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Season for irises

The irises have returned and the Russian River Rose Co. is awash in these showy bulbs. The Healdsburg nursery will offer special tours of their show gardens on April 15, with special attention paid to the best among their 150 varieties of iris and their early-blooming roses. 2 p.m. $2 donation. 1685 Magnolia Drive, Healdsburg, 707-433-7455 or russian-river-rose.com.


Orchids bare naked

There is much to learn about your orchid when it is bare naked.

Debra Atwood, a Napa Valley orchid consultant, will strip six to 10 of her own plants to show how you can better understand these amazing plants during a free talk Tuesday, April 11, before the Sonoma County Orchid Society.

Atwood will show how to read orchid roots and overall plant health, as well as how to calculate your best moves when choosing potting medium fertilizer, watering techniq=ues and placement — all by examining a bare plant. The meeting is from 7 p.m. -9 p.m. and open to non-members. Held at the Santa Rosa Veterans Building, 1351 Maple Ave., Santa Rosa. For information visit sonomaorchids.com.


SF Flower & Garden Show

The San Francisco Flower & Garden Show wraps up this weekend, April 7-9, with elaborate show gardens, demonstrations, a butterfly forest, a plant market and more than 80 seminars covering everything from seed saving and building a beehive, to harvest preservation and creating orchid gift baskets.

Highlights include an urban homestead complete with livestock, a permaculture garden featuring gray water, aquaponics and other sustainable growing feature, a marketplace filled with vendors offering new tools and gardening gear and a series of Make and Take Stations where showgoers can experience making sauerkraut and homes for native bees.

Hours are 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday. Admission is $22 for one day, $20 for seniors.

Free to children under 17. San Mateo County Event Center, 1346 Saratoga Drive, San Mateo. For information, visit sfgardenshow.com.


Workshop on growing dahlias

Learn how to grow dazzling dahlias for flower beds, borders and cutting gardens during a free workshop April 8 at the Sebastopol Library. Master Gardener Jim Lang, who has grown several thousand dahlias as well as exhibited and judged them, will share what he knows from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. 7140 Bodega Ave., Santa Rosa.


Special tour at Wildwood Nursery

Wildwood Nursery’s Second Saturday series of special events continues April 8 with a special educational tour of the mini-gardens and plantings incorporated within the nursery.

The tour will include a discussion of companion plants for native oaks and Mediterranean trees and examples of natives and non-natives that co-exist and complement each other.

The 2 p.m. tour will also include a discussion of the differences in the growth habits of container plantings and plants in the landscape.

Free. 10300 Highway 12, Kenwood. 707-833-1161 or events@wildwoodmaples.com.


Learn about irrigation

When people start talking irrigation it can sound like a different language. Learn to decode it at free workshops in Sonoma and Petaluma.

Sonoma County Master Gardeners will discuss basic irrigation equipment, how it works and how it all fits together. They’ll also help you figure out how to convert your spray irrigation to drip, from the valves to the emitters, as well as how to maintain your system.

Workshops are slated for April 8 at the Sonoma Valley Library, 755 W. Napa St., Sonoma, and April 15 at the Petaluma Library, 100 Fairgrounds Drive, Petaluma.

Hours for both workshops are 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Sonomamastergardeners.org.


See a composting operation

Check out an award-winning garden compost operation April 8 at Western Hills Garden in Occidental.

Volunteers Dick and Mary Miner will talk visitors through the process. Mary won Best of Show in the composting competition at the Marin County Fair with her Western Hills compost.

Dick won a prior award for his compost from Alcatraz. Western Hills is a display garden of rare and unusual plants that has captivated horticulturists and gardeners for half a century.

They have stepped up propagation efforts and now offer plants for sale from the garden. The “Walk and Talk” of the compost garden is from 1-4 p.m. and is included with the $10 admission to the garden.

16250 Coleman Valley Road, Occidental. 707-872-5463.


Restoring your deck

Over the winter a deck can take a beating. Learn how to effectively clean and maintain your deck during a free workshop April 8 at Sebastopol Hardware Center.

Learn all about the options for re-staining or painting. 10 a.m. 660 Gravenstein Highway N., Sebastopol. 707-823-7688.


Composting tips

Composting is the single best thing you can do for your garden. Master Gardener Lyle Bullock will explain why, as well as how to do it, during a free workshop April 8 at the Cloverdale Library. 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. 401 No. Cloverdale Blvd., Cloverdale.


Plant your spring garden

Mid-April is the time when frost danger is usually past in Sonoma County. That means it’s time to plant your spring garden. Master Gardener food gardening specialists will be on hand at the Windsor Town Green Community Garden on April 8 to give tips for getting started. Highlights include a raised bed planting demonstration, a tour of the garden, companion planting, square-foot gardening, soil basics and vertical gardening.

Free. 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. On the northwest side of the Green at Windsor Road and Joe Rodota Way just off the Windsor Civic Center Parking Lot. For more information, visit sonomamastergardeners.org.


Minimum impact gardening

Master Gardener Dennis Przybycien will offer a practical guide to “Minimum Impact Gardening” during a free workshop April 8 at the Healdsburg Library.

He will offer safe and easy steps for getting the most sustainable and high-quality results from your fruit trees and vegetable and flower gardens. 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. 139 Piper St.


Get orchid to re-bloom

Do you throw away your supermarket-bought orchid after the flowers drop?

Don’t, says Master Gardener Ann Chambers. She will show you how to get that plant to re-bloom for many years to come during a hands-on workshop April 8 at the Petaluma Library. Bring your ailing orchid.

100 Fairgrounds Drive, Petaluma. 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Send Home and Garden news to meg.mcconahey@pressdemocrat.com or call 707-521-5204. Please submit items at least three weeks in advance of an event.

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