April in the North State Garden & Monthly Calendar of Gardening Events

March 28th, 2015

Our very mild winter and early warm temperatures, with little precipitation, have brought us to what feels like an early burst of life and color in the garden this year some of my garden plants - roses and salvias for example seem close to a full month early. With the urban world in bloom and the wildlands already beginning to dry for summer – there is much related motion. Grasshoppers, birds and butterflies are on the move to cooler temperatures and more food in their summer territories.

PHOTO: A tiny egg casing after the new caterpillar has hatched. According to Monarchwatch.org “Monarch butterfly eggs are somewhat difficult to find in the wild. Since it only takes 3-5 days for eggs to hatch, timing is crucial. The best sign is to watch for adult Monarchs stopping at milkweed plants. A female will usually lay only one egg per milkweed plant to ensure enough food for each larva.”

In the last weeks, the seasonal migration north of the Painted lady butterflies has gotten underway and pipevine swallowtails are emerging from their chrysalides, which were tucked away since last fall. Alerted to the activity by a young student Bowen Jiang, I recently watched a monarch in a friends’ garden circle and circle the large area searching for its destination – the beginning shoots of showy milkweed - in order to lay its eggs. Milkweed species are the only food source for the monarch larva, and once it finds the plants, the female butterfly lays 1 perfect white ribbed cone of an egg at a time in a precise and determined process. After watching her work, the next day we hunted for eggs and found many of the tiny white protuberances on the tops and bottoms and in the creases of the emerging fuzzy silver green leaves. An observer might wonder if there will be enough foliage for all of those eggs to eat when they hatch in just 3 – 5 days as it’s looking a bit sparse just now.

PHOTO: A tiny monarch caterpillar beginning its journey with a good meal of fresh milkweed leaves. The bitter milky sap of the milkweed makes the caterpillars taste strongly bitter as well and helps protect them from bird predation.

But wait – and watch. Milkweed is vigorous and fast growing - shoots are coming up in great abundance and have spread far and wide in a short time. Nature has a way of constantly working to balance supply and demand and ultimately getting timing down pretty well. In general, the coordination of growth of the food and growth of the hungry is pretty awe-inspiring.

PHOTO: A mature monarch on Salvia in late April.

Gives a person hope for balance, timing and coordination being pretty much right on schedule in most realms – no matter how out of synch it might feel in some individually uncomfortable moments. Watch and wait. Things have a way of working.

In the edible garden, winter crops are finishing – spring crops are at their peak; summer crops are busting out of pots in greenhouses across the region - eager to get into the ground.

Happy spring Russian red kale seedlings from Redwood Seeds in Manton.

Happy spring Russian red kale seedlings from Redwood Seeds in Manton.

The very fact of spring makes us want to plant. We’re getting ready to plant out warm season crops like peppers, tomatoes, squash and cucumbers. According to Wolfgang Rougle, of Sacramento Valley Feast: “Plant radishes for mid-April, turnips/beets for May, carrots for June. Plan to irrigate them. Your brassicas are probably all flowering; decide which you want to save seed from and destroy or faithfully pinch the blooms from the others, until they stop flowering. Cilantro is bolting but still delicious; break off the bolting shoots (you can eat them) to extend the greens harvest by a few weeks. It’s a great time to set out transplants or sets of onions; leeks can still be seeded but transplants will do better. Tomatoes/eggplants/basil indoors should have first or second true leaves – a good selection of starts are available at area nurseries and farmer’s markets” – and by the end of April to mid-May most of us will be ready to set them all out in the garden. “If you haven’t already, go ahead and start okra and curcubit seeds.” Average last frost arrives in the Valley by about mid-April and reaches the high country by mid-may - so as you start taking tender starts out to the garden pay attention to the weather forecast and cover or bring your tender guys in. Other good seeds to sow in April include corn, snap beans, lima beans, zucchini, and in late month the first of the melons.

Perennials are poking up and leafing out – early bloomers are turning over the stage to the next in line.

Light through an opaque, young tomato leaf.

Light through an opaque, young tomato leaf.

