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SONOMA COUNTY: Plant sales mean fall bargains

Don't let October slip away without getting a few new beauties in the ground.

Whether you're in to perennials, trees or cool weather food crops, deals abound at some of the great fall plant sales happening this month.

Clear out the back of your car and chart your course for a shopping spree.

The California Native Plant Sale: Members of the Milo Baker chapter of the Native Plant Society have been busy potting up great plants for this annual autumn sale. Look for trees, shrubs, perennials, bulbs and seeds, as well as botanical note cards, books, posters and t-shirts. 9 a.m to 1 p.m. Oct. 13 at the Santa Rosa Veterans Memorial Building, 351 Maple Ave., across from the Sonoma County Fairgrounds. For a complete plant list visit cnps.org. The club welcomes visitors tot heir monthly meetings, held the third Tuesday of the month at 7:30 p.m. at the Luther Burbank Art and Garden Center, 2050 Yulupa Ave., Santa Rosa. Judith Lowery, author and owner of Larner Seeds in Bolinas is the special guest on Oct. 16. Lowery is an expert in growing native plants and wildflowers from seeds.

The Graton Community Club Fall Flower Show: There are more than flowers at this annual autumn event, going on this year on Oct. 12 and 13. Members bring in plants for sale and you never know what you'll score. You can also troll for hand-crafted items and collectibles, as well as check out floral exhibits. Lunch is offered for $10. 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. 8996 Graton Road. 823-7341.

Willowside School Fall Plant Sales: Stock up on perennials, hydrangeas, roses, grasses, Japanese maples, Trident maps, hornbeam, olive trees, deodar cedar, redwoods, cypress and a multitude of succulents, bonsai crab apples and elms. They also have specialty Japanese maples, three to six feet tall, and red/yellow magnolias for $25 and $35. Prices for most plants are a bargain at $3 for one-gallon containers and $7-$10 for five-gallon containers. The sale is held from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., rain or shine, on Oct. 13. 5299 Hall Road at Willowside, Santa Rosa. For information call 823-3265 or email 4lochs@comcast.net.

ROHNERT PARK: Workshops on everything for home gardeners

The Sonoma County Master Gardeners are holding a series of free Saturday workshops and talks geared especially for the home gardener. All are held from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. For information on the program call 565-2608 or visit sonomamastergardeners.org.

How to Select and Care for Your Garden Tools: The right tool makes all the difference in performing a job. Kathy Matanok, a Master Gardener and life-long home gardener will cover selecting the proper tools and maintaining them. She will also discuss what jobs you can do yourself and which you should hire a pro to do. The workshop will be held twice: On Oct. 13 at the Rincon Valley Regional Library, 6959 Montecito Blvd. Santa Rosa. It will be repeated on Oct. 20 at the Guerneville Library. For more information call 565-2608 or visit www.sonomamastergardeners.org. Oct. 13

Producing Wine from Backyard Grapes: Master Gardener Dennis Przybycien explains how to make top quality wine from homegrown grapes in this workshop Oct. 13. He will cover proper harvest and step-by-step wine production, including the equipment home grapegrowers will need. Held at the Windsor Regional Library, 9291 Old Redwood Highway, Bldg. 100.

Bee Dazzled with Native Bees: Master Gardener and Entomologist Janet Calhoun will discuss how to make your landscape a magnet for native bees on Oct. 20. Janet will show the link between these bees and a healthy, thriving garden. Held at the Sonoma Valley Regional Library, 755 West Napa St.

Budget Floral Design: Glean tips about making wreaths, swags and table d?or to grace your home using materials from your own garden or those of your neighbors and friends. Master Gardener Ellyn Pelikan will demonstrate ideas that will inspire you to go home and create your own on a budget during a workshop Oct. 20 at the Rohnert Park Regional Library, 6250 Lynne Conde Way, Rohnert Park.

SONOMA COUNTY: Create home landscapes that welcome wildlife

Sonoma County horticulturist, garden writer and educator Nancy Bauer has come out with a new book to help home gardeners create their own landscapes friendly to wildlife.

"The California Wildlife Habitat Garden," published by the University of California Press, is a practical and readable guide for turning backyard gardens into sanctuaries for birds and bees and beneficial insects.

Bauer, who has taught classes for the San Francisco Botanical Garden, the master gardeners and other groups, calls on readers to consider the intricate relationship between plans and wildlife, and the role humans can take as steward rather than manipulator, of those relationships.

The illustrated book features a number of gardens, including the wildlife pond, a magnet for dragonflies, that Dave and Kathy Biggs of Sebastopol created out of an old swimming pool.

The book includes a detailed resource guide. For information visit ucpress.edu.

SANTA ROSA: Master Gardeners hold forth on Sudden Oak Death

Sudden Oak Death continues to ravage North Coast forests and woodlands. Learn more about it and how to management it on your own property during a series of free workshops by the Sonoma County Master Gardeners on Oct. 13.

Workshops will be held from 10 a.m. top noon at the Veterans Memorial Building, 282 High St., Sebastopol, and from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. in the Upper Oak Knolls picnic area in Spring Lake Regional Park, 5585 Newanga Ave., Santa Rosa. To register visit http://ucanr.org/octobermeetings or call 565-2608.

SONOMA: Make sense of world of fireplaces with seminar

As days shorten and nights begin to cool, you might be dreaming of a a warm fire to curl up beside. Whether you have an older, inefficient fireplace, or a wall just begging for a new focal point, there are so many choices. Wood, gas, pellet, electric? Vented or ventless? EPA rated? And what about the hearth around it? Tile, stone, faux stone, wood, mosaic — the choices can be daunting.

Since the fireplace is often the center of family activities in the home, you want to get it just right.

Villa Terrazza Patio & Home in Sonoma is hosting a free fireplace information and design seminar Oct. 18 to address the multitude of questions to consider before installing a fireplace. They also will discuss Air Quality Board regulations and how to avoid an expensive citation on "no-burn" days.

To get the most out of the seminar, bring a picture of your current fireplace or the area in which you'd like to install one. Also have your room size and rough measurements of the fireplace opening, if applicable.

Space is limited to 15 so pre-registration is required. Call 707-933-8286. Hours are from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at 869 Broadway, Sonoma. Light refreshments will be served.

(You can reach Staff Writer Meg McConahey at meg.mcconahey@ pressdemocrat.com or 521-5204.)