As spring rises, so do my gardening urges – dreams and plans. Thankfully, the older I get – and it’s a nice round number for me this year – the more deeply I care about some things, and the far less I care about others. This is true in all facets of my life. I care far less about how much of a given thing and far more about the quality of that thing. I care far less about who else said what or thinks what about any given thing, and far more about what I believe that given thing adds to the world as whole.
As a much younger gardener I will admit to having been downright greedy and acquisitive – I wanted this exotic flower grown there by this famous gardener and photographed so beautifully in that glossy magazine and I wanted that selection of pots handmade over there and shipped all the way here to add a sense of (admittedly someone else’s) “style” to my garden.
The constraints of age and money and time itself have all brought a little more understanding, a little more appreciation for what is right here and right now each year. My dreams and plans are more mindfully crafted.
As with my children and my food, I WANT to know where the plants and other items in my garden have been and how they got here - home to me. I want my garden to be far greater than the sum of its part and its looks – I want it to play well with the world around it and even more importantly I want it to bring real value to the world around it. I want to enjoy my flowers and my food and pots knowing that how they were grown or made, how they were transported to me and how they were treated until they got to me did as little harm to other people and other places as possible. I approach my garden more and more as I approach my children, believing that it needs less stuff and more time and presence.
The older I get the more clear I am that each choice I make, each dollar and hour I spend is a value I place that affects myriad others, and the more I feel a deep and abiding sense of responsibility to those others. It’s both a sobering and joyous sense of life’s interconnectedness – starting right here, in my home garden.
The “luminous insistence of growing things” – as described by Ansel Adams - navigates and is oriented by the particular quality of light at any one moment in a day, in a season, in a life. You, me, our gardens, photographers, poets, plants people and pansies - are calibrated to a certain amount of light - and of dark - in order to thrive. We need sufficient amounts of both. We rise and rest with the shifting of the light as with any other essential nutrient. By the moment of the Vernal Equinox, we will be receiving close to 2 hours and 40 minutes more daylight than we received on the Winter Solstice in December – and the whole world will energetically reflect this added luminosity and the benefits gained from the healing of winter’s rest.
Although the first official day of Spring is March 20th - average last frost dates are still a ways away for most of us – mid-April for the earliest of us - so don’t get too excited too quickly. In the North State Garden, March is a great time for continuing to sow cold hardy vegetable seeds or planting out cold hardy perennials and shrubs to begin establishing before true spring. It’s also time for a balanced fertilizer for your trees, shrubs and lawns that are starting to show signs of growth. March 1st is a traditional date on which to feed citrus trees. And just to mess with light and time even more - don’t forget that March 8th, our clocks will spring forward.
Good vegetables to direct seed outside this month include beets, carrots, chard, corn, leeks, lettuce, potatoes, radishes and turnips. Summer blooming bulbs and seed potatoes are also ready put in. When preparing my beds for planting, I dig in well-aged compost that includes the composted manure from my chickens. When preparing to plant, make sure that your soil is neither too wet nor too dry – people often describe the perfect soil texture for seeding as being that of moist chocolate cake. Once seeds are sown, they must be kept consistently damp until they germinate.
March in the North State calendar of gardening events is bookended by some powerful gardening events that speak to both joy and interconnectedness - and the optimistic act gardening can and should be. The On-line Calendar of Regional Gardening Events at jewellgarden.com adds events throughout the month. I do my very best to keep the calendar up to date and accurate, please confirm all events with the event host. If you have an event you would like listed or if you are aware of a mistake on the calendar, please send all pertinent information to: Jennifer@jewellgarden.com! Thanks!
Feb 28 - Redding: Shasta Chapter CNPS FIELD TRIP: Mule Ridge Trail. This will be a five-mile, out-and-back hike with a very gradual climb of about 1000 ft in the BLM Mule Ridge Trails area. This winding trail starts at the Oak Knoll Trailhead on Muletown Road and winds its way up to the top of a ridge. With the ample rains, we should see a number of early blooming wildflowers and shrubs along the way. There is a considerable amount of open grasslands and switchbacks into canyons along the trail. Meet at the Mt. Shasta Mall near Chase Bank at 9 AM to carpool to the trailhead. Well-behaved dogs on leashes okay on this fieldtrip. For more information, call David Ledger at 355-8542. For more info: http://www.shastacnps.org
Feb 28 – Redding: McConnell Arboretum & Botanical Gardens at Turtle Bay: Walk with Horticultural Manager Lisa Endicott 10:30 am. Bring your notebooks and camera! We’ll make our way through the Gardens with frequent stops for discussions about (what else?) plants! Free with Park or Garden admission. Meet at West Garden Entrance. Take N. Market Street, turn on Arboretum Drive. Take the right fork. Parking lot and entrance are on the left.