For most parts of the North State the alternating cool and hot, windy and still, but mostly dry will keep us guessing. While there are really no hard and fast rules in gardening, the time for planting trees, shrubs and herbaceous perennials is past – we are too close to consistently hot, dry weather to make it easy or efficient. If you do choose to plant these now, pay close attention to their water and shade needs this summer.

Take the time now to keep your weeds under control if you get to them before they flower, you won’t have to do it twice.

With Spring come her minions – aphids, wind and snakes included. Be patient – they will all subside into a more manageable balance soon.

Pacific tree frog Table Mountain, Oroville.

Pacific tree frog Table Mountain, Oroville.

April is a busy, busy month for gardening events, tours, festivals farmers markets and plant sales around the region. 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: Jjewell1@mac.com! Thanks!

Follow Jewellgarden.com/In a North State Garden on Facebook

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

MARCH 2015

March 28- Paradise: Paradise Grange hosts Vermiculture Workshop with Ward Habriel 11 am. $10. 5704 Chapel Dr. Paradise, CA 95969 (530) 873-1370

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: Shasta Chapter CNPS FIELD TRIP: Dye Creek Preserve This hike is on the 37,000-acre Dye Creek Preserve in Tehama County just south of Red Bluff in the foothills of the east valley, on property that is a part of The Nature Conservancy’s protected lands. We will hike up the trail in the wide Dye Creek Canyon cut out of basalt rock, with high mesas above the trail, to a large wide natural cave once used by Native Americans for shelter. This is a very unique area with many different wildflowers, trees, and shrubs. The lower part of Dye Creek Preserve is a working cattle ranch, but livestock are kept out of Dye Creek Canyon. Reserve a space for this unforgettable hike as it is limited to 25 people and you must sign a liability waiver for The Nature Conservancy and CNPS, and provide a valid emergency phone number. Meet at the Mt. Shasta Mall parking lot near Chase Bank at 8 AM. For more information, call David Ledger at 530/355-8542. For more info: http://www.shastacnps.org

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 - Oroville: Oroville AAFCC Community Garden Workshop Series: SOIL 10:00 AM. 2733 Wyandotte, Southside, Oroville. Determine what type of soil you have and how to improve it with organic matter. Discussion of soil PH and soil testing, and how to make corrections so your plants will thrive. Also, demonstrations of “double –digging” to easily improve your garden soil and then hands-on practice. For more information: http://ucanr.edu/sites/bcmg/events/

March 28 - Chico: Butte County Master Gardener Spring Workshop Series at Patrick Ranch Demonstration Garden: DRIP IRRIGATION 10 - 11:30 am. Patrick Ranch Museum, 10381 Midway, Durham. Learn how to design a drip irrigation system, whether you are starting from scratch or converting an old PVC system to drip. If you are watering with a hose you can still use drip. Come to this workshop to learn about the many choices available to you. For more info: call 530- 538-7201 or visit http://ucanr.edu/sites/bcmg/events/

March 29 - 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: woodyelliott@gmail.com. For more info:http://mountlassen.cnps.org

March 29 - Redding: Shasta Chapter CNPS Second Plant Propagation Session for March. Two-hour work session starting at 10 AM at the Shasta College greenhouses. The greenhouses are located at the back of Shasta College, near the livestock barns. We anticipate a lot of weeding and potting-up of rooted cuttings in preparation for the April 16–18 Spring Plant Sale. Please call Jay & Terri Thesken at 530/221-0906 for further information. For more info: http://www.shastacnps.org

