Tag Archives: gardens

New Leadership for Filoli – Welcome Kara Newport

“On behalf of the Filoli Center Governing Board, I am delighted to announce the hire of Kara Newport as our new Executive Director,” said Donna Colson, Filoli’s Governing Board President. “Kara is a visionary leader with over two decades of experience in the non–profit sector including most recently serving ten years as the Executive Director of the Daniel Stowe Botanical Gardens in Charlotte, North Carolina. In addition to her horticulture experience, Kara brings to us a significant development and member services background having worked at The Franklin Institute, The Philadelphia Zoo, and Winterthur Museum, Garden and Library.”

I am so excited to welcome Kara, who is a lover of gardens.  I know she will enjoy this incredibly beautiful and magical garden, historic house and learning experience… that we call Filoli!  — the editor

filoli 3 “Kara presently serves, and will continue to serve, as Treasurer for the American Public Garden Association. She has chaired many of their important committees including Finance, Benchmarking, and National Conference Program Selection. She is a regular presenter and contributor to the organization focusing on key industry topics such as garden tourism, horticulture trends, event planning, and design,” said Colson.

“I am thrilled to have been selected as the new Executive Director of Filoli; it is truly a national treasure. I am very excited about the opportunity to work with the talented team of staff, volunteers and Board members.” —Kara Newport

FilFiloli Rosesoli Mission Statement

Filoli is dedicated to the preservation, interpretation and stewardship of the cultural traditions and natural history of this country estate for public education and enjoyment.

Rooftop Gardens – Such a Fresh Way to Eat


Rooftop gardens are all over the SF Bay Area! We aren’t the only area…. you can find them all over, even in New York City. These min-farms provide a great access to fresh eggs and produce. They are fun too, and what better way to learn how things grow!

green corporate

  • Check out Brooklyn’s Eagle Street Rooftop Farm
  • Designs are becoming more innovative to protect the animals (chickens and rabbits) and provide a maximum growing area. Some gardens are almost entirely VERTICAL, imagine waterfalls of tomatoes…. cascading from a large pot higher above.
  • Some gardens are in tall buildings (very popular in denser areas or unstable climates) and this method provides a controlled climate and nutrients.
  • Nursery Seedlings and special varieties can help in the growing and yield process.

Check your community – there are often clubs and Facebook sites to help you get started and share advice!

YELP! has even helped out with a collection of gardens in the posts: The BEST ROOFTOP GARDENS IN SF  Small IS Beautiful!

There are also many events that are FARM TO TABLE if you’d like to get away to a B&B and see the large farms in action!


  The beautiful view from Libertyview Farm, a Hudson Valley Farm Wedding venue

GardenAware.com Sets Its Sites on New Generation of Gardeners

The new online gardening resource, Garden Aware is aiming to get more young readers gardening. It has set out to break the stereotype that green fingers are a hobby for the older generation with a colourful and engaging website offering interesting and attention-grabbing articles.

With a recent global gardening survey revealing that 47% of the UK population would like to introduce their children and/or grandchildren to the world of horticulture, it has never been a better time for families to grab their gloves and seed the passion for gardening.

Research suggest that the younger generation is becoming more interested in gardening with a recent survey showing it is more popular than the cinema with some 25-35 year-olds.  This year, the Royal Horticulture Society also found that 89% of 16-25-year-olds have a garden or grow plants.

Shad Zac, Owner of Garden Aware said, “The number of young gardeners is on the rise, however, many still believe that gardening is reserved for the elderly, the retired or those with too much time on their hands. Here at Garden Aware we aim to show budding horticulturalists that tackling a garden is not only relaxing, but rewarding.”

It is never too early to experience the array of benefits that gardening offers both physical and psychological. These include a lowering of blood pressure, to lower chances of strokes and heart disease and a better diet free of too much processed food and full of fresh fruit and vegetables.

Zac added, “Our website offers a vast range of articles, techniques and tips for anyone who wishes to get their fingers green. There is something for everyone, and with years of experience, Garden Aware is designed to be accessible for young gardeners to pick up the tools they require.”

To find out more about Garden Aware visit the website: http://www.gardenaware.com

About Garden Aware

A source of education and information for all gardeners regardless of experience, Garden Aware is the best online resource for gardening enthusiasts, providing them with top-quality gardening information, inspiring ideas and utilitarian tips on how to keep home yards updates round the year.

