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Welcome to the Sonoma County Gazette ARCHIVE of PAST EDITIONS. Our NEW WEBSITE is up and running, so GazExtra is serving as your path to archived articles. Thanks for being part of our Sonoma County community...stay in touch...e-mail me - VESTA

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Gail's Garden: Gail Fanning on Winter & Spring Gardening

Happy New Year! Looking back over the past year and my resolutions made last January, I’m happy to report that I’ve done pretty well in fulfilling my plans. I have supported my favorite garden charities, the Royal Oak and Garden Conservancy. I have improved my irrigation to be more efficient and have eliminated a portion of my lawn to reduce water use. I have been composting my kitchen scraps regularly. I have learned a lot of things about plants and gardening from many sources: my current source of inspiration is the new book by “Grassman” John Greenlee: The American Meadow Garden. This beautifully illustrated book (photos by Saxon Holt) is full of great ideas and options for those of us working toward eliminating traditional lawns.

I have also had the pleasure this year of designing several yards with “mini-lawns”. These postage stamp size lawns (250 to 400 sq. ft.) are perfect for those of us from the Midwest and the East who really want to have a lawn (I think this is a genetic trait from which we cannot escape!). We feel that a garden needs that jewel of green at its center to be complete. With a “mini-lawn” we can have our soft green spot for barefoot walking and rolling with children without bankrupting the water budget. And on my latest project, sub-surface drip irrigation was used to reduce water use even further. Since the lawn is so small, mowing with a push mower is easy: no release of pollution from gas burning engines, just a little good old fashioned sweat!

Mark your calendar for these fun and informative classes coming up in 2010 on Saturdays at 10:30am at Bassignani’s Nursery- they are all free! 1841 Gravenstein Highway South, Sebastopol Info: 823-3984

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