As I compose this month’s calendar piece two things are foremost in my mind. The first is that it is raining. Really raining and the sound and smell and light of this much anticipated seasonal weather has a forceful and visceral effect on me and my outlook. While not a drought ending rain, it’s certainly a welcome easing of us and our gardens from late summer into fall.
The second thing on my mind is that I have recently learned of the death of my eldest maternal aunt, Bettina Balding Blackford. My family is rich in aunts and uncles – rich in family in general - but Aunt Bettina stands out as a valuable gardening model for me. I’ve referenced her many times over the years of my garden writing. She was my entre into the benefits of organic gardening and working with the nature of your garden, she was positive introduction and encouragement into the world of garden clubs and plant societies. As the head gardener at Ash Lawn- Highland, the historic home of President James Monroe, she demonstrated the potential of professional options in gardening. She was an edible garden expert, a camellia enthusiast, a moss garden lover, a composter, a cook, a sought after floral designer. I traveled with her to garden meetings and visited open gardens with her around the country from Seattle, WA to Western Massachusetts to the South Carolina coast. In the spring of 2001, my eldest daughter and I enjoyed an enviable trip with my Aunt Bettina and her late husband Staige visiting a round of famous gardens in Wales.
PHOTO: Aunt Bettina supervising her eldest daughter Linda Blackford Petit at foraging for stems of dock flowers to add to formal arrangements for a large family party celebrating my youngest sister’s 40th birthday in spring 2012.
And so – so what? In the past month I have attended two different horticultural symposiums featuring top speakers addressing critical questions for gardeners of our times - how we use resources, how we fit into our respective environments and places, and how choose our plants. Something about the season’s first rain, and my memories of my aunt and her way in this world overlay with the messages of these speakers and leave me the word: Legacy.
As gardeners and people, what is the legacy we want to leave? To our children – to the children of our communities. What will our legacy be? I better work to make darn sure that mine strives to meet the bar set high by the gardeners - mothers and aunts - that came before me.
PHOTO: Me and my Aunt Bettina on a sisters/nieces/aunts/cousins trip to the Texas Hill country to celebrate Aunt Bettina’s 75th birthday and see such gardens as Lady Bird Johnson’s Wildflower center.
October continues the late summer impulse towards planting and planning. October brings olive curing and pumpkin, gourd and pomegranate harvests. With the first cold nights, apples and persimmons are sweetening up nicely. In pomegranates, look for the first small splits on your fruits and try to get them down before the rains. Continue succession plantings of fall and winter seeds and starts. The snap peas, radishes, carrots, beets, mustard, lettuces, bok choy and kale are up in the beds I had ready, I will plant the remainder in the coming weeks with succession plantings of these and add a few more. Putting in sweet pea seeds now to sprout and set down roots will provide you with the most abundant lovely and fragrant blooms clambering up stakes and trellises come spring. Garlic and onions as well as ornamental bulbs throughout the garden are ready to be put in anytime now as well, as are the roots/tubers of perennial artichokes and horseradish. For those beds or areas you are not ready or planning to plant, consider a soil-building cover crop like fava beans or clover which you can turn under as green compost when you are ready to plant there again.
As the rains come and the leaves begin to fall, good hygiene in the garden will save you time and trouble. Clean up and discard the leaves of any diseased plants. Collect healthy leaves and mulch areas in need. You can pull from these areas to round out your home compost through the winter and next spring.
The last week of September and October North State Gardening events calendar is full of opportunities to help. 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!
