Gourd celebration melds art, wine, music
The garden at Food for Thought in Forestville is at its most delicious in October. The richly textured food garden is filled with mysterious-shaped gourds of many varieties.
Each year the food bank, which serves people with AIDS and HIV, celebrates this intriguing and sculptural member of the Cucurbitaceae family with "Calabash -- A Celebration of Gourds, Art and the Garden."
This year's bash is Sunday, and includes a huge spread of food made from fresh-harvested local crops as well as Sonoma County wine. Event-goers are also treated to live music played on hand-made gourd instruments while strolling the garden and browsing among a huge selection of gourd art contributed for silent auction by more than 100 Sonoma County and Bay Area artists.
This year's event highlights a new AIDS Memorial, the only one in Sonoma County. Garden plantings around a water feature and artistic archway include traditional herbs and flowers used in healing and remembrance, such as echinacea, ashwaganda, borage, lemon balm and angelica.
The celebration will be from 1 to 5 p.m. at 6550 Railroad Ave., Forestville. Tickets are $45 in advance either online or at Food for Thought directly, or $50 the day of the event.
The garden is a collaboration between Food for Thought and the Occidental Arts and Ecology Center's Horticultural Therapy Program.
For information call 887-1647 or fftfoodbank.org.
Flower, fabric and fiber show
Fabric, Fiber and Flowers is the theme of this year's Fall Flower Show, put on by the Graton Community Club.
The autumn event takes place Oct. 12 and 13 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day.
The show is traditionally held at the historic clubhouse in downtown Graton, 8996 Graton Road.
Show-goers can buy lunch for $10, including beverage and dessert. Admission to the show however, is free. It includes a plant sale, a crafts sale and collectibles for purchase. Proceeds benefit college scholarships and a building fund.
Last seasonal tours at Digging Dog
Digging Dog Nursery in Albion, with its famed gardens featured in Martha Stewart Living and House and Garden Magazine, is offering its "last chance" guided tours of the season today.
Set amid a redwood forest on a ridge above the Mendocino Coast, Digging Dog is famous for its ease-to-grow garden plants including many rare varieties. Visitors can join co-owner Deborah Whigham for a free tour at 2 p.m., then take advantage of a free garden consultation and light refreshments.
On Oct. 12, 13 and 14 the nursery will hold its "Dog-Gone Super Fall Plant Sale" from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Digging Dog, which is wheelchair accessible, is located at 31101 Middle Ridge Road, Albion. 937-1130 or diggingdog.com for a full catalog.
Plant sales offer perennials for fall
Fall is a fantastic time to plant perennials and a couple of upcoming sales offer a good selection for proactive autumn gardeners.
Today, the Sonoma County Jail Nursery and Teaching Garden will hold is fall plant sale featuring drought-tolerant plants, California natives, succulents, perennials and shrubs as well as pumpkins and owl houses. 9 a.m. to noon at 2254 Ordinance Road, Santa Rosa. 525-8310.
On Oct. 13, the California Native Plant Society will hold its annual Plant Sale with a smart selection of trees, shrubs, perennials, bulbs and seeds. The sale, held from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Santa Rosa Veteran's Memorial Building, 1351 Maple Ave., is the chief annual fund-raiser for the Milo Baker Chapter of the society, which is dedicated to preserving California's native flora. Expert gardeners will be on hand to answer questions. There will also be books, note cards, plant posters and t-shirts for sale. For information visit cnpsmb.org.