Artiquity Gallery, a new art gallery and antique store by owners Kim Ford Kitz and Heather Mickley, has opened in Inverness. The name is a portmanteau that reflects their two passions of art and antiques.
Kitz, who lives in Inverness Park, is a professional fine artist, theater set designer and floral designer. Her artist studio is in the store for customers to view and purchase her artwork.
Mickley is a resident of Inverness who has a background in marketing and communications. She serves as the store’s gallerist and curator.
The 1,700-square-foot space adjacent to Sir Francis Drake Boulevard, near Vladimir’s Czech Restaurant and across from Dancing Coyote Beach Cottages, has been home to several businesses over the years, Mickley explains — an ice cream and soda shop in the 1950s and 1960s, a coffee shop and café in the 1970s and 1980s and, more recently, an office space.
“We’d both been doing some version of this idea for years and started brainstorming about expanding our vision and creating a space to offer art and vintage wares together,” she says. “So, when the space became available in our neighborhood, we got excited about bringing our vision into reality and adding to the energy in Inverness.”
Although some potential businesses owners have been cautious about opening up new stores, Kitz and Mickley are sure of their success.
“Our vision was clear and strong, and our respective skill sets were complementary, giving us the confidence to go forward,” Mickley says.
They offer what Kitz says is “various decorative and functional items that are curated in conjunction with local events and art shows. Home and garden décor, furniture, artwork, jewelry and vintage toys are all available in our store.”
Prices range from $10 for folded book art, $950 for a beaded Yoruba chair, $1,850 for an art table hand-painted by a local artist, and higher for some artwork.
Additionally, Artiquity Gallery will offer regular art exhibitions, consignment of select items, art consultation and community programming.
“We hope shoppers enjoy looking at beautiful art and objects together, relax and have fun in the space,” Mickley says.
• Details: Artiquity Gallery is open from noon to 5 p.m. Saturdays through Mondays at 2 Inverness Way North in Inverness. Call 415-669-4229 or go to artiquitygallery.com. A closing reception for Kim Ford Kitz’s show of selected works will be from 2 to 4 p.m. July 29.
A berry month
July is National Blueberry Month and, according to Kristen Pullen, brand manager for Bushel and Berry (bushelandberry.com), the special occasion marks the height of blueberry growing season.
Bushel and Berry offers a collection of nine self-pollinating, non-GMO varieties of dwarf blueberry bushes, as well as one thornless blackberry, one raspberry and two strawberry plants. All are available on Amazon.
Dwarf varieties make great gifts and are ideal for almost any garden but are especially perfect for those who have small gardens even those with balcony or courtyard spaces.
While they will grow in large spaces, too, Pullen says any plant in this collection will thrive in a 12- to 16-inch diameter container that is at least 10 inches deep.
There are comprehensive, easy-to-follow growing instructions on the company website, but basically blueberry plants need at least six hours of sun each day and must be kept moist but not overwatered.
They also need acidic soil and spring fertilizing. Pullen cautions against fertilizing with any type of manure to avoid damaging the plants.
A sprinkling of coffee grounds is an inexpensive way to make fertilizer that helps acidify the soil. “Scatter your spent coffee grounds on top of the dirt to wake up your blueberry plants,” she says.
Young plants will need minimum pruning, she says, but “as the plant ages, prune out one-third of the older canes each year while the plant is dormant, leaving new branches to fruit the following season.”
The nine blueberry options are:
• BerryBux, a compact plant whose foliage resembles boxwood, so it can be grown in a pot or as a low hedgerow full of berries.
• Blueberry Buckle, a low-water, low-chill variety that bears sweet dark blueberries.
• Jelly Bean, with large berries in mid-summer that taste like blueberry jelly.
• Midnight Cascade, with an abundant summer crop of berries and foliage that can darken into red hints in the fall.
• Peach Sorbet, with leaves that are peach, pink, orange and green with a big summer crop.
• Perpetua, which offers two crops — one in mid-summer and another in fall — before its foliage that turns to dark reds and green.
• Pink Icing, which shows off pretty pink, blue and deep green foliage in spring, and iridescent turquoise blue in winter but also large, sweet berries in the summer.
• Sapphire Cascade, featuring medium-sized berries on a cascading plant that can grow in a hanging pot.
• Silver Dolla which has a sweet, pineapple-flavored berry in the summer with leaves that resemble eucalyptus leaves that are silvery in spring and early summer and turn emerald green in autumn.
Other berry options include:
• Baby Cakes, a dwarf thornless blackberry with a compact habit that can produce two yields of large and classic sweet-tasting berries in summer and fall.
• Raspberry Shortcake, a compact raspberry that needs no staking and fruits in the summer.
• Scarlet Belle, an ever-bearing, cascading strawberry that puts out red flowers that produce summer fruit.
• Snowy Belle, another ever-bearing, cascading strawberry with white flowers that fruits summer though fall.
If you have a beautiful or interesting Marin garden or a newly designed Marin home, I’d love to know about it.
Please send an email describing either one (or both), what you love most about it, and a photograph or two. I will post the best ones in upcoming columns. Your name will be published and you must be over 18 years old and a Marin resident.
PJ Bremier writes on home, garden, design and entertaining topics every Saturday. She may be contacted at P.O. Box 412, Kentfield 94914, or at email@example.com.