the Sonoma Aroma

Woowee! Dispatch from this Sonoma garden reports that this morning the Sonoma Aroma is alive and well. It actually made me cough, the smell was so strong when I loaded the kids into the car to go to school. A drive down the road did prove that today was manure spreading day on the fields.
(kent beauty oregano)
While we aren’t spreading liquid manure in this portion of land, we have been doing plenty of compost spreading (had another 5 yards delivered), gypsum sprinkling (helps break up clay soil), and planting. I had collected an entire picnic table full of new seedlings, nursery sale goodies, and transplants from the old garden. Now as I find a spare few minutes I’ve been slowing planting them out.
Many years ago I read a great book called The Well-Tended Perennial Garden, which I learned a lot from. I learned for instance that my favorite thing to do in gardening is to prune. Some people are in it for the watering, some for the digging, some for the careful nurturing, me, I’m in it for the pruning. The most important thing I took away from that book is that when you plant a new perennial (and fall is a good time to transplant or plant), you should cut the plant back by half so that the plant can concentrate on building a good root system rather than expend it’s energy keeping all that foliage alive.
I am completely replanting the front flower bed and once the plants are in, we’ll put in our new irrigation system, which I will share with you. But for now, here are a few pictures around the yard:
(amaranth between the asparagus and tomatoes)
(new life among the old artichokes)
(the chickens now can go in an out as the please)
(the melon bed nearing it’s end)


Filed under State of the Garden

8 responses to “the Sonoma Aroma

  1. Oh, I love the smell of cow poo. LOVE the pics. Thanks so much. Artichokes, oh how I miss the Salinas valley.

  2. Michelle

    Ah yes, the “dairy air” is quite ripe this time of year! But for better or worse, you will get used to it. The pics are lovely, especially that Amaranth -does it have a use beyond an ornamental?

  3. I love the deep red colour of the nicotiana! I always thought darker flowers were so much more interesting and special than the bright, pompous “hey look at me I’m PINK” ones. 🙂

  4. Wow, the melons look great!

  5. KimH

    Love the pictures & the update!!

  6. Pamela

    Thank you for your lovely website!

    We are interested in buying a house in Petaluma, but have been almost overwhelmed by what you affectionately call “Sonoma aroma” on a couple of occasions. I see from your post that this happens in Sonoma, too. How frequent is this occurrence?


    • asonomagarden

      Pamela, it doesn’t happen frequently enough to deter you from moving here. Only a few times a year when they are fertilizing the fields. Petaluma is a great place to live, don’t let the occasional ‘aroma’ keep you from buying a house there!

      • Pamela

        Thank you so much for your quick and informative response! It’s a relief to know it doesn’t smell that way ALL the time! : ) And thank you again for your amazing blog. I learn so much from you. Looking forward to a lovely coffee table book from you one day soon!


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