Sept 27 – Redding: McConnell Arboretum & Botanical Gardens at Turtle Bay: 7TH ANNUAL FALL PLANT SALE Saturday, September 27 Member PreSale 9 - 11 a.m., Public Sale 11 a.m - 1 p.m.Sale includes a 20% discount for the public and a 30% discount for Turtle Bay members! Fall is the best time to plant most hardy perennial plants & shrubs in our area. Our fall sale focuses on hardy perennial plants including California natives, grasses, many unusual flowering plants, evergreen groundcovers and shrubs. Free gardening advice will be available throughout the day from Arboretum and Botanical Gardens staff and volunteers. Free admission to the Gardens all day. Visit www.turtlebay.org/nursery for more information Turtle Bay’s McConnell Arboretum & Botanical Gardens Nursery – 1100 Arboretum Drive (Take N. Market Street, turn on Arboretum Drive. Take right fork in the road and park in parking lot on the left.) Enter Nursery through gate in parking lot. More info: http://www.turtlebay.org
Sept 27 & 28 - Sacramento: Sacramento Valley Chapter CNPS FALL PLANT SALE 10 am - 3 pm. McKinley’s Shepard Garden & Arts Center, 3330 McKinley Blvd, Sacto 95619. We are BEE friendly: All plants at the SacValley CNPS Fall Plant Sale are Neonicotinoid Free! What’s a Neonicotinoid? Neonicotinoids are a class of neuro-active insecticides chemically similar to nicotine. The use of neonicotinoids was linked in a range of studies to a number of adverse ecological effects, including honey-bee colony collapse disorder and loss of birds due to reduction in insect populations. Increased scrutiny eventually led to restrictions and bans on the use of different neonicotinoids in several countries. Give BEES a Chance! Native Gardening Workshops Creating Bird and Pollinator Friendly Gardens, Bernadette Balics, Ecological Landscape Design: 11:00 - 11:45, Native Plant s & Grasses in Home gardens, Jeff Quiter, Hedgerow Farms: 12:15 - 1:00. For more info: http://www.sacvalleycnps.org
Sept 30 - Chico: Butte Rose Society Monthly Meeting and Program 7 pm. Chico Veterans Memorial Hall at 554 Rio Lindo Avenue in Chico, California. For more information: http://www.butte-rosesociety.org
Oct 1 - Chico: Mt. Lassen Chapter of the California Native Plant Society General Member Meeting 7:30 pm, Chico Library. Program: Jon Aull, naturalist at Chico Creek Nature Center, will describe “Bloomin’ Bidwell Park,” his online guide to the flowers of Upper Park. For more information see website at mountlassen.cnps.org
Oct 4 – Redding: Shasta Chapter CNPS Field Trip: Botany Exploration: Constructing a Plant List for Lightning Canyon Ranch. 9 am. This fieldtrip will be a botany exploration on the privately owned 1,700-acre Lightning Canyon Ranch, 20 miles north of Redding. Owner Bob Hixon has generously made his property available for CNPS fieldtrips. We will make a plant list while we walk on the trail by dividing into separate groups of two to four, each group listing plants in a particular category such as conifers, ferns, shrubs, deciduous trees, vines, herbaceous plants, etc. This will not be an intense “break out the Jepson Manual” ID session, but a more casual listing with help from all participants. Writing out the plant names, including scientific names, is an excellent way to reinforce learning. This will be a 4- to 5-mile hike on a winding trail up Sacramento Mountain with an elevation climb of over 1,200 feet, or 2,000 feet for those wishing to climb to the top. Expect to see a beautiful creek with a few waterfalls as well as chaparral and mixed conifer habitats. This is not far from Waters Gulch, so we may even see Shasta snow-wreath. No dogs, please. Meet at Mt. Shasta Mall parking lot near Chase Bank at 9 AM to carpool to the trailhead. Rain cancels. For more information, call David Ledger at 355-8542. For more Info: http://www.shastacnps.org
Oct 4 – Redding: McConnell Arboretum & Botanical Gardens at Turtle Bay: Charlie Rabbit and Friends 10:30 am. Presented by Dennis and Sherrill Bambauer An interactive program in the Gardens (or Greenhouse, in rain) for children, their siblings, parents and grandparents. Wear your favorite gardening clothes! Visit www.turtlebay.org/nursery for more information Turtle Bay’s McConnell Arboretum & Botanical Gardens Nursery – 1100 Arboretum Drive (Take N. Market Street, turn on Arboretum Drive. Take right fork in the road and park in parking lot on the left.) Enter Nursery through gate in parking lot. More info: http://www.turtlebay.org