A family run website, Garden Aware exudes passion and gives gardeners useful tips on how to tackle any space. Experts in grow-your-own, the online resource can help growing gardeners live greener, fresher and sprightlier lives.

Food – Thinking out Loud

We have learned about Slow Food and Food Hacks are exploring alternatives in thinking / food / distribution / next steps. There are many new Schools that will help you learn, TV shows and a wealth of Farmer’s Markets.  Here are a few favorites about food:

Food Hacks

Food Business School and the War on Big Food article (watch the video), FoodTank thinking about food

Quote: “Major packaged-food companies lost $4 billion in market share alone last year, as shoppers swerved to fresh and organic alternatives.”

Small batches, made with pride, local favorites…. like this pickle-loving business.

Go Green, a small change makes a big difference

Grow yer Own, garden stores, How To Books, community gardens, New magazines to enjoy, collectives and gardening events just like these!

Superfoods — there are long lists now….. coconut oil and recipes, 101Cookbooks.com has so many more great recipes from amaranth to kale to sweet potatoes and more.

Look in the search bar of GREENEROO there are 1000 articles for you to enjoy.

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Vita Gardens – Save Water

Gardens across the country are threatened by drought, yet plants in Vita Gardens’ new African Keyhole thrive.


WATCH the youtube:   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=62aDiRQGD5o

Developed in Africa as a way to grow food in severe drought and extreme heat, the Keyhole Garden method works by creating one space for both growing and composting. Gardeners can immediately plant vegetables in their keyhole after they load the bed with both brown and green composting materials and layer of soil.

Vita’s modern day approach to this method provides the same benefits, yet in a raised bed. The African Keyhole Garden Bed uses 80 percent less water compared to a traditional garden bed and produces a greater yield in less time.

REAL School Gardens

Fresh air. Lifting rocks. Children getting in the dirt — with purpose!

Nearly 200 volunteers teamed up with the nonprofit REAL School Gardens to create a hands-on learning garden at John Quincy Adams Elementary School in one day. Volunteers prepared planting beds, installed fence posts and flagstone walkways, and topped a pergola.

Watch the garden come to life – real stories.

   Girl with Grub

The new garden helps teachers engage students and hands-on learning is so good for kids and their retention of new ideas. Make the classroom an outdoor classroom. REAL School Gardens creates learning gardens at low-income elementary schools and provides training to teachers so they can use the gardens for instruction and academic success.

Find a garden in your neighborhood!  Or contact your local school, they can use your energy and enthusiasm!


Beauty Wherever You Go shared by ITN

Summer travel and exploration, can be great fun, or hot, sticky and crowded. ITN- International Travel News does a great job in sharing travel adventures, real first-person stories, suggestions, hints, tips and more. The ITN also gives its own awards for travelers and the Shellback Plus Award for those travlers that crossed the equator. Participation of the readers is encouraged, and that makes reading it so much fun!!  To subscribe, call 800/486-4968.

Great Job ITN! I love reading the articles, it makes me feel like I am there! — the editor

Here is a suggestion from an article from that publication: “Discovering much to do at Singapore’s Changi Airport”. This airport was voted the “Worlds Best Airport” in 2014 World Airport Awards.
Terminal one:

  • Cactus Garden with succulents, over 40 species!
  • The Social Tree – where you can post pictures of your travels
  • Relax in the Jacuzzi on the roof ($14)

Terminal two:

  • Enchanted Garden with 4 huge glass sculptures
  • Orchid Garden with orchids growing in rocks, and lush palms
  • Sunflower Garden which is a lighted garden at night
  • You can also opt for bus tours of the city which are offered for free from Singapore Airlines! Register in Terminal 2 near transfer Lounge E, at least an hour in advance.

Terminal three:

  • Aviation Gallery – and history of aviation in Singapore
  • Butterfly Garden – with a waterfall and educational corner and a koi pond
  • A 4 story high Slide and a movie theatre



Come to New Volunteer Recruitment

Volunteering at Filoli provides the opportunity to experience up close one of the most beautiful estates in the Bay Area. You’ll also meet dedicated people while working in an environment where your contributions are valued.

