Posts tagged Bonnie Jo Manion
"Flora, Floats, and Fun" Article
Local 92024 Magazine, January/February 2016

Local 92024 Magazine, January/February 2016

Many thanks to my local 92024 Magazine, January/February 2016, for their "Flora, Floats, and Fun" article on page 42. Their recognition highlights how I was chosen to ride Scotts Miracle-Gro float in the 2016 Tournament of Roses Parade, with it's special California Grown certification.

I've been a resident of Encinitas for over thirty years, and know how much flower growing has been a rich part of Encinitas history. The sandy soil and temperate climate were ideal for flower and bulb growing. 

I was thinking of my Encinitas community on Rose Parade Day, honored to be representing my community, California home gardening, and symbolically bringing a little bit of Encinitas from my own garden, in the form of olive tree branches, rosemary, and lavender foliage to be on the float along side me.

Passionate for Provence

DSC_0076Not quite over jet lag and time difference, with my head still drifting back to special moments, my husband and I have just returned from an incredible spring visit to Provence and Paris. Towards the end of our trip on a rainy Sunday in Paris (rain makes Paris even more romantic) I noticed this "larger than life" quote in a Marais pastry shop window.

"La terre est un gateau plein de douceur." --Charles Baudelaire

Translated it means "The earth is a cake full of sweetness." Charles Baudelaire was considered one of the most influential French poets in history, and one of the greatest poets of the 19th Century. He was also a critic, essayist, and a translator.

When I saw the quote I immediately thought of my beloved Provence. That's it, Provence is so full of sweetness, the landscape smiles back at you. Not only is the landscape so utterly breathtaking, everyday life is colorful, food and wine are exceptional, and the unexpected becomes the norm. It is simply the magic of Provence and all of it's sweetness.


I have so much more to share with you regarding Provence, please stay tuned.

Gardening with Free-Range Chickens for Dummies

51DJ+VHcuBL._SY300_ Hot off the press! My new book, Gardening with Free-Range Chickens For Dummies (For Dummies (Home & Garden)) with coauthor, Rob Ludlow of, is now available on amazon and in bookstores. You can order the book now from my right side bar below. Please tell all of your chicken-loving friends! Gardening with chickens is a great way to create sustainability in your garden, enhance your soil, eliminate pests and weeds, produce a delicious home-grown protein source, and all the while--be amused by these little "garden warriors." We give you basic animal husbandry elements needed to provide a healthy environment for chickens, what you and your family should expect if you are new to chickens, and how your garden will be enhanced with the addition of chickens. We focus on garden basics, and how to create a beneficial garden where chickens will be happy, healthy, and thrive. We help you understand garden structure, layering, and how to create an ornamental garden as well as an edible garden for you and your chickens.

We provide all different plant lists and purposes which are helpful for chickens free-ranging in your garden. We help you understand what is good to feed your chickens, and what is potentially harmful. We also help you with deterring predators with common sense management, innovative products, and specialty fencing.

We're excited to share our new book with all of you, whether you are new to chickens, new to gardening, or already experienced in both. Stay tuned as we launch the book!

Succulents, Front and Center

Country Gardens Magazine, Photo by Ed Gohlich Country Gardens magazine Spring 2011, features VintageGardenGal's fun combination of vintage containers and succulent design in their article, "Show Off Succulents." Country Gardens Magazine, Spring 2011.

Many thanks to Country Gardens magazine, and James A. Baggett, Editor, for their interest in my vintage container and succulent designs. This article was produced by Andrea Caughey, and photographed by Ed Gohlich.

My Bullet Tips on Designing with Vintage Containers: -One of a kind, unique -Surprise element, usually through repurposing -Look for them at flea markets, garage sales, antique shops, online -Buckets, pails, chicken feeders, nests, vintage sewing drawers, oil cans, strainers -Vintage containers dictate your design by color, shape, character, and style -Allow for ample drainage, either with gravel or shells -Add gravel, then your potting soil; next place your bulbs, plants -Wood containers need to be lined with a heavy plastic first -Bulbs and succulents require little water, moist not wet, can use spray bottle

My Bullet Tips on Designing with Vintage Containers & Succulents -Design and plant tight areas using chop stick or knitting needle -Succulent designs lend themselves to small space requirements -Dense planting of succulents is best, less growth, and maintenance -Design ideas tips: 1) single color or tone but different form, 2) group with same shape, or 3) repeat same color tones

Please share if you have ever designed with vintage containers. Please comment on your favorite succulents.

January Garden Notes

Tomato Beauties, Courtesy of TomatoFest It's January now, but fast forward to the month of August. Wouldn't you love to harvest a basket of tomato beauties for yourself this summer. That means you should be selecting your favorite tomato seeds now, and preparing to start your seedlings for this spring.

Your gardening friends, Gary Ibsen and Dagma Lacey, tomato heirloom seed experts at TomatoFest, have extended their Annual Heirloom Tomato Sale going on now through January 18, 2010, TomatoFest Seeds On Sale. You too, can have Julia Child and Clint Eastwood's Rowdy Red heirloom tomatoes gracing your garden this year. Check it out.

Weidner's Gardens, Encinitas, California

Weidner's Gardens is hosting a "Fruit Tree Pruning Workshop" this Saturday, January 16, 2010.

11:00am - 1:00pm Master Gardener, John Marsh, will discuss and demonstrate "Fruit Tree Pruning". 1:00pm - 2:00pm VintageGardenGal, Bonnie Jo Manion, will speak on "Fruit Tree Espalier Basics."

Weidner's Gardens has a nice selection of bare root fruit trees, citrus trees, blueberry bushes, and much more currently in stock. Check out their website for their business hours. Weidner's Gardens, 695 Normandy Road, Encinitas, CA, 92024, (tel) (760) 436-2194.