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SANTA ROSA: Learn all about succulents

Succulents are the latest thing in garden design.

Learn which varieties of these popular water-wise plants grow best in Sonoma County during a talk by expert Aaron Ryan before the Santa Rosa Garden Club on Sept. 24.

Ryan, who was assistant to the curator of succulents at the arboretum at the University of California at Santa Cruz, works for Cottage Gardens of Petaluma, where he propagates and oversees the nursery's succulent display garden.

He will dispel some common misconceptions about succulents and give advice on propagation, as well as bring some special plants for sale.

The general public is invited to attend the free talk starting at 1:30 p.m. a the Luther Burbank Art and Garden Center, 2050 Yulupa Ave., Santa Rosa.

For information call 537-6885 or e-mail gardenevents@yahoo.com.

SANTA ROSA: Willowside students set for bargain plant sale

Stock up on bargain plants for your fall garden at the Willowside School fall plant sale Sept. 22

The non-profit school-based nursery will have great deals on Japanese maples, deodar cedars, hornbeam, olive trees, Trident maples, roses, hydrangeas, grasses, magnolias, elms, succulents, redwoods and more.

The sale will be from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. rain or shine. 5299 Hall Road at Willowside, Santa Rosa. For information call 569-4724.

SONOMA: Nine-to-noon plant sale by Garden Club

The Valley of the Moon Garden Club is throwing its fall plant sale Sept. 22, featuring hundreds of plants for the fall planting season.

Stock up on flowering perennials, edible winter greens, herbs, succulents, ornamental grasses, flowering mums, coleus, bulbs, garden art and more from 9 a.m. to noon on Broadway at France Street in Sonoma.

SAN FRANCISCO: 'Grassologist' to guide landscape choices

Sonoma County "grassologist" Bob Hornback will talk about his top picks for landscaping with grasses during a workshop Sept. 22 at the San Francisco Botanical Garden.

Hornback will home in on best selections for drought tolerance, good looks and easy maintenance. He will also show how to use grasses for form and color in containers, native gardens and low-care meadows. Many of the plants on display for the class will be available for purchase.

The course will run from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Cost is $30. It will be held at the San Francisco County Fair Building, 1199 Ninth Ave. at Lincoln Way, San Francisco. For information call 415-661-1316 ext. 400 or email kfisher@sfbotanicalgarden.org.

KENWOOD: Japanese maples star in Wildwood weekend

Wildwood Farm in Kenwood has a weekend full of activities planned Sept. 15 and 16, from a class in how to garden with Japanese maples to a garden party and plant sale.

On Sept. 15 the nursery is hosting a free class covering the basics of selecting Japanese maples, as well as the growth patterns, leaf shapes and seasonal color. The class will also analyze specific plant pairings in Wildwood's extensive display garden to demonstrate design ideas. The 1:30 p.m. class will be repeated Sept. 22 and 29.

On Sept. 16 Wildwood will celebrate autumn with a garden party from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. featuring refreshments, perennial pairings and tree pruning demonstrations and live music from The Root Doctors, headed by Dr. Joel Rudinow — a doctor of philosophy — who plays New Orleans piano blues, boogie woogie and rock and roll. He will appear with Teed Rockwell of Berkeley playing world music on the Touchstyle Veena, a guitar-like instrument, and percussionist Jonathan Duff of Sonoma on the tabla as well as a New Orleans traps set of his own design.

The weekend kicks off a sale on maples and conifers that will run through Sept. 30.

Wildwood, which specializes in rare and unusual plants, including dogwoods, conifers, maples and semi-dwarf ginkgoes, is set on five acres at 10300 Sonoma Highway 12, Kenwood, next to the Kenwood Inn. For information call 833-1161 or visit wildwoodmaples.com.

SEBASTOPOL: Save your back while working your garden

Learn how to protect your back and joints while gardening during a free class Sept. 15 at Harmony Farm Supply.

Offered by Palm Drive Hospital, the two hour class will be taught by Cynthia Syiek, an occupational and certified hand therapist and the developer of Harmony's back-to-school program.

The class will cover basic anatomy of the spine, instruction in basic spine protection during gardening tasks, ideas for protecting and preserving joints and a discussion of choosing the right tools to minimize joint stress.

The 10 a.m. to noon class is limited to 30 people. Sign up on-line at harmonyfarmsupply.com or call 823-9125.

SONOMA COUNTY: Master Gardeners cover range of topics for free

The Sonoma County Master Gardeners have geared up for fall with a strong line-up of free classes. For information on any class call 565-2608 or visit sonomamastergardeners.org.

On Sept. 15

Garden Tools: How to select and care for your garden tools. Led by Kathy Matanok. 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the Healdsburg Library, 139 Piper St. Healdsburg.

Planning and Designing Beautiful Low Water-Use Gardens: Linda King, a master gardener as well as a landscape designer, will describe how installing an efficient rip irrigation system or using permeable materials for hardscaping can save water. 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the Petaluma Library, 100 Fairgrounds Drive, Petaluma.

Trash to Treasure: Master Gardener Sandy Metzger uses PowerPoint to show how to create functional and ornamental items for the garden using old stuff, from mosaics made from broken tile and china to outdoor paintings or windbreaks made from vintage windows. Wood, bottles, gourds, wine barrel hoops, lamp bases and other unlikely objects can be repurposed into decorative outdoor items. 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the Guerneville Library.

On Sept 22

Producing Home Wine from Backyard Grapes: Dennis Przybycien explains how to make top quality wine from homegrown grapes. He will cover proper harvesting and step-by-step wine production, including the equipment you'll need to get started. 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m . at the Petaluma Library, 100 Fairgrounds Drive, Petaluma.

Pruning Fruit Trees: Denny Pedersen covers the tools you need and how to use them to shape your trees, as well as when to prune and what cuts to make. 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the Rincon Valley Library, 6959 Montecito Blvd., Santa Rosa.

The Sonoma County Master Gardeners are available to field questions. Their Santa Rosa information desk can be reached at 565-2608 between 9 a.m. and 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. weekdays. They also man a desk in Sonoma at 938-0127 from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. They can be reached by email at mgsonoma@ucdavis.edu.

(You can direct Home and Garden news to Staff Writer Meg McConahey at meg.mcconahey@ pressdemocrat.com or 521-5204.)