Home and garden events, workshops around Sonoma County

SANTA ROSA: Sneak peek at Sonoma County Fair flowers

Get a sneak peak at the Sonoma County Fair’s Hall of Flowers before the crowds start streaming through during a preview party July 23.

A $30 ticket buys you a leisurely two hours to enjoy appetizers and wine while strolling through a floral wonderland, the largest themed flower show in the country, created by top notch garden designers.

This year’s theme is “Down on the Farm,” so expect a nostalgic trip through fanciful gardens with a rustic, backroads feel reminiscent of old Sonoma County with images of antique fruit crates, farmers markets along with waterfalls, fountains and fanciful props made by the studio of Hall Designer Greg Duncan. Proceeds benefit the Hall of Flowers Scholarship fund. 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.

The fair opens officially July 24 with other attractions for home gardeners, including amateur garden exhibits right outside the Hall of Flowers and a demonstration garden created by the Sonoma County Master Gardeners. 1350 Bennett Valley Road, Santa Rosa.

For tickets and information, visit or call 545-4200.


SANTA ROSA: Rare trees for sale

There will be some of the most unusual trees you’ll ever see in a home garden, at least in Sonoma County, at the annual Rare Fruit Tree Collector’s Sale on July 25.

Put on by the California Rare Fruit Growers Redwood Chapter, the sale features more than 50 varieties of common, rare and experimental trees and plants sourced from collectors all over Northern California.

This year the sale will feature unusual apple varieties like those in the Burbank Goldridge Farm Collection, as well as rare figs, plums, peaches and pears. Sale-goers also may land one of a limited number of multi-grafted “fruit salad” trees.

Experts will be on hand to answer questions.

The local chapter of rare fruit growers holds events all year, including garden tours, fruit tastings, juice pressings and classes. They also get together to trade plants and cuttings and to swap tips on growing techniques. Membership is $41 per year and includes a variety of benefits but one need not be a member to attend the free collector’s sale. 9 a.m. to noon at the Original Farmers Market next to the Wells Fargo Center for the Arts, 50 Mark West Springs Road, Santa Rosa. For information, visit


SEBASTOPOL: Swap seeds at monthly event

Help support biodiversity while collecting seed for your own garden or sharing your seed with others during the monthly West County Community Seed Gathering July 25.

The swap is from 9 a.m. to noon at St. Stephen’s Church, 500 Robinson Road in Sebastopol.

The West County community Seed Exchange aims to support local gardeners with free, locally-grown, open-pollinated and pesticide and GMO-free seed. For information on the exchange and its seed bank visit


SEBASTOPOL: Harmony Supply appreciates customers

Harmony Supply throws its annual customer appreciation day July 18 with vendor booths, free classes, a free taco lunch, music, prizes and discounts.

Classes include “Ecological & Water Saving Landscapes” with Eric Ohlsen from Permaculture Artisans at 9:30 a.m. and Trapping Gophers with Gregg Crawford at 10:45 a.m.. 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. 3244 Gravenstein Highway N., Sebastopol. 823-9125.


SEBASTOPOL: Fuchsia Society holds sale

Fuchsias are a beautiful addition to the garden, whether in a garden bed or a pot on the patio.

Pick up a few that are healthy and hand-grown locally during the The Sebastopol Fuchsia Society’s plant sale on July 25.

There will be lots of f hanging baskets as well as a variety of uprights in different colors.

The sale is from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. or earlier if all the plants are sold out. Shoppers are urged to come early for the best selection.

282 South High Street, Sebastopol. For information call Edwina Sauers at 838-9429.

You can reach Staff Writer Meg McConahey at or 521-5204. On Twitter @megmcconahey.

Meg McConahey

Features, The Press Democrat

Like most everyone, I love a good feature story that takes me somewhere I’ve never been or tells me something I don’t know. Where can I take you? Who in Sonoma County would you like to know better? I cover the people, places and ideas that make up Sonoma County, with general features, people profiles and home and garden, interior design and architecture stories. Hit me up with your tips, ideas and burning questions.


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