Feb 28 - Davis: UC Davis Arboretum All thing Acacia 2 p.m., Putah Creek Lodge. The late winter display of yellow blossoms in the Eric E. Conn Acacia Grove is spectacular! It’s a must-see event featuring over 50 different acacias from around the world. The event is free; parking is free on weekends in Putah Creek Lodge Visitor Parking Lot off Garrod Drive. For more information and directions, please call (530) 752-4880 or visit http://arboretum.ucdavis.edu/calendar.aspx.
Feb 27 & 28 – Chico: 2nd ANNUAL LOCAL NURSERY CRAWL: February 27 and 28, Friday and Saturday. Time 9am to 4pm (both days) What’s the Local Nursery Crawl all about: The purpose of this event is to get the public to visit and familiarize themselves with the many independent nurseries in the area and inspire loyalty and community support for local business. How the event works: Community crawlers will have a map that includes all the participating local nurseries. To encourage crawlers to visit multiple nurseries, each location will be able to place a sticker on a designated spot of the map and crawlers who visit 6 nurseries will receive a free Chico Bag with the Local Nursery Crawl logo on it. (while supplies last) Most nurseries will be holding raffles, special deals and offering refreshments. Also, some will be offering Classes or workshops during the Local Nursery Crawl event hours. For more info: http://www.localnurserycrawl.com/about/
March 1 – Chico: Sixth Annual Spring Seed Swap 2 pm - 6 pm, THE 6TH ANNUAL SPRING SEED SWAP ~ carpooling or riding bikes is encouraged~ WHAT IS PROVIDED >Seed Swap ‘Potluck’ Style >Speaker Presentations >Educational Displays >Seeds & Plants for Sale >Community Non-Profits >Food & Drinks for sale by Chico Natural Foods Cooperative >Lots of activities for all ages WHAT TO BRING >Seeds, bulbs, plants, cuttings or more to exchange >Used envelopes/containers and pens/pencils >Please label your items ~ you do not need seeds to attend ~ PRESENTATION SCHEDULE TBA TO VOLUNTEER Sign up online: http://volunteercpg.ivolunteer.com/6thspringseedswap FOR MORE INFORMATION >Sherri Scott (GRUB Education Program) 342-3376 firstname.lastname@example.org >Stephanie Ladwig-Cooper (Chico Permaculture Guild) 828-6390 email@example.com. HOSTED BY GRUB Education Program Chico Permaculture Guild SPONSORED BY Chico Grange Hall Chico Seed Lending Library (CSLL) Chico Natural Foods Cooperative ALWAYS A FREE COMMUNITY EVENT!
March 4 - Chico: Mt. Lassen Chapter of the California Native Plant Society Monthly meeting Ellen Dean, Curator of the UC Davis Center for Plant Diversity Herbarium. Natural Attributes of Proposed Berryessa Snow Mountain National Monument. At: Chico Branch County Library, 1st & Sherman Ave. Chico. For more info:http://mountlassen.cnps.org
March 5 - FULL MOON
March 7 – Redding: McConnell Arboretum & Botanical Gardens at Turtle Bay: Charlie Rabbit and His Friends 10:30 am. Join us the first Saturday of every month for an interactive program in the Gardens (or Greenhouse when it rains) for children, their siblings, parents and Grandparents. Join Charlie, our adorable jack rabbit puppet, in various gardening activities. Wear your favorite gardening clothes! Presented by Dennis and Sherrill Bambauer. Free with park admission! Meet at the Arboretum & Botanical Gardens Office (1135 Arboretum Drive next to Nursery Greenhouse)
March 7 – Redding: Wyntour Gardens: Victory Gardening 101: THE BASICS (1st class in a 3 class series) 10 am and 1 pm. Learn the basics for a productive and healthy garden. Climate zone, location set-up, Soil prep and seed starting. Classes fill up fast, so please call or email to reserve your seat! 8026 Airport Road - Redding, CA. 96002 - 530-365-2256 - Email Us: firstname.lastname@example.org. Hours of Operation: Monday thru Saturday 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. Sundays: 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.
