I’ll admit I’m a gardening junkie. My favorite part of any outdoor spring wedding is having the chance to explore a new wedding location with amazing gardens or flowers. If you love gardens as much as I do, you might want to think about celebrating this Earth Day in the Tri-Valley wine country (the other Napa).
Deer Ridge Vineyards’ free Earth Day event includes live entertainment, complimentary wine tasting, and tours through their herb and lavender gardens where you’ll learn about sustainable farming practices and see what makes Deer Ridge such a special wedding location. The first 100 families will receive a free edible flower or herb plant, and you’re welcome to bring in your own sick plants to be diagnosed by their certified master gardeners.
With over 26 lush acres to roam, I can’t think of a better way to spend a springtime afternoon in Northern California.
Earth Day at Deer Ridge Vineyards
Sunday, April 20, 2008
1:00 – 4:00 p.m.
1828 Wetmore Road
On a recent weekend getaway to the Napa and Sonoma Wine Country area, my husband Phil and I decided to explore a different side of this famous wedding region. To me, an ideal wedding locale allows guests plenty of options for exploration, and the towns of Santa Rosa, Sebastopol, and Petaluma certainly kept us happily occupied.
First stop: Santa Rosa. Of course you have to love a town with statues of Charlie Brown, Snoopy and Linus in their town square (an homage to Santa Rosa’s beloved Charles Schultz). Phil’s not sure how it happens, but I’m inexplicably drawn to new wedding locations in my wanderings. Exploring the older part of the city, we stopped at Hotel La Rose, which welcomed us on this blustery rainy day with plush Victorian décor in the lobby, followed by the hotelier’s friendly advice on the locals’ favorite wineries. During our tour of the hotel, we discovered (of course!) that it has a top-notch restaurant, Josef’s, where you can also host a rehearsal dinner.
Next, we visited Sebastapol. Arriving wet and cold, we soothed our chilled-to-the-bone muscles in steamy and stimulating herbal tonics at the Mermaids Spa. As I soaked, I imagined how perfect this place would be for nervous mothers-of-the-bride or other members of the wedding party. Once we were physically restored, we couldn’t resist a pass by Florence Street’s amusing “urban folk art” sculptures constructed of recycled metals by local artist Patrick Amiot. As our trip came to an end, we took a peaceful walk along the Petaluma river near one of our favorite places, the Sheraton Petaluma, on our way home.
Altogether, our weekend visit proved to me that these towns have more than just a list of adorable mansions, hotels, restaurants and country clubs: they have that unique small-town California charm that would make a destination wedding here an event to remember.
My all-time favorite San Francisco event is coming up this week: the Bouquets to Art floral exhibit. The idea behind it is genius: florists interpret a masterpiece of art or sculpture, like a Picasso or a Rodin using flowers. Think fine art meets floral design. (Honestly, if art history was ever this exciting I might have stayed awake in every class! ) Naturally, several of our Certified By The Guide Northern California floral designers will be showcased, including Patricia Gibbons, Branch Out, Fantasy Florals, Laurel Designs, Sunshine Flowers, Violetta and Waterlily Pond.
The event’s opening party will feature floral décor and cocktail arrangements by Branch Out’s Leighsa Smyser. Be sure to stop by the Piazzoni Murals Room to take in her floral sculpture designed to match the earth toned landscape mural that fills the room. Elements like artichokes, hydrangea, orchids, flax leaves, vendela and sahara roses echo the terrain of hills and trees in the mural.
After the show, visit the museum’s incredible cafe for Bon Appetite’s delectable, fresh and organic selection of light fare. Let us know what you experience if you get to visit. See you there!