March 29 - Chico: Chico Permaculture Guild Energy Efficient Design Using Zones & Sectors 11 am - 3 pm. Register here: http://www.eventbrite.com/e/energy-efficient-design-using-zones-and-sectors-registration-16076479182 This is a Hands-on Workshop focused on the permaculture design process and directly relating to our Chico Permaculture Guild March monthly gathering topic, Map and Analyze Zones and Sectors. You don’t need to have attended the gathering though it will help you better understand the activities of the workshop. [CPG March Gathering: https://www.facebook.com/events/377759079075228/] We will go into detail on how to analyze the zones and sectors of a new area of Anne and Robert’s property in Oroville. We will walk the property and talk about how to design with slope in mind as we learn about the different sectors of Anne and Roberts property and how they mapped them out. You’ll learn how to analyze the function/characteristics of specific elements (using examples such as rabbits and oak trees) then how to find the most appropriate functional connections between different elements before placing them into their respective zones. We will do a fun random assembly activity that will help fully open up our brains to all kinds of possibilities when placing the desired elements. As a final design exercise you will be given a wish list of elements (animals, aquaponics, gardens etc.) that you will need to then analyze and place into a design of your own during the workshop. You’ll go home with a better understanding of the importance of zones and a practical application of how to create a sector map; this hands-on skill building workshop will lead you further down the road toward creating a final permaculture design for your own site. This is a FREE event. WHAT TO BRING: Paper for notes, pens/pencils, hat, sturdy shoes and water. This is a potluck so please bring a dish to share and your own utensils if you wish. For more information contact Stephanie at modcpg@gmail.com or 530-828-6390.

March 29 - Chico: GATEWAY SCIENCE MUSEUM Garden Science Sunday activity: Hummingbird Habits 1 - 3 pm. Drop in to Gateway’s Native Plant Garden to go on a journey exploring the migration, eating, and nesting habits of our favorite garden hummingbirds. Try your hand (or beak) at drinking from a tubular flower or making a sturdy little nest from twigs, lichen and spider webs. Free with regular admission. Gateway Science Museum is open 12 - 5, Wednesday - Sunday. Adults $6, Children under 18 and students with ID $3. Children under 2 FREE.

APRIL 2015

April 1 - Chico: Mt. Lassen Chapter of the California Native Plant Society Member Monthly Meeting: Linnea Hanson “An Overview of Fens in California National Forests” 7:30 PM. Linnea Hanson, Plumas National Forest Botanist (Retired). Fens of California: An Overview of Fens in California National Forests. At: Chico Branch County Library, 1st & Sherman Ave. Chico. For more info:http://mountlassen.cnps.org

April 3 & 4 – Redding: McConnell Arboretum & Botanical Gardens at Turtle Bay: Annual Spring Plant Sale Friday, April 3rd 5:00-8:00pm, Turtle Bay Members Night Event (Memberships available at the gate). Saturday, April 4th 9:00am-3:00pm, General Public Sale. Our ever-popular, heirloom vegetables are a main feature of the spring plant sale - and they sell out fast! In addition, we have available an enormous stock of unusual, drought-tolerant, and hard-to-find perennials, shrubs, and trees, as well as California native plants and a wide variety of sought after ornamental grasses, all grown here in our Nursery and acclimated to Redding’s vigorous climatic conditions. Sale includes a 20% discount for the public, and a 30% discount for Turtle Bay members.. FREE admission into the Gardens. Arboretum & Gardens Nursery 1100 Arboretum Drive (Next to Greenhouse in Nursery) Take N. Market Street, turn on Arboretum Drive. Take the right fork. Nursery on immediate left.

April 4 - FULL MOON (Lunar Eclipse)

April 4 – 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)

April 4 – Mt. Shasta: Spring Hill Nursery & Gardens WORKSHOP Efficient Irrigation 4 Water Conservation with Rick Meyer 10 am - 12 noon. Workshops are free and open to public. Please bring your own chair! Spring Hill Nursery & Gardens, 1234 Nixon Rd, Mt Shasta CA 530-926-2565.

April 4 – Redding: Wyntour Gardens: Kids Easter Basket Planting Party 10 am to 12 noon. Plant a basket of pansies to take home free! 8026 Airport Road - Redding, CA. 96002 - 530-365-2256 - Email Us: inform@wyntourgarden.com. Hours of Operation: Monday thru Saturday 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. Sundays: 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.

