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Spring flower show, plant sale

For more than 100 years, the Graton Community Club has ushered in spring with an old-fashioned Flower Show.

This year’s event, held today, includes a plant sale, big floral displays and an area of garden art for purchase including mosaic bird houses and collectibles. There is always a homemade lunch to purchase for $10 and live music, with desserts and beverages served all day. 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. 8996 Graton Road, at Edison Street, Graton. 707-829-5414 or grantoncommunityclub.org.


Luther Burbank open house, plant sale

Some of Luther Burbank’s horticultural marvels survive today. Home gardeners can pick up a few of them, grown in the same place where the world-renowned plant breeder did most of his experiments when Luther Burbank’s Experiment Farm at Gold Ridge holds its Open House today and Sunday. The annual event includes a plant sale, docent-led tours, rope making for kids, refreshments and a special appearance by Lilith Rogers, who tells the story of environmentalist and writer Rachel Carson.

For your spring garden there will be four types of tomatoes, cucumbers, Seascape strawberries, Burbank’s Amarcrinum (imagine a pink Naked Lady wearing a skirt), white grape vines, ‘Surprise’ yellow daylilies, Burbank’s spineless cacti, mature succulents in decorative pots and more. 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Free. Gold Ridge Farm is located above Burbank Heights and Orchards, at 7777 Bodega Ave., Sebastopol.


Ceramics studio sale

Works from more than 20 artists will be up for sale during the annual Spring Ceramics Studio Sale at the Sonoma Community Center on May 6.

Handmade ceramics in all prices ranges and styles will be available, ranging from delicate porcelain bowls to succulent planters. Free studio demonstrations will be offered all day in Studio 117. 276 E. Napa St., Sonoma. For information call 707-938-4626 or visit sonomacommunitycenter.org.


Farm-hop for fun, education

Sonoma County farms and ranches welcome visitors April 29 and 30 for “Blossoms, Bees and Barnyard Babies,” a weekend of farm-hopping for fun and education.

Each destination is a chance to meet with farmers and producers and learn more about their lives, the origins of local food and the soils and systems that sustain the county’s bounty.

Visitors can learn from beekeepers what they can do in their own yards to help struggling pollinators survive. There will also be flower arranging, animal cuddling and petting, from piglets to water buffalo calves, tastings of honey, cheese, wine, olive oil and preserves, games and crafts for kids and farm stands for stocking up.

The event is put on by Sonoma County Farm Trails. 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. To receive a schedule and map of participating farms call 707-837-8896 or visit farmtrails.org.


St. Helena home, garden tour

Gather up inspiration for your home projects, or just entertain your eyes with great design during the Kitchens in the Vineyards Home and Garden Tour today.

The 20th anniversary self-guided tour includes a mix of five properties, small to estate-sized, all styled by professional designers and florists, and located in the St. Helena area.


Iris show

Feast your eyes on some of spring’s most gorgeous blooms during the annual Santa Rosa Iris Society Flower Show May 7.

The show is a competition among growers, but for the layperson it is a chance to see a wide variety of irises in bloom for your bulb shopping list. There will also be potted irises for sale. Irises come in a full rainbow of colors, as well as bi-colors, reverse colors, broken colors and irises with appendages off their beards. Exhibit entries are accepted 7-9:30 a.m. There will also spring iris experts on hand to answer questions. For a show program visit santarosairis.org. The show is held at the Luther Burbank Art & Garden Center, 2050 Yulupa Ave., Santa Rosa.


Tips for collecting rainwater

Master Gardener Linda King will talk about rain barrels and other creative ways to collect and use rainwater during a free workshop Thursday at The Petaluma Seed Bank.

King will also go into the use of native plants and drought-tolerant Mediterranean plants to create a landscape that is both inviting and appropriate to the North Bay climate. 6-8 p.m. 199 Petaluma Blvd. N., Petaluma.


Irrigation for conservation

Demystify the language of irrigation during a free workshop May 6 put on by the Sonoma County Master Gardeners. Learn about basic irrigation equipment, how it functions and fits together, and how to convert your spray irrigation to drip. Held at the Cloverdale Library, 401 N. Cloverdale Blvd., Cloverdale. 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Sonomamastergardeners.org.


Plant sale crawl slated

Clear out your best cargo vehicle, grab a tarp and hit the road for a plant sale crawl through Sonoma County. Garden clubs and organizations throughout the county are holding plant sales in April, with bargains galore. Here are some for your list.

The Occidental Arts and Ecology Center holds one of the biggest plant sales today and Sunday. All plants are cultivated from the center’s Mother Garden, on site. All starts are open-pollinated and are 100 percent certified organic. Look for a huge selection of edibles, including herbs and greens as well as perennials, medicinals, Andean tubers, more than 40 varieties of salvias and low-water-use landscaping plants. 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Free tours of the center’s 43-year-old organic gardens and testing grounds will be offered at 1 p.m. Sunday. Those who become Friends of the Nursery for a minimum contribution of $50 annually, and those who volunteer to work the sale all will receive a 20 percent discount on plants. To volunteer call Plant Sale Coordinator Mary Zovich at mary@oaec.org. 15290 Coleman Valley Road, Occidental. 707-874-1557. Oaec@oaec.org.

