Arranging flowers isn't just for florists.

Learn some of the tricks of the trade from an expert Aug. 9 at the Luther Burbank Home & Gardens.

Mary Basham, an experienced florist and Burbank home volunteer who is responsible for many of the floral displays at Burbank events, will show how to make lovely arrangements using materials found in your own home and garden.

Basham will also demonstrate some of the mechanics behind flower arranging and how to prepare flowers to make your arrangements last longer.

The one-hour talk begins at 7 p.m. and is part of the Burbank Home's Summer Lecture Series.

The cost is $10, paid at the door. It is free to Friends of Luther Burbank. To reserve a spot, call 524-5445. To join the "Friends" visit


Visit a highly sustainable home in Petaluma Aug. 14 for a close-up look at such efficiencies as a greywater system, a constructed wetland and rainwater catchment.

Trathen Heckman, executive director of Daily Acts, will open up his own backyard for the tour, showing how it grows over 1,000 pound of food annually using low-water growing techniques. Daily Acts is a non-profit organization that works to teach and promote sustainable living practices.

His urban garden also is alive with bees, chickens, an apple-tree fence and more than 200 varieties of edible and medicinal plants.

The tour will extend to the neighborhood, showing how other homes have incorporated sustainable living practices as well, including a garden where one man has grafted more than 50 varieties of fruit onto only several trees.

Cost for the tour of the "Rain & Greywater Fed Urban Oasis" is free to Petaluma residents or $45 for non-residents. Hours are from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. To register visit or call 789-9664.