April 4 & 11- Redding: Shasta Chapter CNPS Wildflower Identification Workshop. Learn to identify wildflowers, shrubs, and trees by the plant-family method. Learning by plant families shortens the time needed to identify wildflowers. The Shasta Chapter is offering two workshops on consecutive Saturdays. Each day will include two hours of “classroom” study, during which basic flower, leaf, and stem structure will be explained. Students will learn the features of eight plant families by examining fresh wildflowers in class. Families covered over the two weeks will include the mustard, mint, pea, sunflower, parsley, rose, buttercup, and lily families. This is a free event, but you’ll need to bring a magnifying lens. Classes will run from 9–11 AM and are held at Holiday Market on Placer Street, Redding. An optional fieldtrip will be held on April 12. Class size is limited to 20 so you must pre-register. To reserve a space or for more information, call David Ledger at 530/355-8542. For more info: http://www.shastacnps.org

April 5 (Easter Sunday) - Redding: Shasta Chapter CNPS FIELD TRIP: Clikapudi Trail. Join Jay & Terri Thesken for a wildflower walk on the Clikapudi Trail at Lake Shasta in the Jones Valley area. This is a moderate, 7-mile hike at about the 1,300-foot elevation, with a total elevation gain of 500 feet. Come prepared for a 4- to 5-hour hike on rocky, varied terrain by bringing adequate hiking boots, water, and lunch. Views of the Pit River arm of Shasta Lake, Clikapudi Bay and Creek, foothill oak woodlands, and, hopefully, hillsides of spring wildflowers should keep us entertained! Come and see how the area has nicely recovered from the October 1999 Jones Valley Fire. Meet at the Mt. Shasta Mall near Chase Bank at 8 AM. No dogs, please. Please call Jay & Terri Thesken at 530/221-0906 for details.For more info: http://www.shastacnps.org

April 8 - 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.

April 11 - Oroville: Oroville AAFCC Community Garden Workshop Series: STARTING YOUR SPRING GARDEN 10:00 AM. 2733 Wyandotte, Southside, Oroville. Discussion of difference between cool and warm season vegetables, when to start seeds inside and when to direct sow. A plant guide will be provided specific to the Oroville area. For registration and more information: http://ucanr.edu/sites/bcmg/events/

April 11 - Los Molinos: Nature Conservancy Tours of Dye Creek Canyon 9am - 2 pm. The five-mile hike follows the course of Dye Creek itself, which cuts through a pristine setting of volcanic buttes, hills and extensive blue oak woodlands, before flowing into the Sacramento River. Expect spectacular views, spring flowers and occasional wildlife sightings, such as deer, golden eagles and peregrine falcons (binoculars enhance the experience). You’ll also have a rare opportunity to explore a cave thought to be frequented by Ishi, the last survivor of the Yahi Indian Tribe. This hike is rigorous; high-top hiking boots and plenty of water are a MUST! Please note: A good level of fitness and agility is required to complete the hike. Hikers will have to traverse a creek and navigate steep, rocky terrain. Dogs are not allowed during these events. All events are held rain or shine, with the exception of a serious downpour. Sturdy footwear/hiking boots are a requirement. The weather may be hot, or humid and wet, so wear layered clothing, and bring waterproof clothing and a hat. Carry plenty of drinking water, and bring a lunch. Please arrive 15 minutes early. Space is limited to 25 persons, so visitors are advised to book early. To book a reservation or receive more information, contact Jackson Shedd of The Nature Conservancy at (760) 707-6942 or jshedd@tnc.org (e-mail preferred).

April 11 - Chico: Butte County Master Gardener Spring Workshop Series at Patrick Ranch Demonstration Garden: BUILD A COMPOST BIN 10 - 11:30 am. Patrick Ranch Museum, 10381 Midway, Durham. You know the benefits of composting, but have you practiced this at your home? Perhaps all you need to get started is having a compost bin. Come to this workshop and build an easy compost bin to take home with you so you won’t have any more excuses. We will also review how to get started using the compost bin. Reservations required and there will be a materials fee of $30 for the workshop.** For more info or reservations: call 530- 538-7201 or visit http://ucanr.edu/sites/bcmg/events/

