

mosaic rocketartefact container

artefact back 40

love this

hey baby

Well, I'm running out of room so I think I'll post the rest of the gardens next time. More to come...

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy Valentine's Day!

happy valentines day

OK, I don't really go for this type of gardening. But I pass this garden everyday and I have to admit I get a weird enjoyment out of it. The owner goes out occasionally and rearranges the stones into different patterns. This is the latest incarnation. But hey, it's his garden and he's having fun so I can't fault him for that.

Hope you have a Happy Valentine's Day and get to enjoy your garden in one way or another!

Monday, February 13, 2012

Free-Range Chickens and a Timber Press Give-away

Timber Press kindly sent me a copy of Jessie Blooms' Free-Range Chicken Gardens to check out. I was pleased to read it, even though I don't have chickens of my own. I do however have clients that are interested in incorporating chickens into their home gardens. I prefer not see the chickens confined to a small pen, but when they've have been allowed to wander the gardens we've often had a hard time balancing beautiful plantings with the curiosities (and appetites) of the chickens.

chicken cover

So Jessie's book was naturally of interest to me and I've been blown away by the amount of information in it. I can honestly refer to it as the Chicken Bible for Gardeners. With everything from coop design, dietary needs, to chicken personality explained, this book seems to leave nothing out.

chickens and kids

The photos are inspirational too, with examples of chickens and gardens growing beautifully together.

chicken food

And get on over to Timber Press before February 17th and sign up for the great give-away package they have going. Included is a copy of Free-Range Chicken Gardens, a $50 gift certificate for feed or supplies at McMurray Hatchery, a coop plan from The Garden Coop, and 1lb. of chicken forage and seed from Peaceful Valley Farm.

Here are some ladies I met at a friend's house, happily foraging in the nasturtiums:

chickens in the nasturtiums

These next chickens lived in part of a client's garden and as we started construction on a new section of the garden, they were very pleased with the giant "bathtub" we had created for their personal dirt baths.

chicken bath

If you can appreciate those amusing chicken antics and are thinking they would make a good addition to your home garden, I would highly recommend Free-Range Chicken Gardens by Jessie Bloom.