Oct 4 – Redding: McConnell Arboretum & Botanical Gardens at Turtle Bay: Gardens as Habitat with Plantsman, Designer and Author John Whittlesey 10 - 12 noon. Gardens can be more than an attractive, functional setting for a home. With thought, planning and wise plant choices, gardens can be designed to create habitat for wildlife as well. Renowned plantsman, garden designer and author John Whittlesey will discuss factors to consider when designing a garden: the types of plants to use, with an emphasis on California native plants, and discuss gardening practices that encourage more birds, bees, butterflies and other wildlife to enliven our gardens. He will cover the step-by-step process of transitioning from lawn to garden. More info: http://www.turtlebay.org
Oct 5 - Chico: Mt. Lassen Chapter of the California Native Plant Society Field Trip: Mount Harkness Summit, Lassen Volcanic National Park Trip leaves at 8 am.We’ll first drive 65 miles to Chester, where we’ll have a rest stop. Then we drive 12 more miles to the trailhead. The last 5 miles is moderately steep on a washboard surface. The hike to Mt. Harkness at 8046 feet is shorter in distance than to other major peaks in the park. There’s great panoramic vistas for the lookout tower on the peak. The gain in elevation is 1246 feet over a 1.9 mile trail. Hikers should be in good health for this moderated steep trail. Call leader Gerry at 530-893-5123 for alternate meeting site. For more information see website at mountlassen.cnps.org
Oct 8 - FULL MOON (Full Hunter’s Moon)
Oct 10 – Redding: Shasta Chapter CNPS Fall Plant Sale Preparation Work Party 2 - 4 pm. Come help with last-minute weeding, setting up, organizing, and signing plants for the sale on Saturday. This is a work party; plants will be available for sale to members at the pre-sale starting at 4 PM. Meet at the Shasta College farm greenhouses. Members-Only Pre-Sale. 4 to 6 PM at the Shasta College farm greenhouses. CNPS members have an opportunity to buy plants before the sale opens to the public on Saturday! The pre-sale is open to current CNPS members only, but memberships will be sold. Call Jay & Terri Thesken at 221-0906 for information or directions, or to volunteer.
Oct 11 - Redding: Shasta Chapter CNPS FALL NATIVE PLANT SALE 8 am - 2pm. The Shasta Chapter of the California Native Plant Society is hosting their 31st year of annual plant sales with a 6-hour CALIFORNIA NATIVE PLANT SALE at Shasta College on SATURDAY, OCTOBER 11th, 2014, from 8:00AM to 2:00PM. There will be hundreds of California native plants for sale, at $5.00 apiece. Fall is the best time to plant! The Sale will be held at the Farm/Horticulture Area at the northeast side of the Shasta College campus. Contact: Jay or Terri Thesken (530) 221-0906.
Oct 11 - Corning: Red Bluff Garden Club’s Annual Design Program and Luncheon “Mad Hatter’s Ball 9:30 am - 12 noon Carlino’s Event Center, Rolling Hills Casino, Corning, CA. This year’s program will feature Denise Kelly of the Plant Barn in Chico discussing Mad About Container Gardening. Tickets are $28 and the last day to reserve your spot is October 1st. Tickets may be purchased by contacting Kathy Bramhall 530-527-9403 email@example.com, or Diane Cleland, 530-824-5661 firstname.lastname@example.org. Also at The Plant Barn in Chico. Please wear your favorite hat and join the party!
Oct 11 – Redding: Shasta Chapter CNPS 32nd Annual Fall Native Plant Sale This public sale will be from 8 AM to 2 PM at the Shasta College farm greenhouses. The greenhouses are located at the northeast end of the Shasta College campus, near the livestock barns. Purchase plants, books, notecards, and other items related to the native flora of California. We have a selection of over 800 plants this year. Gates will open at 8 AM; no early birds, please. Call Jay & Terri Thesken at 221-0906 for information or to volunteer to help on the day of the sale. For more info: www.shastacnps.org
Oct 11 - Davis:UC Davis Arboretum PLANT SALE to Support the Friends of the UC Davis Arboretum and Public Garden 9 - 11 a.m., Members only | Not a member? Call ahead (530.752.4880) or join at the door! LEARN MORE 11 a.m.- 1 p.m., Open to the public THE NEW FRONT YARD: 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 this October you are going to find just what you need from the area’s largest selection of attractive, drought-tolerant, easy-care, region-apprropriate plants including lots of California natives and Arboreutm All-Stars. LEARN MORE and CHECK OUT our CURRENT INVENTORY: http://arboretum.ucdavis.edu/plant_sales_and_nursery.aspx.