April 11 - Davis: UC Davis ArboretumPLANT SALES for the NEW FRONT YARD 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 at our spring sales are going to have the area’s largest selection of attractive, drought-tolerant, easy-care, region-appropriate plants including California natives and Arboretum All-Stars. These plant sales are open to the public, but members receive 10% off their purchases; new members receive an additional $10 off as a thank you for joining. Not a member? Call ahead or join at the door. The benefits of membership far outweigh your cost! For more information on the benefits of membership visit: http://arboretum.ucdavis.edu/join_the_friends.aspx. The event is free; parking is free and available in nearby parking lots. For more information and directions, visit http://arboretum.ucdavis.edu/calendar.aspx or call (530) 752-4880. to Support the Friends of the UC Davis Arboretum and Public Garden.

April 11 – Mt. Shasta: Spring Hill Nursery & Gardens WORKSHOP Shrub and Perennial Pruning with Sarah Alexander 10 am - 12 noon. Workshops are free and open to public. Please bring your own chair! Spring Hill Nursery & Gardens, 1234 Nixon Rd, Mt Shasta CA 530-926-2565.

April 11 – Redding: Wyntour Gardens: 23rd Anniversary Celebration All day - come celebrate with us. Classes, specials and goodies! 8026 Airport Road - Redding, CA. 96002 - 530-365-2256 - Email Us: inform@wyntourgarden.com. Hours of Operation: Monday thru Saturday 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. Sundays: 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.

April 12 - Chico: Mt. Lassen Chapter of the California Native Plant Society ANNUAL WILDFLOWER SHOW 12 pm - 5 pm. Wildflower Display, Native Plant Sale. Learn about Plant Communities, Plant pests and growing natives. CARD Community Center 545 Vallombrosa Ave. Chico. Entry Donation Requested. For more information: 530-588-2555, woodyelliott@gmail.com. OR: http://mountlassen.cnps.org

April 12 - Redding: Shasta Chapter CNPS FIELD TRIP: Clear Creek Vista Trail at Whiskeytown National Recreation Area. This is an easy four-mile walk through riparian, black oak woodland, and chaparral habitats on a trail above Clear Creek. The changing aspect of the trail presents a diversity of plant species. Possible flowers blooming: Shelton’s violet, pipevine, Pacific snakeroot, Pacific hound’s-tongue, spicebush, and snowdrop. Most of the walk is level; however, there is about a 350-foot elevation climb. This walk will emphasize identifying plants by plant family. A plant list will be provided to participants. Meet in the south parking lot behind Redding City Hall on Parkview Avenue at 1 PM. No dogs, please. For more information, call David Ledger at 530/355-8542. For more info: http://www.shastacnps.org

April 13 - Paradise: Paradise Garden Club Monthly Member Meeting and Program Second Monday of the Month. GENERAL MEETING & POTLUCK where: Terry Ashe Recreation Center, 6626 Skyway, Paradise When: 11:45 PM Program: Begins 1:00 PM. Speaker and topic: TBA. 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/PDFs/2015_03_PGCI_Newsletter.pdf

April 14 - Chico: Chico Seed Lending Library - Lettuce Get Together 5:30 - 7:30 at the Butte County Library conference room in Chico. We’ve moved our work parties to the meeting room for more space and optional potlucks! For more Info: https://www.facebook.com/ChicoSLL

April 15 - Fair Oaks: Fair Oaks Horticultural Center OPEN GARDEN 9 am - 12 noon. Plan a mid-week visit to the gardens. Talk with Master Gardeners as they thin grape shoots and orchard fruit. Learn how to prepare raised vegetable beds for summer planting and how herbs enhance a water efficient landscape. Take a mini-tour in the water efficient landscape gardens. http://ucanr.edu/sites/sacmg/Fair_Oaks_Horticulture_Center/Workshop_Schedule/