March 7 - Davis: UC Davis Arboretum MEMBER APPRECIATON PLANT SALE to Support the Friends of the UC Davis Arboretum and Public Garden 9 a.m. - 1 p.m., UC Davis Arboretum Teaching Nursery (Garrod Drive near La Rue Road, across from Vet Med), UC Davis campus We know that many homeowners out there are in the process of developing their “New Front Yard” by replacing high-water use plants with low-water alternatives. That’s why you are going to find just what you need and get the best selection at our first plant sale of the spring season. We are going to have thearea’s largest selection of attractive, drought-tolerant, easy-care, region-appropriate plantsincluding loads of grasses, California natives and Arboretum All-Stars. For more information and directions, please call (530) 752-4880 or visit http://arboretum.ucdavis.edu/calendar.aspx.
March 8 - Daylight Savings - Clocks Spring Forward 1 hour
March 8 - Chico: Mt. Lassen Chapter of the California Native Plant Society Field Trip: Maidu Plants Walk Upper Park 9:00 AM. Maidu Plants Walk in Upper Bidwell Park - Chico. Meet at the Horseshoe Lake parking lot “E” in Upper Bidwell Park. Leader: Wes Dempsey, phone: 530-342-2293 For more info:http://mountlassen.cnps.org
March 11 - Davis: UC Davis Arboretum Walk With Warren Noon, Arboretum Gazebo Join our Superintendent Emeritus Warren Roberts–famous storyteller and punster–for an always engaging noontime exploration of the UC Davis Arboretum’s West-end gardens. For more information and directions, please call (530) 752-4880 or visit http://arboretum.ucdavis.edu/calendar.aspx.
March 14 – Redding: Wyntour Gardens: Victory Gardening 101: PLANTING (2nd class in a 3 class series) 10 am and 1 pm. Layout of plants, choosing vegetables, planting dates, techniques, transplanting starts, pollination spacing and crop rotation. Classes fill up fast, so please call or email to reserve your seat! 8026 Airport Road - Redding, CA. 96002 - 530-365-2256 - Email Us: email@example.com. Hours of Operation: Monday thru Saturday 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. Sundays: 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.
March 14 - Davis: UC Davis Arboretum Delights Down Under 11 a.m., Arboretum GATEway Garden behind Davis Commons Shopping Center (meet at the Shovel Gateway Sculpture) Plants from “down under” show off their flowers during the rainy season. Tour the Australian and New Zealand collections and have a blooming good time learning about plants from far-away lands. The event is free;free parking is available in the Davis Commons Shopping Center. The event is free;free parking is available in nearby Visitor Parking Lot 5. For more information and directions, please call (530) 752-4880 or visit http://arboretum.ucdavis.edu/calendar.aspx.
March 14 - Fair Oaks: Fair Oaks Horticultural Center OPEN HOUSE 9 - 12 noon, Open Garden - Ask us questions and watch what we are doing at this time of year. Master Gardeners will provide tips on how to select water efficient plants and grow warm-season vegetables. Learn how to manage pests in the orchard and vineyard. http://ucanr.edu/sites/sacmg/Fair_Oaks_Horticulture_Center/Workshop_Schedule/
March 15 - Chico: Mt. Lassen Chapter of the California Native Plant Society Field Trip: Yahi Trail Upper Park 9:00 AM. Yahi Trail in Upper Bidwell Park - Chico. Meet at the Diversion Dam Parking Lot “L” in Upper Bidwell Park. Leaders: Wes Dempsey, 530-342-2293: Gerry Ingco, 530-893-5123. For more info:http://mountlassen.cnps.org
March 16 - Chico: Chico Horticultural Society Regular Monthly Meeting 9:30 am meet/coffee, 10 am program. Butte County Library - 1st Avenue, Chico. For more info: President, Susi G. at firstname.lastname@example.org
March 19 - Redding: Shasta Chapter CNPS Chapter Meeting. Meet at 7 PM at the Shasta College Health Science & University Programs building in downtown Redding, 1400 Market Street, Community Room 8220 (clock tower building at the north end of the Market Street Promenade; enter on south side of building). A Board meeting will be held before the regular meeting, at 5:30 PM at Angelo’s Pizza Parlour in the Foundry Square, 1774 California Street, Redding. For more info: http://www.shastacnps.org
March 20 - Vernal Equinox - first day of Spring!
