Bee-Friendly Nurseries, Seed Suppliers & Growers List, Via North Coast Gardening

Had to share this great blog post by Genevieve @ North Coast Gardening: Buying Bee-Friendly Plants: Neonicotinoid-Free Nurseries, Growers, and Seed Sources. She compiled a list of growers, seed suppliers and nurseries that do not use bee-killing neonicotinoid pesticides. She also includes a few companies still using “neonics”, but gives them an opportunity to explain why and under what circumstances.

As someone who’s opening a small garden center that will focus on environmentally-friendly gardening products and practices, it’s great to see this kind of post and I appreciate the time Genevieve spent compiling this useful list! It’ll come in very handy with customers as well.

GardenWeb Teams Up with Houzz

gw_logoJust got an e-mail from GardenWeb… “The Internet’s Largest Home and Garden Community”… announcing its partnership with Houzz. I’m glad I received this e-mail because for the last several years, I thought GardenWeb was defunct! Not only is it not defunct, the forums are all still there, including one of my faves, California Gardening.

I’m also partial to their Plant Exchange, where years ago I scored my first tree dahlia (Dahlia imperialis) cuttings from a nice man in the Napa area. He got a nice chunk of my Tropicanna Canna. I’d say we both scored…

GardenWeb is also alive and well on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest. It’ll be interesting to see where they fit in on Houzz.

Patience, Grasshopper

SearchIMG_3054ing for a location for the new nursery is proving to be an exercise in patience. In other words, I’m champin’ at the bit big time. There’s a lot I can do while waiting for a location. I’m reading up on retailing, Pinning nursery ideas to Pinterest, communicating with my agent, staying up on the nursery biz, and just had a very inspiring meeting with a marketing/branding company.

But I won’t be able to do my thang until a space has been procured. We submitted a Letter of Intent on a particular property, but the broker is slow to respond for some reason. I’m going to start scouting alternate locations right after Christmas. In the meantime… I read… I Pin… I research… I pester my agent… and I Google Meyer lemon recipes. There’s plenty to keep me busy, but what I really want for Christmas is a nursery location.

Festive East Bay Art, Garden & Nursery Day

Cheryl and I took a trip to the East Bay today. Her friends Heidi and George of Garden Delights Arts & Crafts were having a Holiday Gift & Art sale at their home in El Cerrito.

After, we headed to Flowerland Nursery in Albany, followed by lunch at Cactus Taqueria.

Late Lunch at Cactus Taqueria

Late Lunch at Cactus Taqueria

This was Cheryl’s maiden Flowerland voyage! Having recently discovered this fabulous nursery myself, I was happy for a chance to go back… especially at Christmas time.

The nursery was beautifully decked out for Christmas. In addition to the usual offerings, they had a friendly popcorn vendor serving herb-seasoned and cinnamon popcorn, piped Christmas music, fresh-cut Christmas trees, poinsettias, teeny little evergreens, amaryllis bulbs, paperwhites, Christmas greeting cards, and cool ornaments galore. The energy was bustling and festive.

I scoped out a few Christmas trees, which, by the way, are individually named. Cute and clever touch. I’m so looking forward to a return trip to Flowerland next week.

On our way back to the car, we stopped for the inevitable flower and garden pics. The fun thing about going out with a gardener friend is that he or she typically has the patience of a saint when it comes to picture-taking.

Digging Bliss Nursery- The Location Search Begins!

Windmill Nursery, 2007

Windmill Nursery, October 2007 (Photo by Cheryl Hawes)

If you participated in my nursery-naming survey, thank you! After the votes were in, we decided to go with Digging Bliss Nursery. We’re still playing around with slogans and branding ideas and all that fun stuff.

Since I already have a WordPress site running on the domain, you will land on the nursery page first, and the blog will be available in the main menu. I’ve been garden blogging since 2004, and I have no intention of stopping now. The only difference is that there will be a lot more nursery-centered excitement to share.

And when I say nursery, I’m referring specifically to a small retail “boutique” nursery in East Sacramento or midtown. I’m negotiating a possible lease in midtown right now. Cross your fingers and toes for me! Thanks.

This venture is a team effort and I’m grateful to have such creative, exuberant people on board. I’ve always loved the feeling that comes over me at my favorite nurseries– that magical combo of relaxation, inspiration, excitement and fun. I’d love to share a few juicy details about the new nursery, but gotta keep my lips zipped for now. Stay tuned.