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Home and garden news, upcoming events


<strong>NAPA VALLEY: Tour dream Kitchens in the Vineyards</strong>

If you could design the kitchen of your dreams, what would it look like?

For a chance to see dream kitchens come true, try today's (Saturday, April 26) Kitchens in the Vineyards, a self-guided tour of five homes that not only would please a cook, but which have enviable zones for entertaining.

Each of the featured homes is distinctive, from a Tuscan-style farmhouse to a minimalist Scandinavian sanctuary, a contemporary prefab to an Arts & Crafts Revival.

Each of the featured homes in the tour, which runs from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., is styled by noted designers and florists and enhanced with spring table settings. Area chefs and local cookbook authors will also be on hand with food for tasting and books to sign.

Cost is $65 for general admission or $100 for a VIP pass that includes an opportunity to meet after the main tour with the design professionals responsible for two of the homes. A ticket includes wine and a chance to query the creative teams for tips and ideas.

For more information or to purchase last-minute tickets, call 258-5559 before Saturday. On Saturday, go to the Will Call at the Napa Valley Welcome Center, 600 Main St., Napa. Tickets will be sold from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. 251-5895. <a href="http://musicinthevineyards.org" target="_blank">musicinthevineyards.org</a> or <a href="http://kitchensinthevineyards.org" target="_blank">kitchensinthevineyards.org</a>.

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<strong>SONOMA: Drip irrigation workshop Saturday</strong>

One of the smartest things a home gardener can do is install a drip irrigation system.

The Valley of the Moon Garden Club will offer a free workshop Saturday, April 26, on how to buy components, set up a system and maintain it. The class will be from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. at the Sonoma Community Center, Room 11, 276 E. Napa St., Sonoma. No reservation is necessary, but people are urged to bring a notebook and pen. At the end of class, there will be a chance to ask questions and do some hands-on assembly with help from garden club members.

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<strong>SONOMA COUNTY: Earth Day festivities continue</strong>

Earth Day was Tuesday, but a series of events in Sonoma County continues to celebrate the planet and promote ways to live more lightly on the land.

Quarryhill Botanical Garden in Glen Ellen is throwing a big Earth Day celebration today, April 26, with a host of activities for the family, refreshments and a plant sale featuring rare plants at affordable prices. Festivities range from solar observing and fly casting to Chinese dancing and archery as well as fava bean planting, rare reptiles, free popcorn and tea tastings. The free event at the 25-acre garden will be from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. 12841 Sonoma Highway, Glen Ellen. 996-3166 or <a href="http://quarryhillbg.org" target="_blank">quarryhillbg.org</a>.

The Town of Windsor marks Earth Day on Sunday, April 27, with special activities, the opening of the Windsor Farmer's Market and a plant sale held by the Windsor Garden Club. Look for container gardens, veggie starts and more. 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on the Windsor Town Green.

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<strong>NAPA: Heifer International open house May 3</strong>

For 70 years, Heifer International has worked to ease world hunger and poverty by helping people help themselves. It does it not by sending food but by sending the means to produce food, and income, in the form of livestock.

The sustainably managed Wombat's Farm in Napa will celebrate Heifer's 70th anniversary May 3 with an open house to see how Heifer's values and projects are demonstrated locally.

The free public event includes self-guided farm tours, displays and hands-on activities. Master Gardeners will be on hand to answer questions. 2059 Curry Lane, Napa. To register, visit heifer.org/communities or call 877-243-4337.

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<strong>SONOMA COUNTY: Get started on your planting at sales</strong>

Plant sales galore entice backyard growers over the next few weeks with homegrown starts, many at bargain prices.

Occidental Arts Ecology Center: This intentional community dedicated to promoting sustainable living practices throws one of the premiere plant sales of North Bay, with a huge selection of carefully curated heirloom veggies grown organically in their own greenhouses and gardens.

A sale of early crops will be from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. today, April 26, and Sunday, April 27, and May 3 and 4.

The center, dedicated to sustainable living practices, has maintained its organic gardens for some 40 years. It is located at 15290 Coleman Valley Road, Occidental. 874-1557 or <a href="http://oaec.org" target="_blank">oaec.org</a>.

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<strong>Willowside School:</strong> Thousands of plants are up for sale at bargain prices, including many trees, perennials, grasses and shrubs. 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. today, April 26. 5299 Hall at Willowside Road, Santa Rosa. 569-4724.

The Santa Rosa Garden Club: Featuring plants propagated by club members, with an emphasis on drought-tolerant plants including succulents and perennials. The sale, running from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. today, April 26, also includes an indoor "garage sale" with used garden-related items. At the Luther Burbank Art & Garden Center, 2050 Yulupa Ave., Santa Rosa.

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<strong>Harvest for the Hungry Garden:</strong> Plant shoppers get a two-fer when they show up for this massive sale today, April 26. The Santa Rosa Garden Club's sale is right across the street at the same time. Thousands of organic vegetable starts, habitat plants and locally grown flowering plants are up for grabs including more than 100 varieties of tomatoes, 50 varieties of hot and sweet peppers and many unusual and tasty varieties of eggplant, squash and cucumbers. 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. 1717 Yulupa Ave., Santa Rosa, behind the Christ Church United Methodist. <a href="http://harvestgarden.org" target="_blank">harvestgarden.org</a>.

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<strong>The Valley of the Moon Garden Club:</strong> Club members have grown and potted for sale herbs, succulents, perennials, vegetables, flowers and natives, with an emphasis on water-wise plants. 9 a.m. to noon May 3 at the Sonoma Community Center, 276 E Napa St., Sonoma.

