Free rose bush giveaway and garden party
King’s Nursery will be “giving away the farm” Saturday, March 10. with a free rose bush for the first 1,000 customers.
That’s a lot of roses. But that’s the idea, says owner Fred King, who thought a proliferation of roses in a community still reeling from last fall’s devastating wildfires and other traumatic events in the country would boost flagging spirits and help “re-knit” the community.
“The hope is to bring joy, happiness and colorful blooms to all gardens in our wonderful part of the world,” said King. “This is a no-strings event. The only request is that recipients are encouraged to plant these colorful roses where neighbors and passersby might enjoy their blooms this spring and for many years beyond. We can all pay it forward as this costs nothing but a bit of elbow grease and a desire to share the blooms.”
There will be four rose varieties available — Peace, Veterans Honor, Love, and Memorial Day.
Roses will be given away between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. during a full-on party, which will include face painting and garden crafts for kids, live music, talks on roses, bees, butterflies and soil, as well as a food truck and coffee truck with complimentary treats.
King has similarly colored the community with flowers in the past. Over the years he has given away 100,000 daffodil bulbs to schools and nonproftis to decorate roadsides and playgrounds. He’s also given out 1,000 Pease roses “in hopes of a more peaceful world.”
“We love our community, our county and the entire area. Our roots run deep and our community has been wounded,” said King, whose great-grandfather, George F. King , first started selling seeds and fruit trees from a downtown Santa Rosa grocery in the 1890s. “Maybe if we can simply plant a rose,” King said, “we can all help re-knit the fabric of Sonoma.”
King said he still hears from people who got a free rose bush from King’s in 1991 and say it is still thriving. He figures that 1,000 roses will produce 40,000 blossoms this year alone, building up into millions in the years to come.
Kings is at 1212 13th St., on the corner of 13th and Stewart streets in Santa Rosa. For more information call 707-542-4782 or visit kingsflowernursery.com.
A haven for honey bees
Master gardener Cheryl Veretto will give a free talk March 10 on how to create a yearlong bee sanctuary. Veretto will show you how you can create a garden that can provide flowers high in nectar and pollen in all four seasons to help honey bees and other pollinators survive. 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., Guerneville Regional Library, 14107 Armstrong Woods Road.
Plant sales with offerings covering the gamut
Willowside Nursery School will have a variety of plants for sale on these Saturdays: March 24, April 14, May 5, May 26 and June 16. They will include a broad range of low water and drought tolerant perennials, California natives, succulents, grasses, salvias and other plants that attract beneficial insects, buttterflies and hummingbirds. The price is $4 for one-gallon containers. 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., 5299 Hall Road at Willowside Road.