April 15 - Chico: Butte County Master Gardener Spring Workshop Series at Patrick Ranch Demonstration Garden: BACKYARD BEES 10 - 11 am. Patrick Ranch Museum, 10381 Midway, Durham. Find out how to attract more honeybees to your yard, learn about the different types of bees, amazing facts about bees, where to buy bees, and if you are interested, how to manage a hive. Reservations required. For more info or reservations: call 530- 538-7201 or visit http://ucanr.edu/sites/bcmg/events/

April 15 - Redding: Shasta Rose Society Monthly Member Meeting and Rose Program 7 pm. Monthly Chapter meetings are held the third Thursday of the month at the City of Redding Corporation Yard 20055 Viking Way, Building 4, room 401. Meetings are held for the purpose of presenting an educational Rose program by an authority on roses and their cultivation. Meetings ARE open to the public. For more information: http://www.shastarosesociety.org/Shasta_Rose_Society/Home.html

April 16 - Redding: Shasta Chapter CNPS Chapter Meeting. Ted Dawson, local Native American herbalist, will share his extensive knowledge of traditional medicine with us. It was Ted’s Nor-Rel-Muk Wintu grandmother who introduced him to gifts from the earth. He will have some of his salves, tinctures, and teas available at the meeting. Visit his website at www. mountainwintuherbs.org. 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

April 16 - 18 - Redding: Shasta College and Shasta Chapter CNPS Annual Native Plant Sale. Shasta College Annual Spring Plant Sale. Three day plant sale held at Shasta College Farm/Horticulture Area (northeast portion of the campus), 11555 Old Oregon Trail, Redding Thursday, April 16, 2015: 8AM to 5PM Friday, April 17, 2015: 8AM to 5PM Saturday, April 18, 2015: 9AM to 4PM. In addition to vegetables and other ornamental plants available through the College, the Shasta Chapter of the California Native Plant Society will have over 2,000 California native plants for sale at this 3-day Spring Plant Sale. Staff will be able to answer questions about plant identification and care. Admission free. Contact: Jay or Terri Thesken at (530) 221-0906 For more info: http://www.shastacnps.org

April 18 - NEW MOON

April 18 – Mt. Shasta: Spring Hill Nursery & Gardens WORKSHOP Gardening with Perennials presented by Katie Jessup 10 am - 12 noon. Workshops are free and open to public. Please bring your own chair! Spring Hill Nursery & Gardens, 1234 Nixon Rd, Mt Shasta CA 530-926-2565.

April 18 - Yuba City: Sutter Buttes Garden Club Garden and Plant Sale Flower Building at the Yuba-Sutter Fair Grounds.

April 18 – Mt. Shasta: Spring Hill Nursery & Gardens WORKSHOP Kids Seed Starting mini Greenhouse led by Sandi Belton 10 am - 12 noon. Workshops are free and open to public. Please bring your own chair! Spring Hill Nursery & Gardens, 1234 Nixon Rd, Mt Shasta CA 530-926-2565.

April 19 - Paradise: Paradise Grange hosts their first Plant Sale and Seed Swap with Sawmill Creek and Nancy’s Herbs 1 - 4 pm. *A Free Event * Local Vendors Sawmill Creek Farms, Native Springs Nursery, Plants by Mel *Seed Swap potluck style *Food and Drink available for purchase * Learn how to make seed balls * Music & Activities *Check out both of our Community Gradens located at the Paradise Grange * Learn about the Paradise Seed Lending Library. WHAT TO BRING: * Seeds, bulbs, plants, cuttings or more to exchange * Please label your items * Used envelopes / containers * Pens / pencils YOU DON’T NEED SEEDS TO ATTEND! Hosted by the Paradise Grange & Paradise Ridge Neighborhood Garden MORE INFO: email~pair-o-dice@comcast.net 5704 Chapel Dr. Paradise, CA 95969 (530) 873-1370

April 19 - Chico: Mt. Lassen Chapter of the California Native Plant Society Field Trip: State Park at Sutter Buttes 8:00 AM. State Park At Sutter Buttes: Peace Valley & Vicinity. Limit 30 @ $10 each State Park fee. Meet at Chico Park & Ride west lot (Hwys 32/99) or Live Oak Memorial Park at 8:45 AM. To sign up contact co-leader Woody Elliott, 530-588-2555, woodyelliott@gmail.com. For more info:http://mountlassen.cnps.org

