Sonoma Garden Park Spring Update

1.  “What’s New in the Garden?

“Compost row is back!

Thanks to Gary Edwards and his lovely tractor we can stroll down compost row (next to tool shed), without getting lost in the weeds!

Coming soon will be signage that points you in the right direction when you wish to add to the compost. Greens Here is where all your fresh, living, green weeds and kitchen scraps should go. Browns Here is just the opposite: dead, dying, brown garden debris. Thanks for helping us organize the garden and don’t forgot to check it out for yourself.

EXTENDED  VOLUNTEER HOURS: Wednesdays and  Fridays 4 p.m. – 6 p.m. /  Saturdays 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. Bring a water bottle and wear sturdy shoes.  No experience necessary!

Fourth Graders visit the Sonoma Garden Park!

As part of “Growing Discovery”,  SEC staff and volunteers from Sonoma County Master Gardeners will be teaching hands- on gardening and ecology lessons to several Sonoma Valley Fourth Grade classes as they visit Sonoma Garden Park during the month of April.  Students will be making compost, digging garden beds, planting and transplanting vegetables and learning about birds, butterflies and bees!  This program is made possible through the generous support of the following foundations: Kimball Foundation, Bothin Foundation, Community Foundation Sonoma County, Van Loben Sels/Rembe Rock, and Dean Witter Foundation.

Butterfly and Mediterranean Gardens Renewal Planned:

Through a grant from the Stanley Smith Horticultural Trust, the Sonoma Ecology Center staff and volunteers are renewing these “Demonstration Gardens” at Sonoma Garden Park.  We have recruited the help of several local landscape designers, including Patricia Cullinan who is volunteering to design the SGP’s Mediterranean and Drought Tolerant Gardens, slated to be installed by late fall 2008.

Ms. Cullinan is on the Board of the Sonoma League for Historic Preservation and designed a garden for a 1910 Queen Anne cottage that the SLHP is restoring for a Heritage Center.  She is a member of the Association of Professional Landscape Designers (APLD) and a co-Branch head of  the Mediterranean Garden Society and at the 2007 Annual General Meeting, in Athens, Greece, made a presentation on ‘Historical water use in Northern California as it pertains to Dry Farming and Residential Landscaping’.  We are thrilled to be working with her as she brings much experience and expertise to the project!  Here is what she has to say about the project:

“As the world is ever more conscience of water, and because of the climate I live in, the use of Mediterranean type plants and Mediterranean style gardening will be ever more important in the future. I see the Community Garden on 7th Street in Sonoma as the tool to inform gardeners about Mediterranean style gardening and the use of many California native plants.”

The renewal of the Butterfly Garden is underway, and slated to be installed by late summer 2008.  Mundo Murgia, on staff at the Sonoma Ecology Center is working on the design.  Stay tuned for updates!


Sam Honey, the farmer neighbor to the garden, is working on an exciting project!  He has acquired a solar powered portable electric fence and is soon to walk over his sheep, which are a rare and interesting breed called St. Croix, to the garden to work on eating down some of our tall weeds.  This will be a great help!  Stay tuned for photos!

Greenhouse and Nursery Filling Up!

We are growing lots of baby veggies and flowers in our nursery.  Stop by and take a look, during volunteer hours. AppleMark

Photo: Nursery at SGP, March ‘08

2. Sonoma Garden Park Wish List:

Do you have any of the following items to donate? If so, contact Tiona at 996-0712 X 120 or reply to this email.

Arched metal or wood trellises, liquid kelp, liquid fish emulsion, powdered kelp, powdered rock dust, oyster shell or dolomite,  5 gallon buckets with handles, sturdy wheel barrows, wire for trellising raspberries and grapes, rice straw bales, sturdy folding tables and or picnic tables, portable shade structures and umbrellas, sturdy garden forks, shovels, spades, and pruners, half wine barrels in good condition, garden hoses in good condition, spray nozzles or wands, sturdy bird baths, bird feeders, greenhouse kit (estimated size:  8′ X 17″).  All donations are tax deductible.

3. Workshops and Events at the SGP:


Saturday, April 19th 10 a.m. – Noon Local beekeepers, Bill Wiebalk and Will Ackley, will present a beekeeping seminar and honey tasting at the Sonoma Garden Park, 19990 Seventh St. East, just north of Denmark St., in Sonoma.  This seminar is presented by the Sonoma Ecology Center and will focus on the benefits of keeping bees in a garden without the use of pesticides and how to harvest surplus honey.  Wiebalk and Ackley will give an overview of how a bee colony operates, the importance of bee pollination to agriculture, the equipment needed to keep bees, and the duties of the beekeeper.  They will discuss the environmental impact of the death of bee colonies throughout the U.S., called Colony Collapse Disorder.  A honey tasting to appreciate the taste and quality of honey produced without pesticides will conclude the seminar.

After the honey tasting, the beekeepers will perform a brief inspection of the Sonoma Garden Park hives.  If you would like to observe the hive inspection, please bring long pants, socks, shoes, and a light-colored long sleeve shirt.  We will provide you with a veil and gloves.

The fee for the seminar is $20 (sliding scale) and space is limited.  Reservations are required.  To make reservation contact Tiona Gundy at (707) 996-0712, ext. 120 or

HARVEST MARKET OPENS! Saturday, May 3rd, 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. Soon we will have produce and plants for sale, right here at the garden!  If you wish to buy tomato starts early, please contact Tiona at 996-9744 or email:

4.  Community Gardeners’ News:

This year we are starting out with several new community gardeners.  Over 20 plots are being leased!  The Sonoma Valley Mothers’ Club is taking on a larger plot which they plan to fence and develop as a FUN and MAGICAL place for small children to get their hands in the “dirt”!  To help with small fence building and garden set up, please contact: Sarah Cerles at 996-1348


photo: Kevin McGuire, one of the new community gardeners at SGP, gets his plot ready for spring planting.

5. Community Events and Plant Sales:

Earth Day Fair at Whole Foods in Sonoma

Saturday, April 19th, 12:00–4:00 p.m    Free

An Earth Day Fair in celebration of Mother Earth. Sample delicious items from local and Green vendors. Enter raffles to win prizes. Visit educational tables from local organizations including Sonoma Ecology Center, Sonoma Birding, and Sonoma County Bicycling Coalition to learn about composting, alternative transportation and more! Kids join Andrew Hippert, Whole Foods Market Team Member, to make art from recyclables and compostables.

Volunteers Needed for GREEN TEAM at Sonoma Valley Film Festival (April 9 – April 13)

The Green Team will be promoting green practices at each venue  throughout the festival.   If you know anyone who would like to participate, please have them call Pam Personette at (707) 935-9500.

Harvest For The Hungry Garden Huge Plant Sale!

Saturday, April 26th, 9 a.m. – 3 p.m.  at 1717 Yulupa Ave. @ Hoen, Santa Rosa, (1 block from Whole  Foods)

Organically grown heirloom vegetables, flowers, native and habitat plants, medicinal and culinary  herbs, and more!

A benefit for Harvest for the Hungry Garden.  For more info:  566-7937

Occidental Arts & Ecology Center Plant Sale!

Saturday and  Sunday, April 12 & 13, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. 15290  Coleman Valley Rd, Occidental, CA.

For more information: / (707)874-1557

See you in the Garden!

Tiona Gundy
Sonoma Garden Park Coordinator
Sonoma Ecology Center
996-0712 X 120