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The man known as the "soil sommelier," whose mantra is "compost, compost and mulch, mulch," will get gardeners thinking in new ways about the ground beneath their feet during a series of upcoming talks.

Stephen Andrews will deliver a "State of Our Soils" address before the Santa Rosa Garden Club at 1 p.m. March 24, incorporating scientific research, practical wisdom and humor.

On Tuesday, March 18, he will explore the topic, "Drought, Soil and Your Backyard: Making Every Drop Count" during a 7:30 p.m. talk before the local chapter of The California Native Plant Society.

Both meetings are open to nonmembers at no charge and will be held at the Luther Burbank Art & Garden Center, 2050 Yulupa Ave., Santa Rosa.

For Garden Club information, call 537-6885 or email gardenclubevents@yahoo.com for more information. Visit <a href="http://milobaker.cnps" target="_blank">milobaker.cnps</a>.org for more information about the Milo Baker chapter of the California Native Plant Society.

<strong>SANTA ROSA: It's Home &amp;amp; Garden Show weekend</strong>

The Sonoma County Home &amp;amp; Garden Show takes over the fairgrounds this weekend, with a huge array of exhibitors offering products and services to spruce up your home and landscape.

The show, which opens at noon Friday, March 14, continues from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, March 15 and 16.

Admission is $7; kids under 13 are free. Seniors get in for $4 on Friday. For more information and details about participating vendors and attractions, visit <a href="http://sonomacountyhomeshows.com" target="_blank">sonomacountyhomeshows.com</a>. 1350 Bennett Valley Road, Santa Rosa.

<strong>SANTA ROSA: Willowside School nursery reopening</strong>

Willowside Middle School reopens its student nursery Saturday, March 15, featuring a big variety of perennials, abutilons, salvias, roses, grasses, succulents, Chinese quince, elm trees and more.

Look for more than 15 varieties of specialty Japanese maples and red/yellow magnolias, all at bargain prices.

The nursery is located at the school campus, 5299 Hall Road at Willowside Road in Santa Rosa. The sale runs from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., rain or shine. For information, call 569-4724.

<strong>HEALDSBURG: Learn the basics of working with worms</strong>

Learn how to put red wiggler worms to work for you in the garden during a workshop March 23 at the Healdsburg SHED.

Rick Kaye will lay out the basics for making rich compost through vermiculture. He will show how to set up and maintain a basic backyard worm bin as well as how to use the worm castings as compost or liquid tears for the garden. Since founding The Compost Club in 2003, Kaye has helped 15 local schools and businesses compost their own waste. 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. 25 North St., Healdsburg. <a href="http://Healdsburgshed.com" target="_blank">Healdsburgshed.com</a>.

<strong>PETALUMA: Drought-tolerant shade plants abound</strong>

There is a surprising selection of drought-tolerant shade plants. Learn all about them during a free talk Saturday, March 15, at Garden Delights Nursery in Petaluma. To reserve a seat, call 773-1133 or 775-5008. 2115 Adobe Road.

<strong>SEBASTOPOL: Learn about gophers, collecting rainwater</strong>

Harmony Farm Supply &amp;amp; Nursery has two upcoming classes to help gardeners hone their skills.

Gregg Crawford, AKA "The Gopher Guy," will demonstrate how to set his modified Cinch gopher trap during presentations Saturday, March 15, and on March 29. Crawford has rustled thousands of gophers in Sonoma County with his traps.

On March 22, Harmony will hold a rainwater harvesting seminar introducing the basics of collecting, storing and using rainwater. Topics range from choosing the best tank for your property to determining how to install it, use it and store rainwater. A number of barrels, tanks and accessories will be on display.

The workshops run from 10 a.m. to noon at 3244 Gravenstein Highway N. in Sebastopol. For information, call 823-9125 or visit <a href="http://Harmonyfarm.com" target="_blank">Harmonyfarm.com</a>.

<strong>SONOMA COUNTY: Master Gardeners offer free programs</strong>

The Sonoma County Master Gardeners continue their series of free lectures, most held at local library branches. All classes run from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. For more information about the program as well as a wealth of gardening information, visit <a href="http://sonomamastergardeners.org" target="_blank">sonomamastergardeners.org</a> or call 565-2608.

<strong>Coming Up Saturday, March 15:</strong>

<em><strong>Petaluma</strong></em> — Growing Great Tomatoes, Peppers and Summer Vegetables. Led by Master Gardener Steve Albert, who will talk about setting seed and transplanting vegetable starts. He also will cover how to feed, water and protect your plants right up to harvest. Petaluma Regional Library, 100 Fairgrounds Drive.

<em><strong>Sonoma</strong> </em>— Selection, Use and Maintenance of Garden Hand Tools. Kathy Matonok demonstrates how the right tool can make all the difference in performing a job. She will talk about selecting the proper tools and keeping them safe and in good condition. Sonoma Valley Regional Library, 755 W. Napa St., Sonoma.

<strong>Coming Up March 22:</strong>

<em><strong>Cloverdale</strong></em> — Is Your Garden Ready for the Drought? Master Gardeners who are participating in the Garden Sense program will discuss easy ways to conserve water and save money by creating climate-appropriate gardens that are healthy, eco-friendly and beautiful. Garden Sense is a free service where Master Gardeners with specialized training in water management, irrigation systems, site assessment, low-water-use plants and sustainable gardening practices will come to your home by appointment to advise you on how to have a more environmentally sensitive garden.

<em><strong>Windsor:</strong></em> Hydrangeas. Carlyss Van Ness leads a workshop devoted entirely to cultivating, propagating and drying hydrangeas. She will also give a hands-on pruning demonstration. Windsor Regional Library, 9291 Old Redwood Highway.

<em> You can direct Home and Garden news to Meg.McConahey@pressdemocrat.com or by calling 521-5204.</em>