After thirteen years of gardening in a 25’ x 25’ back yard in San Francisco, I had finally outgrown the small space and grown tired of the foggy climate. It also didn’t help that I spotted our next door neighbor up the hill from us spraying RoundUp next to our fence where I grew blueberries. I can only imagine what the rains washed down into our yard every winter.

veggie plot in 2009

 My husband and I began to dream about a little weekend escape outside of the city. A place where it was sunny almost all the time and the temperature was well above 62 degrees on most days. A place where you could hear the crickets and frogs at night instead of sirens and car horns. And better yet, a place where our daughter could throw a ball and not have it end up three yards over, never to be seen again.

Sonoma winery
A Sonoma vineyard.

We spent three years researching various towns in Sonoma and Napa County to decide which one of these beautiful towns would call out to us as home. Sonoma won us over. The people were friendly, the community strong, and there was a common passion about growing more than just grapes while protecting the natural landscape. Amazingly, in 2011, a dream property with 1/3 of an acre came on the market that already had raised beds and twenty fruit trees. It needed some TLC but the basic bones where there, which made the project seem less daunting.

The garden when we first moved in.
The garden when we first moved in.

We do have a slight advantage with this garden. Okay, perhaps huge is a better word. You see, this backyard was created a few years ago by two passionate gardeners. The bonus? They blogged, blogged and blogged all about it here. The bizarre thing is I read their blog a couple of years ago when I was dreaming big dreams about gardening in a warmer climate. They have moved onto a larger property and continue to write a wonderful blog about their new garden. On top of having a great reference of what grows in my new backyard I also inherited a fantastic property, full of fruit trees and the most beautiful compost piles one could hope for. I thank them and hope to make this garden thrive as well as they did.

Countless spring greens.
Countless spring greens.

And now I’ve put our own stamp on the garden. And all of it accomplished only on the  weekends. Gardening is not as hard as it looks.

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