Gleason Barn

Tag Archives: flowers

Fall-time Planting for Your Spring-time Visit

on November 9, 2012

It’s the time of the year when we go underground. The bulbs are here and in force. Our November planting will sustain three-plus months of flowering this spring along Highway 29 in front of the Nickel & Nickel property.  This year we have two all-season mixes: one consisting of blues, lavenders and purples, and the other a blend of many different reds and yellows. The idea is to have a longer bloom cycle rather than have everything go all at once. But there are a few surprises in the mix; I can’t give up all my secrets! You’ll just have to come pay us a visit this spring.

A preview of what we will be enjoying this spring.

The show will begin in early March and carries into the end of May. Throughout the spring flowering, we’ll enjoy a procession of non-stop narcissus and daffodils, creating a sea of gold among the towering tulips. The contrast between the beautiful Nickel & Nickel backdrop and the extensive planted bed in front is truly show-stopping. This is what I call curb appeal to the maximum.

There is one more part to this magical display. I have handcrafted a custom, wildflower blend to top-dress in late November, saturating the soils beneath the tulips and daffodils, creating a carpet of green. Once the bulbs have had their months in the spotlight, the wildflowers will take full command and color, reaching ever higher. The show must go on…


What Are Those Flowers?

on August 27, 2012

Have you driven by Nickel & Nickel lately? The front of the property is awash in Zinnia Elegans Pumilia/Pompon mix and Domino Cosmo mix. Now that’s curb appeal!

This is a little extra show for the travelers driving along our Nickel & Nickel winery property. Fall will be here soon enough, which mean bulbs galore, so for now, give us a call to reserve your tour and tasting and enjoy the show of beautiful pastels running as far as the eye can see. This mix of cosmos and zinnia will re-seed itself far into the future and this season will be with us until we bring in the tulip and daffodil bulbs mid-October. Stay tuned. The garden never sleeps.


Nickel & Nickel Flower Show

on March 21, 2012

I am writing this on the spring equinox, the gateway to a season with rewards of color and fragrance. Mother Nature and Father Time have performed their magic again! With our much needed recent rains and the former months of drier than normal weather, we are set for a spectacular showing of scale and form throughout the winery grounds. The bulbs along Highway 29 are out in force. The Red Emperor (tulip) steals the show, with countless multiplying daffodils flanking the side of the nearly 1200 foot-long bed. Just gearing up, our custom blend of wildflowers covers every square inch of soil along the highway in front of Nickel & Nickel. They are charged with carrying on the show for months to come, in shades of red, yellow and blue. Keep an eye out for the stately Yellow Lupine as it towers over its domain.



on March 1, 2012

What little winter we had here in Napa Valley is quickly slipping away from us, and spring is nipping at our heels. Tulips and daffodils peak through the earth after their long slumber displaying springs vibrant colors all around Nickel & Nickel.

This year we have decided to dedicate the entire garden at Nickel & Nickel to fresh herbs of every kind. Wonderful sweet herbs like tarragon, cilantro, chervil, parsley and chives, which pair so well with Chardonnay and are a great additions to any dish. Hearty, robust herbs like thyme, rosemary and oregano will make the garden an aromatic experience and are wonderful for marinating meats and fish. With our estate beehives awake and the bees hungry, our garden will soon be propagated and we will have delicious honey. Everyone wins!

Time to break out the barbecue that has been hibernating, open some Syrah or Zinfandel and grill up some nicely marinated meats and vegetables. We will be spending many hours with our hands in the dirt over the next few weeks getting everything planted, but the bounty we receive is so rewarding, it hardly seems like work.


Almost Valentine’s Day: Time to Think About Flowers

on February 8, 2012

It’s winter and the vines don’t know if it is raining or not. So, why do winemakers tend to obsess about weather at times like this? We like to plan ahead, there is only so much NPR we can discuss (to sound intellectual), and weather is a much safer topic than politics.

It has been mostly dry and warm this winter. (Remember, the vines are asleep and don’t know that skiing and the snow pack are more of a concept than a reality.) Winemakers are asking; What does it mean? What is going to happen? What kind of a year is it going to be? Those are easy questions. I don’t know the answers and neither does anyone else!

Daffodils in bloom by the Gleason Barn

However, it is the first week of February, and the daffodils have been blooming for some time, the mustard is attracting tourist photo stops (Rock Cairn, across from Brix should be charging fees it is so picturesque), and some fruit trees have started blooming. Those three things, not directly related to the vines, are the indicators I use when expecting an earlier or later spring. Sure, we may get some cold storms to change the timing, but for now, we think that the plant world of Napa Valley is waking up slightly ahead of normal.

An explosion of mustard in Rock Cairn Vineyard along Highway 29

Which brings me to Valentine’s Day. If you are a guy, pay attention: If you have already taken care of getting some Dolce for the occasion, get her flowers. Don’t forget. REALLY, DON’T FORGET. Maybe you remember the flower ad during the super bowl . . . Then again, maybe your brain stopped functioning and you didn’t notice what they were marketing. (I think some other ad had something to do with FIAT. . . )

But back to wine growing. I wouldn’t book your tickets for a harvest visit yet, but I am hoping that we will be picking in early September instead of waiting until October.