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Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Recession Hits the SF Botanical Garden

The S.F. Recreation and Park Department is proposing the imposition of a $5 entrance fee to the San Francisco Botanical Garden in Golden Gate Park. Facing an $11.4 million shortfall for the coming year, this is just one of the fees under consideration by the parks department. You can read more about the proposal in this article in the SF Chronicle.

I hate to hear about things like this because these are the kind of proposals that become self-defeating in the end. You take a venue that everyone can enjoy and appreciate because it's free and impose an entrance fee. Only then, there are many people who will never set foot in it again. Then it becomes a sort of "rarefied" spot, the kind of place that people think isn't really meant for the masses. Which is, of course, exactly what an urban garden should be.

I know a $5 fee doesn't sound like much, and these are exceptionally hard times, but it still sounds like a bad idea to me. Couldn't the city impose other, more worthwhile fees instead? Like for gun registrations, for example? Here's a bumper sticker I'd like to see: "Use a gun, fund an orchid."

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Saturday, March 21, 2009

We Have a Winner!

Sorry, I should have posted this last night, but I got distracted. So here's the big winner of a free pair of Ethel Gloves-- Christine! Christine didn't leave her e-mail address, however, so I've notified her by way of her blog, Through the Garden Gate. Stop by and congratulate her on her win.

And for those of you who didn't win, don't forget that you can get 10% off your entire purchase of Ethel Gloves when you place your order from their website and use the discount code ALAMEDA. I think you'll really be pleased with these gloves!

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Thursday, March 19, 2009

Don't Forget to Enter the Ethel Glove Giveaway

Don't miss your chance to enter the drawing for a free pair of Ethel Gloves! You can enter by posting a comment here, including your e-mail address. A winner will be chosen at random tomorrow (Friday) at 5:00 p.m. PDT. (I'm extending it from the original drawing time of noon.) Don't wait!

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Friday, March 13, 2009

Ethel Gloves Revisited--And a Glove Giveaway!

Eight months ago I posted about trying out a new pair of garden gloves called Ethel Gloves. I gave the gloves a favorable review, but that was only after a week or so of intensive gardening in them.

I'm happy to report that the gloves are still going strong and they remain my favorite gloves to garden in. After eight months there are no tears or holes, no shrinkage in spite of several machine washings, and except for a few small sap stains, they clean up well.

It's good when a product lives up to one's initial impressions and it's also good to be able to try out a product for free. And one lucky reader will get the chance to do just that. The folks at Ethel Gloves will give away one pair of gloves (winner's choice of style and size) to a reader of An Alameda Garden. Just post a comment to this post. Your comment can be about anything garden- or garden blog-related. Be sure to include an e-mail address. The contest will remain open until next Friday, March 20--coincidentally, the first day of spring. At noon on Friday I'll randomly choose one winner from all the commenters and, once the winner has provided a mailing address, the folks at Ethel Gloves will ship out the new gloves.

And, just in case you can't wait for the end of the contest or aren't feeling particularly lucky, you can order gloves directly from the Ethel Gloves website and get a 10% discount as a reader of An Alameda Garden. Just enter the discount code ALAMEDA and you'll get 10% off your entire order. I think they'd make a perfect gift for Easter or Mother's Day! This discount offer is good until Friday, April 3.

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Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Going Green and Off the Grid

Check out this video report from the NY Times on a woman who left the rat race behind to farm in upstate New York. Yes, it's a more extreme (and more rural) life than I would want to live, but I still find it fascinating and inspiring. At a time when most of us seem to be revising our lifestyles, examining the choices that others have made can really open up the range of possibilities.

The New York Times - Breaking News, World News & Multimedia
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Sunday, March 01, 2009

Yes, We Need the Water, But...

There hasn't been a whole lot happening here in terms of gardening because we seem to be having one rainstorm after another and when we had a brief break from the storms a couple weeks ago, I had a cold and was too miserable to do anything. My one big accomplishment was that I bought 50 bare-root strawberry plants (Ranier) on sale at Berkeley Hort and actually managed to get them in the ground before they died. That happened yesterday, in a rush, during another short respite from the rain. The ground was still really too wet, but the plants couldn't wait any longer. So I weeded out the bed (probably losing way too much damp soil with the weeds) and stuck the plants in. Finally, I can feel like I got something actually done in the garden! Except that it's not really done because I still need to mulch the bed.

The forecast is for rain and more rain throughout the next ten days at least. And still they say we are in a drought and can look forward to more water rationing this year. You'd never know there's a drought by looking at my garden. The weeds are positively thriving!

Oh, and check back here soon--I expect to have another giveaway happening in a week or so. Details to come.

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