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SANTA ROSA: Sonoma County Fall Home Show returns at fairgrounds

Troll for ideas, inspiration, contractors and products for your next home improvement project at the Sonoma County Fall Home Show today and tomorrow.

The home improvement marketplace takes over the Sonoma County Fairgrounds for three days with everything from building supples, designers, landscapers and flooring to furniture, windows, window treatments, roofing, decks and gutter systems.

Twelve seminars will be held in Grace Pavilion covering topics like landscape design, solar energy, organic farming, rain harvesting and remodeling.

The Redwood Empire Masonic Officers Association will offer free child identification. Going on at the same time at the fairgrounds is the Redwood Empire Train Show, with model trains, steam train rides and food.

Hours are from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. today, and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday. Cost is $7 with children under 12 free. Seniors 60 and up get in for $4 on Friday. Bring in a can or box of food for the Redwood Empire Food Bank for $2 off your admission. 1350 Bennett Valley Road, Santa Rosa. scsshows.com.

SONOMA: Free seminar on winter gardens

Make the most of California's mild climate by planting a winter garden. Garlic, onions, kale, chard and peas are among the edible crops that can be planted now.

Horticulturist Dawn Smith will give a free one hour talk at 11 p.m. Sept. 29 at Cornerstone Gardens in Sonoma on planting a winter garden that includes hands-on training. 23570 Arnold Drive Sonoma. For information rsvp to events@cornerstonesonoma.com or call 933-3010.

HEALDSBURG: Russian River Rose salutes heritage

Get your last whiff of the remaining roses at the Russian River Rose Co., which has some special events planned for their last open garden weekend of the year.

On Sept. 29 and 30 owners Michael and Jan Tolmasoff salute their Russian heritage and their "beloved Russian River" by serving rose cookies and aromatic Russian tea prepared in antique samovars. Visitors can sip while checking out a display of Russian antiques.

On Sept. 29 Michael "Karnak the Magnificent" and "Tanushka" Tolmasoff will do tea leaf readings — tongue in cheek, of course — at 10 a.m., 11 a.m. 2 p.m. and 3 p.m.

On Sept. 30 the Bulgarian singing group "Gradina" will perform Slavic and Russian folk songs at 11:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m.

The Tolmasoffs will debut their 2012 estate-produced rose oil perfume, "Rose Embrace," with samples offered by wandering "maidens." On Sunday the couple will share a display of antique atomizers.

Cost is $9.50, with a portion of the proceeds going to several local non-profits. 1685 Magnolia Drive, Healdsburg. russian-river-rose.com or 433-7455.

SANTA ROSA: Learn about planting 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, 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. at 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: Bargain seasonal plants at Willowside

Stock up on bargain plants for your fall garden at seasonal plants sales going on this month.

Willowside School in Santa Rosa holds its sale today with 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.

On Sept. 29 and 30 Luther Burbank's Gold Ridge Experiment Farm in Sebastopol holds an open house with unusual perennials for sale and master gardeners on hand to answer questions.

Visitors to the historic farm may also stroll the grounds where renowned horticulturist Luther Burbank did much of his work, as well as see the exhibits inside his cottage. There will also be firewood from a live oak to purchase. 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Free. Turn into the Burbank Heights and Orchards senior housing complex at 7777 Bodega Ave. and drive to the top of the hill. For information email erinsheff@ comcast.net or call 481-3488.

SONOMA: Valley of the Moon fall plant sale

The Valley of the Moon Garden Club is throwing its fall plant sale September 22, featuring hundreds of plants for the prime autumn 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.

SONOMA COUNTY: Free classes with Master Gardeners

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

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.

Perennial Vegetables: Save time and money by growing your own perennial vegetables and small fruits, including artichokes, asparagus and berries. Learn how from Master Gardener Ann Chambers from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the Sonoma Valley Library, 755 W. Napa St., Sonoma.

On Sept. 29:

Conquering Gophers and Moles: Has a new family of pocket gophers moved into your front lawn? Master Gardener Jim Lang will lead a free workshop on how to conquer burrowing pests. He will demonstrate the proper methods for trapping the varmints along with the common mistakes people make in setting the devices. He will also discuss the effectiveness (or ineffectiveness) of alternative ways of controlling them. 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the Petaluma Regional Library, 100 Fairgrounds Drive, Petaluma.

Fall Floral Creations on a Budget: Learn the secrets of making easy wreaths, swags and table d?or to grace your home using materials from your own garden or from those of neighbors and friends. Master Gardener Ellyn Pelikan will give ideas to spark your creativity without draining your bank account. 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the Healdsburg Library, 139 Piper St., Healdsburg.

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.)