March 21 – Redding: Wyntour Gardens: Victory Gardening 101: FERTILIZING, COMPOST & PESTS (3rd class in a 3 class series) 10 am and 1 pm. Basic watering set ups for home gardens, fertilizing options, compost techniques and insects (good and bad). Classes fill up fast, so please call or email to reserve your seat! 8026 Airport Road - Redding, CA. 96002 - 530-365-2256 - Email Us: email@example.com. Hours of Operation: Monday thru Saturday 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. Sundays: 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.
March 21 – Redding: McConnell Arboretum & Botanical Gardens at Turtle Bay: Botanical Gardens Drought and Heat-Adapted Plants Mediterranean Basin Garden Plants 9 - 11 am. If you have wanted to know specific, local information about tough, beautiful plants that are happy to grow in our own Mediterranean climate zone, join Turtle Bay’s Horticulture staff for this botanical gardens plant class focusing on plants in the Mediterranean Basin Garden. These plants have not only a large variety of ornamental textures and colors, they are also easy to cultivate and maintain!
March 22 - Chico: Mt. Lassen Chapter of the California Native Plant Society Field Trip: Spotted Fawn Lily and McNab Cypress 9:00 AM. Spotted Fawn Lilies & McNab Cypress - Lassen National Forest. Meet at Chico Park & Ride west lot (Hwys 32/99). Call leaders for a secondary meeting place: Gerry Ingco 530-893-5123 and Wes Dempsey 530-342-2293. For more info:http://mountlassen.cnps.org
March 28 - Davis: UC Davis Arboretum Spring Surprises in the Storer Garden 11 a.m.,UC Davis Arboretum Gazebo, UC Davis Campus Our valley-wise demonstration garden, the Ruth Risdon Storer Garden, is beautiful year round, but especially in spring. Just in time for our first public plant sale of the spring season on April 11, you can come get great ideas for your own water-thrifty garden. The event is free;free parking is available in the Davis Commons Shopping Center. The event is free;free parking is available in nearby Visitor Parking Lot 5. For more information and directions, please call (530) 752-4880 or visit http://arboretum.ucdavis.edu/calendar.aspx.
March 28 – Redding: McConnell Arboretum & Botanical Gardens at Turtle Bay: Walk with Horticultural Manager Lisa Endicott 10:30 am. Bring your notebooks and camera! We’ll make our way through the Gardens with frequent stops for discussions about (what else?) plants! Free with Park or Garden admission. Meet at West Garden Entrance. Take N. Market Street, turn on Arboretum Drive. Take the right fork. Parking lot and entrance are on the left.
March 28 - Chico: Mt. Lassen Chapter of the California Native Plant Society Field Trip: Divide Ranch Walk and Bear Valley 9:00 AM. Divide Ranch Walk, Glen Co. & Bear Valley Drive, Colusa Co. Meet at Chico Park & Ride west lot (Hwys 32/99). Leader: Woody Elliott, 530-588-2555, email: firstname.lastname@example.org. For more info:http://mountlassen.cnps.org
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To submit plant/gardening related events/classes to the Jewellgarden.com on-line Calendar of Regional Gardening Events, send the pertinent information to me at: Jennifer@jewellgarden.com
In a North State Garden is a bi-weekly North State Public Radio and web-based program celebrating the art, craft and science of home gardening in Northern California and made possible in part by the Gateway Science Museum - Exploring the Natural History of the North State and on the campus of CSU, Chico. In a North State Garden is conceived, written, photographed and hosted by Jennifer Jewell - all rights reserved jewellgarden.com. In a North State Garden airs on Northstate Public Radio Saturday morning at 7:34 AM Pacific time and Sunday morning at 8:34 AM Pacific time, two times a month.