The Healdsburg Garden Club: Club members grow everything for this sale, which this year will emphasize drought-tolerant plants. The event includes lunch for $5 and vendors selling garden-related items. 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. May 3 at the Healdsburg Senior Living Center, 725 Grove. St., Healdsburg. For information call 431-0563.

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<strong>SANTA ROSA: Learn about the bees at garden club talk</strong>

While you may want to ward off yellow jackets, honeybees are a gardener's best friend. Find out how to welcome these essential pollinators to your landscape during a talk Monday, April 28, before the Santa Rosa Garden Club.

Beekeeper and Master Gardener April Lance will talk about how to set up a hive, ward off mites and colony collapse disorder and what to do if you find a swarm of bees on your property. The will bring a demonstration hive abuzz with live bees — safely contained behind glass.

The meeting is open to non-members and is at 1 p.m. at the Luther Burbank Art & Garden Center, 2050 Yulupa Ave., Santa Rosa. 537-6885 or email gardenclubevents@yahoo.com.

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<strong>SEBASTOPOL: Weekend of events at Gold Ridge Farm</strong>

The historic Gold Ridge Farm, where Luther Burbank conducted many of his plant experiments, welcomes visitors today and Sunday, April 26 and 27, with a weekend full of activities.

For the home gardener as well as families, there will be information about vermiculture, grafting, beekeeping and plant breeding.

There will also be jams for sale made from fruit from the farm and many plants, including Burbank's Kniphofia 'Tower of Gold,' the 'Burbank' rose, Penstemon 'Firebird,' Shasta Daisy 'Becky,' Amarcrinum lily and Pillar rose 'Apple Blossom.' 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission is free. Located above the Burbank Heights and Orchards senior housing, 7777 Bodega Ave., Sebastopol.

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<strong>SONOMA: Talk on maintaining year-round color</strong>

Learn how to design your garden so it has year-round color during a free talk Thursday, May 1, before the Valley of the Moon Garden Club.

Master Gardener Kinda Keating King will demonstrate how to create color and texture with foliage without falling back to flowers.

King is a landscape designer who specializes in water-wise gardens in Sonoma and Marin counties. As a Master Gardener, she is involved with a new project called Garden Sense, which provides free advice to Sonoma County residents on water conservation and converting lawns to drought-tolerant landscapes.

The meeting starts at 7 p.m. with a meet-and-greet beginning at 6:30 p.m. Cost is free to club members and $5 for guests, which can be applied to a $20 club membership.

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<strong>FORT BRAGG: Botanical gardens spotlights conifers</strong>

The Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens will turn the spotlight on conifers May 3 in honor of its inauguration as an American Conifer Society Reference Garden.

The day will include a host of expert speakers including renowned expert on dwarf conifers and landscape designer Brent Markus of Rare Tree Nursery in Silverton, Oregon.

Other highlights include tours of the garden and speciality nurseries featuring rare and unusual conifer companion plants.

Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens is one of only two American Conifer Society Reference Gardens in the state. The mild maritime climate is ideal for a numerous types of dwarf and cultivar confers. The event will be from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. 18220 N. Highway 1, between Fort Bragg and Mendocino.

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<strong>SONOMA COUNTY: Master Gardeners in talks at libraries</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.

<em><strong>Saturday, April 26</strong></em>

<strong>Sonoma — Growing Great Tomatoes, Peppers and all Summer Vegetables.</strong> If you're planning a summer garden, now is the time to get growing. At this workshop, kitchen garden guru Steve Albert will talk about how to grow the best hybrids and heirlooms, from setting seed and transplanting starts to feeding, watering and protecting your crop right up until harvest. Sonoma Valley Regional Library, 755 W. Napa St., Sonoma.

<strong>Windsor — How to Grow Berries.</strong> Gwen Kilchherr shares secrets on how to grow your own sweet summer berries, from blueberries and blackberries to raspberries and strawberries. She will show how to grow them from spring to fall frost with just a few rows of plants. Windsor Library, 9291 Old Redwood Highway, Building 100.

<em><strong>May 3</strong></em>

<strong>Petaluma — The Significance of Geometric Forms in Botany.</strong> Leaves and flowers follow laws of physics in their development, but their forms essentially follow mathematical rules. Master Gardener Paola Tonelli will describe symmetry in plants, spirals and associated recurring numbers at this workshop. Examples will be given of Fibonacci's sequence and the Golden Ratio in the world of plants and beyond in art and music. Petaluma Regional Library, 100 Fairgrounds Drive.

<strong>Santa Rosa — Restoring Habitat.</strong> Master Gardener Mary Lou Milkoff will discuss easy ways to entice pollinators, songbirds and beneficial insects into the garden to enhance biodiversity and make your garden healthier. Rincon Valley Library, 6958 Montecito Blvd.

<strong>Rohnert Park — Culinary Herbs.</strong> Master Gardener Janet Barocco will discuss and demonstrate how to plant a home herb garden and create a living "pantry" of flavors and aromas to enhance everyday meals, beverages and desserts. Barocco will talk about the basics of cultivation, use and preservation of culinary herbs and edible flowers. 6250 Lynne Conde Way, Rohnert Park.

<strong>Sebastopol — Plant4Bees — Forage for Honeybees in all Four Seasons.</strong> Learn how you can create a garden that can provide flowers high in nectar and pollen in all four seasons. Sebastopol Regional Library, 7140 Bodega Ave., Sebastopol.

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