Oct 13 - Paradise: Paradise Garden Club Monthly Meeting and Educational Program Where: Terry Ashe Recreation Center, 6626 Skyway, Paradise. When: 11:45 PM Program: Begins 1:00 PM. Speaker and topic: TBD. Check back here or see our newsletter, The Watercan Post, for up-to-date info. Bring a favorite dish to share along with your own table service. General Membership Meeting follows program. For more info: http://www.paradisegardenclub.org
Oct 14 - Chico: Chico Seed Lending Library: Lettuce Get Together Monthly work group 5 - 7 pm. Come pack seeds with us, the second Tuesday of each month at the Butte County Library, Chico. For more information: https://www.facebook.com/ChicoSLL
Oct 15 - Fair Oaks: Fair Oaks Horticulture Center OPEN GARDEN 9 am - 12 noon. Talk with Master Gardeners. Get pruning tips for renovating plants. Watch how to protect citrus from frost. Discover more about seed saving and soil amendments. For more Info: http://ucanr.edu/sites/sacmg/Fair_Oaks_Horticulture_Center/Workshop_Schedule/
Oct 15 - Redding: Shasta Rose Society Monthly Meeting and Program 7 pm. City of Redding Corporation Yard, 20055 Viking Way, Bldg 4 Room 401. Meeting and Educational Program. For more information: http://www.shastarosesociety.org/Shasta_Rose_Society/Home.html
Oct 16 – Redding: Shasta Chapter CNPS Monthly Meeting and Program Our very own Susannah Johnson-Fulton, Botany and Biology Professor at Shasta College, has completed her doctoral degree and will be treating us to a talk about her dissertation topic: Systematics, Biogeography, and Ethnobotany of Cochlospermaceae. Cochlospermaceae is a small charismatic plant family, consisting of trees, shrubs, and herbs, with species present in the southwestern United States, Mexico, Central and South America, the West Indies, Africa, India, southeast Asia, and northern Australia. Many species are ethnobotanically important and have been used by different cultural groups in similar ways throughout their geographic range. The evolutionary relationships of the species will be discussed in relation to their interesting physical characteristics, geographic distributions, and ethnobotany. 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: www.shastacnps.org
Oct 18 – Redding: Shasta Chapter CNPS Field Trip: French Gulch Area This will be a 4- to 5-mile hike near French Gulch through the ridges above Highway 299 on a gently sloping trail/old road with a 1,000- to 1,400-foot elevation gain. The habitat is primarily grassland and chaparral; we’ll also see a few old mines along the way. Great way to see different views of the area. Meet at Mt. Shasta Mall near Chase Bank at 9 AM to carpool to the trailhead. For more information, call David Ledger at 355-8542. For more info: www.shastacnps.org
Oct 18 – Redding: McConnell Arboretum & Botanical Gardens at Turtle Bay: Ornamental Grasses in the Garden with Lisa Endicott 10 - 12 noon. With their variety of form, size and texture, ornamental grasses have earned their place in the garden. Join Turtle Bay Horticulture Manager, Lisa Endicott, for this informative class covering grasses, rushes, sedges, and restios, followed by a tour of the 50+ species growing in the Gardens and offered for sale in the Nursery. More info: http://www.turtlebay.org
Oct 18 – Chico: Butte Rose Society 20th annual Festival of Roses Rose and Rose Arrangement Show Our Divine Savior Catholic Church Social Hall, 566 East Lassen Avenue in Chico. The show is open from 1 - 4 pm and is FREE. There will be over 800 roses on display, and a Fragrant Rose Contest.
Oct 18 – Redding: Wyntour Gardens Nursery APPLE DAY A day dedicated to apples: Growing, caring for, juicing, preserving, handouts and pie contest. 8026 Airport Road - Redding, CA. 96002 - 530-365-2256. Hours of Operation: Monday thru Saturday 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. Sundays: 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.
