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SANTA ROSA

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.

GUERNEVILLE

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.

SANTA ROSA

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.

SEBASTOPOL AND PETALUMA

Did you know your soil is breathing?

Master gardener Karen Guma will give a free talk March 10 on the living nature of soil. Guma will also touch on the dimensions of soil health, good and bad practices, including composting and no-till, as well as on carbon sequestration. 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., Sebastopol Regional Library, 7140 Bodega Ave. Guma will also give this free talk at the Petaluma’s Garden Club March 12. Registration is at 9:30 a.m. , Veterans Memorial Building, 1094 Petaluma Blvd. South.

SANTA ROSA

Ultra exotic slipper orchids

Dave Sorokowsky will give a free presentation March 13 on orchids known as Maudiae Paphs. Sorokowsky’s talk, on behalf of the Sonoma County Orchid Society, will look at the history of the mottled leaf hybrids, current breeding trends and what the future holds. He and wife Stacey are the owners of Paph Paradise, a slipper orchid retailer in central California. His Paphs have received more than 75 awards from the American Orchid Society, with many key in his breeding program. 6:30 p.m., Santa Rosa Veterans Memorial Building, 1351 Maple Ave.

HEALDSBURG

Who knew pruning could be creative play?

Topiary expert Jake Hobson will give a talk on the art of pruning March 17, explaining why he likes the physical act as much as the aesthetic results. Hobson is the founder of Niwaki Garden Tools in the U.K., and he’s a keen advocate of the hands-on approach. The discussion will explore the techniques of Japanese cloud pruning and western topiary and how he has blended them. The fee is $15. 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.; Healdsburg SHED, 25 North St.

SANTA ROSA

Pepper madness

Master gardener food specialists will give advice March 17 on how to grow varieties of peppers from sweet to hot. A hands-on germination activity will follow. The talk is free. 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.; 1717 Yulupa Ave.

SONOMA

Bouquets to celebrate spring

Tesoro Flowers is having a workshop March 25 to teach techniques for creating two hand-held bouquets. The bouquets can be given as a gift or taken home to put in a vase. You’ll begin with a smaller posey and graduate to a larger bouquet designed in the round, to wrap in handmade decorative papers. The fee is $125 and it will cover everything –– the flowers, the wrapping paper, treats and locals wines for those over 21. On the day of the workshop, everything in the store will be 20% off. Advanced reservations and payment is required. To reserve a spot, call 707-939-6931. 2 p.m. to 3:30 p.m., Tesoro Flowers in Cornerstone, 23566 Arnold Dr.

You can send Home and Garden news to Peg.Melnik@pressdemocrat.com. Please send items in at least three weeks in advance of an event.

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