April 19 - Redding: Shasta Chapter CNPS Matson Mowder Howe Celebration Garden Maintenance. Work session starting at 9 AM at the Matson Mowder Howe Celebration Garden adjacent to the North Valley Art League Carter House Gallery at 48 Quartz Hill Road in Caldwell Park, Redding. We will complete general garden maintenance activities; bring your hand tools, gloves, and drinking water. Rain cancels. For more information, please call Mindy Graves at 530/546-9860. For more info: http://www.shastacnps.org

April 20 - Chico: Chico Horticultural Society Regular Monthly Meeting 9:30 am meet/coffee, 10 am Member Garden Tour. Meet at Butte County Library - 1st Avenue, Chico. For more info: President, Susi G. at gillums@yahoo.com

April 25 - Los Molinos: Nature Conservancy Tours of Dye Creek Canyon 9am - 2 pm. The five-mile hike follows the course of Dye Creek itself, which cuts through a pristine setting of volcanic buttes, hills and extensive blue oak woodlands, before flowing into the Sacramento River. Expect spectacular views, spring flowers and occasional wildlife sightings, such as deer, golden eagles and peregrine falcons (binoculars enhance the experience). You’ll also have a rare opportunity to explore a cave thought to be frequented by Ishi, the last survivor of the Yahi Indian Tribe. This hike is rigorous; high-top hiking boots and plenty of water are a MUST! Please note: A good level of fitness and agility is required to complete the hike. Hikers will have to traverse a creek and navigate steep, rocky terrain. Dogs are not allowed during these events. All events are held rain or shine, with the exception of a serious downpour. Sturdy footwear/hiking boots are a requirement. The weather may be hot, or humid and wet, so wear layered clothing, and bring waterproof clothing and a hat. Carry plenty of drinking water, and bring a lunch. Please arrive 15 minutes early. Space is limited to 25 persons, so visitors are advised to book early. To book a reservation or receive more information, contact Jackson Shedd of The Nature Conservancy at (760) 707-6942 or jshedd@tnc.org (e-mail preferred).

April 25 - Oroville: Oroville AAFCC Community Garden Workshop Series: SEEDS AND SEED STARTING 10:00 AM. 2733 Wyandotte, Southside, Oroville. A variety of vegetable seeds will be started in containers, with discussion care and when to transplant into the ground. Containers can be taken home or stored in the garden hoop house. For registration and more information: http://ucanr.edu/sites/bcmg/events/

April 25 - Vina Plains: Nature Conservancy Tours of Dye Creek Canyon 10am - 12 pm. During the spring the Vina Plains Preserve comes alive with colorful wildflowers, which carpet the grasslands and ring the vernal pools in spectacular bands of color. The pools support many rare, threatened or endangered species and attract a large array of waterfowl and shorebirds that feast on small crustaceans that fill the pools this time of year. The one-mile hike is relatively flat, but the surface will be uneven, and may be wet and slippery in places, depending on the weather. The hike will be led by California Native Plant Society botanists, who are extremely knowledgeable about the flora of the site. Sturdy shoes or hiking boots are a MUST!All events are held rain or shine, with the exception of a serious downpour. Sturdy footwear/hiking boots are a requirement. The weather may be hot, or humid and wet, so wear layered clothing, and bring waterproof clothing and a hat. Carry plenty of drinking water, and bring a lunch. Please arrive 15 minutes early. Space is limited to 25 persons, so visitors are advised to book early. To book a reservation or receive more information, contact Jackson Shedd of The Nature Conservancy at (760) 707-6942 or jshedd@tnc.org (e-mail preferred).

April 25 - Chico: Butte County Master Gardener Spring Workshop Series at Patrick Ranch Demonstration Garden: GARDEN DESIGN 11 am - 1 pm. Patrick Ranch Museum, 10381 Midway, Durham. Find out how to attract more honeybees to your yard, learn about the different types of bees, amazing facts about bees, where to buy bees, and if you are interested, how to manage a hive. Reservations required. For more info or reservations: call 530- 538-7201 or visit http://ucanr.edu/sites/bcmg/events/

April 25 – 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.