Members of The Healdsburg Garden Club offer a huge selection of plants, from herbs and veggie starts to baskets of annuals and a multitude of succulents. 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. today. They will also offer clipper sharpenings for $5 a tool and will have a special guest offering information on medical marijuana plants. Healdsburg Senior Living Center, 725 Grove St., Healdsburg.

The Sonoma County Jail Industries offers its second and last spring sale on May 6 from 9 a.m. to noon. Low-risk inmates get vocational training working the garden and nursery. They have California natives, drought-tolerant shrubs, perennials, succulents, groundcovers, fruit and ornamental trees and spring vegetable starts. 2254 Ordinance Road, Santa Rosa.

Santa Rosa Junior College’s horticulture department holds its monthly plant sale during the annual Day Under the Oaks celebration. All plants are propagated and babied by students. Money raised goes toward student scholarships. 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. May 7. Located in the Lake Hall Greenhouse, next to the planetarium.

Forni-Brown Gardens in Calistoga has been a big supplier for years, to some of Napa Valley’s best chefs. They open their garden each spring to home gardeners who want to stock up on edible starts, including unusual and heirloom varieties. Most plants are in 4-inch pots, with some 1 gallon- and 5 gallon-containers and a few 6-packs. They also sell seeds for beets, corn, winter and summer squash, cucumbers, melons and more. Open Thursday to Sunday each week through May 27, 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Located on Cedar Street, two blocks east of the Calistoga Inn and Brewery, in Calistoga. The entrance is marked with a Plant Sale Today sign at 1214 Pine St. For information email fornibrowngarden@aol.com or call 707-942-6123.

Santa Rosa

Varmint control

Learn how to reclaim your garden from pesky gophers during a free workshop led by Master Gardeners Fred Revetria and Tom Donovan. They will cover traps and how to tell trails and markings of gophers. Today, at the Rincon Valley Library, 6959 Montecito Blvd., Santa Rosa. 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.


Roses, roses and ...

Members of the Redwood Empire Rose Society show off their best blooms during the annual Rose Plant Sale and Rose Show today. In addition to beautiful roses to ogle you can buy some to take home, along with great companion plants for rose gardens. Rosarians will be on hand to answer your rose-related questions. 1-4 p.m. today. Luther Burbank Art & Garden Center, 2050 Yulupa Ava., Santa Rosa.


Climbing roses

It will be all about climbers when the Russian River Rose Co.holds its Climbing Roses Magnifique tours today and Sunday.

Visitors can take a special tour focusing on 75 varieties of climbing roses in full bloom, including the garden’s Rose Allee, an avenue of 12-foot-tall arches laded with 30 cascading climbers.

There will also be tips offered on selecting, growing, training and pruning climbing roses. Tours at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. both days for a suggested donation of $2. 1685 Magnolia Drive, Healdsburg. 707-433-7455 or russian-river-rose.com


Water conservation

Master Gardener Linda King will talk about rain barrels and other creative ways to collect and use rainwater during a free workshop Thursday at The Petaluma Seed Bank.

King will also go into the use of native plants and drought-tolerant Mediterranean plants to create a landscape that is both inviting and appropriate to the North Bay climate. 6-8 p.m. 199 Petaluma Blvd. N., Petaluma.


Garden habitats

The new American Garden School is holding a class May 6 in Designing for Habitat.

The course will cover site analysis, soil health and irrigation, natives versus non-native plants, plant varieties, wildlife, seasonal plants and design. The course aims to show how to create a healthy and attractive environment for birds, insects, butterflies and bees. Each three-hour class ends with a reception of small bites and wine. $130. Held at the Marin Art & Garden Center, 30 Sir. Francis Drake Blvd., Ross. MAGC.org.


Rural readiness

If a natural disaster like flood or fire were to strike your neck of the woods, would you be ready to protect your property and animals?

“Ranch Readiness Day” at the Sonoma County Fairgrounds on Saturday aims to help rural dwellers prepare to evacuate or shelter in place.

The free event offers a host of talks, demonstrations, videos and information to help in an emergency.

There will be tips for using landscaping to make your home safer or more defensible during an emergency. Dr. Michale Payne, a firefighter and veterinarian, will offer a play-by-play commentary while showing footage of fire crews defending a ranch property.

Other highlights include author and crisis consultant Suzanne Bernier sharing stories from her book “Disaster Heroes,” a talk by Jim Green, director and co-founder of the British Animal Rescue & Trauma Care Association, a demonstration of search dog training and “A Day in the Life” of an animal evacuation and shelter team,

The Tips “Tri-Tip Trolley” will be on site with food for purchase.

The event is put on by HALTER, a volunteer-driven, grass-roots initiative founded by rancher and equestrian Julie Atwood to connect rural residents and first responders with resources for large ranch and farm animal rescue. Sonoma County Department of Health Services is partnering in the event. Admission is free. To register, visit ranchreadinessday.com. The event will be held in Saralee and Richard’s Barn at the Sonoma County Fairgrounds. For information email info@julieatwoodevents.com.

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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