Oct 19 - Chico: Mt. Lassen Chapter of the California Native Plant Society Field Trip: Deer Creek Trail, Lassen National Forest Meet in time to leave at 8:30 am. We’ll drive east on Hwy 32 38 miles to the trailhead at Deer Creek bridge. Starting at 3200 feet, this is a shaded and gradual 1-1/2 mile hike downstream. We’ll have lunch by a cascading waterfall with an adjacent fish ladder. We should see big leaf maple, dogwood, black oaks, Indian rhubarb and spicebush in full color. Leader: Wes, 530-342-2293. For more information see website at mountlassen.cnps.org
Oct 19 - Chico: Chico Permacutlure Guild Monthly Meeting 1 - 4 PM Butte County Library, Chico Branch 1108 Sherman Ave, Chico, California 95926. CPG EDUCATION: (Always free and open to the public) We will be starting our cycle of educational topics again beginning with the Ethics and Principles. I’ll post the whole topic schedule for 2014-2015 as a File for you to download/review. PERMACULTURE ETHICS AND THE FIRST 1-6 PRINCIPLES -what they mean and their practical application in our homes and properties (based on Holmgren principles with Mollison principles discussed). We would LOVE for the folks who joined us for these these sessions last year to come again and share with the group what they have learned/applied over the last year! Chico Seed Lending Library (CSLL) 1 Year Anniversary is October 19th! We will be having an informal seed swap after our October gathering, 3-6pm! The general public is welcome to join us for the potluck portion of our gathering and the CSLL celebration and seed swap will take place after that… more information coming soon! Please bring a small dish to share as well as your own dishes, utensils and cup for the POTLUCK –beverages will be provided. There are limited dishes available in the library so please remember to bring your own if you can. If you have anything in SURPLUS (vegetables, home preserved food, eggs, fruit, seed, plant starts etc.) please bring it along and we’ll ‘Share the Surplus’ after the Potluck
Oct 25 – Redding: Shasta Rose Society 29th annual Rose and Rose Arrangement Show 29th annual rose show. The event will be held at Wyntour Gardens Nursery located at Airport Road, Redding, California. The one-day show will be open to the public for FREE from 1PM to 4PM. Members of the Shasta Rose Society as well as anyone currently living in the counties of Shasta, Tehama, Siskiyou, Trinity, Lassen, Modoc, Glenn and Butte may submit entries for FREE to the show. The rose show schedule details all the entry rules and rose classes of the event. Rose show schedules will be available at the September meeting of the Shasta Rose Society.
Oct 19 – Redding: Shasta Chapter CNPS Plant Propagation Session: First of the Season One- to two-hour work session starting at 10 AM at the Shasta College farm greenhouses. The greenhouses are located at the back of Shasta College, near the livestock barns. We will be starting propagation—please bring any cuttings or seeds you would like to contribute. Please call Jay & Terri Thesken at 221-0906 for further information. For more info: www.shastacnps.org
Oct 25 – Redding: McConnell Arboretum & Botanical Gardens at Turtle Bay: Walk with Horticulture Manager Lisa Endicott 10:30 am. Bring your notebooks and cameras for this participant-driven program. We’ll make our way through the Gardens with frequent stops for discussions about (what else?) plants! Visit www.turtlebay.org/nursery for more information Turtle Bay’s McConnell Arboretum & Botanical Gardens Nursery – 1100 Arboretum Drive (Take N. Market Street, turn on Arboretum Drive. Take right fork in the road and park in parking lot on the left.) Enter Nursery through gate in parking lot. More info: http://www.turtlebay.org
Oct 25 & 26 - Chico: Chico Horticultural Society Annual FALL FLOWER & GARDEN SHOW and PLANT SALE at the Fall Home& Garden Show 10 - 5 both days - free with admission to the home show.
Oct 28 - Chico: Butte Rose Society Monthly Meeting and Program 7 pm. Chico Veterans Memorial Hall at 554 Rio Lindo Avenue in Chico, California. For more information: http://www.butte-rosesociety.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 twice-monthly Northstate Public Radio and web-based program celebrating the art, craft and science of home gardening in Northern California. It is 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 two weekends a month on Northstate Public Radio Saturday mornings at 7:34 AM Pacific time and Sunday morning at 8:34 AM Pacific time.