PETALUMA: Holiday gifts from the garden

Get a jump start on the holidays with tips from experts on how to make holiday gifts and arrangements from the garden.

Marie Ann Becker, a floral designer, will give a demonstration before the Petaluma Garden Club Nov. 12 on how to make gifts and arrangements from flowers and foliage you collect from your own landscape. The 10:30 a.m. talk at the Petaluma Veterans Memorial Building, 1094 Petaluma Blvd. S., is free and open to nonmembers. For information, visit

Master Gardener Sue Lovelace will demonstrate timesaving techniques for assembling holiday arrangements from your own garden, include choosing the right-sized oasis and container, during a two-hour talk Nov. 17 in Sebastopol. The free workshop begins at 10:30 a.m. at the Sebastopol Regional Library, 7140 Bodega Ave. For information, call 565-2608 or visit

SEBASTOPOL: Plumb depths of harvesting rainwater

Learn how to harvest your own rainwater during a two-hour seminar Nov. 10 at Harmony Farm Supply and Nursery in Sebastopol.

Bruce Hallinan, who has installed dozens of rainwater harvesting systems around the Bay Area, will give advice on the best tank for your property, how much rainwater you can collect on a typical North Bay house, how to safely store the water and the best ways to install a rain tank, as well as different methods to use the water.

There will be a number of rain barrels, tanks and accessories on display. 10 a.m. to noon. Enrollment is limited to 30. Sing up on online at or call 823-9125.

ROHNERT PARK: Find out secret to nourishing soil

Veteran Sonoma County horticulturist Robert Kourik will share the science of building up great soil during a workshop Nov. 10 at Sonoma State University.

Kourik, who has written several books, including "Roots Demystified," "Drip Irrigation for Every Landscape and All Climates" and "No Digging, for a Healthier Soil & Sustainable Garden," will talk about pore space, a root's interaction with soil, mulches and the benefits of no-till versus cultivated soil.

He also will touch on mychorrhizal association, root zones, soil indicators and nitrogen fixation, all with the goal of creating vigorous, vibrant landscapes. 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Cost is $165. The class will be held in the School of Extended Education in Darwin Hall 107, 1801 E. Cotati Ave., Rohnert Park. For information and to register, call 664-2394. Kourik can be reached at

ROHNERT PARK: Series on ecological garden design

Frederique Lavoipierre, who coordinates Sonoma State University's Garden Classroom and Entomology Outreach Program, concludes her series of low-cost seminars on the science of sustainable landscape design Nov. 7 with an overview of "Ecological Garden Design."

The lecture is from 5 to 6 p.m. in the Sonoma State University Garden Classroom in the Environmental Technology Center. The SSU habitat gardens are available for exploring before and after the talk and the Charlie Brown Cafe will be open for snacks. A suggested donation of $10 is requested. To reserve a seat, RSVP to

You can reach Staff Writer Meg McConahey at or 521-5204.