There are many people that love Filoli and decide to volunteer at this AMAZING and INSPIRING place. You won’t be bored! There are so many jobs to choose from. The volunteers are wonderful and there are special benefits for helping out. Take a look, find out more!  I am one of the happy volunteers in paradise!  — the editor

Come to New Volunteer Recruitment
Saturday, May 17, 2014
 — 9:30 am check–in and refreshments; 10:00 am program begins.
Please join us for New Volunteer Recruitment at the Filoli Visitor and Education Center. Come and learn about all of the many ways to support this national treasure. There are several committees who need volunteers willing to commit to help on a regular basis. The opportunities are for both weekday and weekend shifts. Watch the video below to learn more about Filoli Volunteers and the ways that they serve.RSVP by email volunteer@filoli.org by Friday, May 9, 2014.  OR CALL  650-364-8300.

Our Video about Filoli & Volunteering

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April 22 is Earth Day! What Have You Done to Improve Your Soils?

Bio S.I. Technology’s all-natural microbial blends rebuild, restore and renew life in the soils 

Justin, TX- April 21, 2013- Spring has sprung, the grass is getting greener and Earth Day (Tuesday, April 22nd) is here! Earth Day is an annual event that is celebrated worldwide to promote environmental stewardship and natural resource management.  As we plan our activities and think about how we can do our part to reduce our impact and work for positive change, we need not look any further than the dirt beneath our feet.

Vital soils are becoming increasingly more difficult to find.  As fields turn to parking lots and farms into malls, soils are becoming increasingly more depleted. Development causes run-off and soil compaction so irrigation and rainwater are no longer retained by soils but quickly flow downhill or cause contaminated pooling.  Thus the implications of damaged soils reach far beyond the yard, farm or field where they originate.

Home gardeners, local growers and big agriculture can all take the same measures to begin improving vitality and restoring life in the soils.  Actions such as heavy mulching, planting cover crops and composting can all help recondition soils to better support life.  Microbes can also penetrate damaged and crusted soils to decompose organic waste and convert it to soft, nutritious humus that can be taken up by plants as carbon.

Bio S.I. Technology produces a full line of all-natural microbial formulas that penetrate damaged soils to rebuild populations of beneficial bacteria.  As the microbes repopulate the soils, tilth is improved and water and nutrients are better retained.  After using Bio S.I.’s microbial blends, growers will notice brighter colors, bigger harvests, better plant stand and reductions in overall volumes of fertilizer and water used throughout the growing cycle; a win for the grower, but a bigger victory for the environment!  As home gardeners, small growers and big farmers all begin to take action, Earth Day’s impact and the value of vital soils will surely be seen worldwide.

About Bio S.I. Technology

Bio S.I. Technology, LLC is a USDA BioPreferred™ member comprised of a team of experts with over 20 years’ experience producing microbial products.  Bio S.I produces a full range of microbial inoculants including Bio S.I. Turf Formula, Turf Select, Lawn & Garden Formula, Lawn & Garden Select, Agriculture Formula, Pond Formula, Septic Cleanser Formula, Remediation Formula and Jackpot I & II, new all-natural probiotic products formulated to bring beneficial soil borne microbes inside the digestive tract of valuable livestock investments.  For more information about Bio S.I. Technology, or to purchase their cutting-edge formulas, please visit www.biositechnology.com .


CNPS-SCV-NEWS: April / May Chapter Volunteer Opportunities

BTW – CNPS is the California Native Plants Society. It’s a great Bay Area group with loads of events, really nice people and a chance to learn more about the plants in our area.
Note from Toni:
Our chapter will be participating in a couple of Earth Day / Spring events later this month and next month, and we are looking for some volunteers to help staff our information tables. These events are great opportunities to get involved with our chapter, learn a little about native plants, and get involved with your local community. You do not need to have any previous experience, or knowledge of plants.  All you need is enthusiasm for native plants, and a desire to engage with the general public.   If you would like to help staff our table for any of these events, or if you have any questions, please respond to this e-mail.  tonig@flash.net
Toni Gregorio-Bunch
gogreen lightbulb
 Thursday, April 17th – Mission College Eco-Fair, Santa Clara – 10:30 – 1:30
 Tuesday, April 22nd – San Jose State Earth Day, San Jose –  10:30 – 3:00
 Saturday, May 10th – Skyline Open Space Preserve Family Wing Ding Fest, 10 – 3