April 25 – Redding: McConnell Arboretum & Botanical Gardens at Turtle Bay: Essentials of Micro-Irrigation 10 - 12. Now’s the time (before you really need it) to find out all you need to know about easy-to-install, low-water usage, manual and automatic micro (drip) - irrigation systems. Join Turtle Bay’s Senior Horticulturist Linda Russo as she demonstrates and discusses the construction of a complete simple system with emitters, microsprayers, and all the basic necessary components for any micro-irrigation system. Free with park admission! Meet at the Arboretum & Botanical Gardens Office (1135 Arboretum Drive next to Nursery Greenhouse)

April 25 - Davis: UC Davis ArboretumPLANT SALES for the NEW FRONT YARD 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 at our spring sales are going to have the area’s largest selection of attractive, drought-tolerant, easy-care, region-appropriate plants including California natives and Arboretum All-Stars. These plant sales are open to the public, but members receive 10% off their purchases; new members receive an additional $10 off as a thank you for joining. Not a member? Call ahead or join at the door. The benefits of membership far outweigh your cost! For more information on the benefits of membership visit: http://arboretum.ucdavis.edu/join_the_friends.aspx. The event is free; parking is free and available in nearby parking lots. For more information and directions, visit http://arboretum.ucdavis.edu/calendar.aspx or call (530) 752-4880. to Support the Friends of the UC Davis Arboretum and Public Garden.

April 25 – Mt. Shasta: Spring Hill Nursery & Gardens WORKSHOP Animal Pest Control led by Donna & Micah 10 am - 12 noon. Workshops are free and open to public. Please bring your own chair! Spring Hill Nursery & Gardens, 1234 Nixon Rd, Mt Shasta CA 530-926-2565.

April 26 - Chico: Mt. Lassen Chapter of the California Native Plant Society Field Trip: 10 Mile House Trail 10:00 AM. Ten Mile House Trail - Upper Bidwell Park, Chico. Meet at 10 AM at the Green Gate trailhead on Hwy 32, nine (9) miles east of the intersection of Hwys 32 & 99. Leaders: Gerry Ingco 530-893-5123 and Wes Dempsey 530-342-2293. For more info:http://mountlassen.cnps.org

April 26 – Mt. Shasta: Spring Hill Nursery & Gardens WORKSHOP Holistic Health Care in Garden presented by Gisele Schoniger 11 am - 1 pm. Workshops are free and open to public. Please bring your own chair! Spring Hill Nursery & Gardens, 1234 Nixon Rd, Mt Shasta CA 530-926-2565.

April 28 - Chico: Butte Rose Society Monthly meetingButte Rose Society (BRS) Monthly meeting and Educational Rose Program 7 pm. Chico Veternas Memorial Hall 554 Rio Lindo Ave., For more information about BRS, visit: www.butte-rosesociety.org

Follow Jewellgarden.com/In a North State Garden on Facebook

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.

Happy (and Hungry) are the Hummingbirds

March 14th, 2015

PHOTO: A hummingbird sitting on her tiny nest. Her body literally fills the lichen, spider web, twig and fluff-constructed nest to the edges, sealing in the eggs from weather and temperature fluctuations.

Spring is here and more than a few creatures have spring fever. Daily I strip long lines of pale green aphids from the tender shoots of my young roses.

PHOTO: An Anna’s hummingbird nectaring at spring-blooming, California native Salvia spathacea - commonly known as Hummingbird Sage. Photo by J. Jewell.

While the rapid reproduction of the aphids might be less than appealing, other sights of spring are amazing and endearing to even the most non-gardening among us. Read the rest of this entry »

March in the Garden & North State Calendar of Gardening Events

February 28th, 2015

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.

THINGS TO DO IN THE GARDEN THIS MONTH:

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 2015

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 sherri@grubchico.org >Stephanie Ladwig-Cooper (Chico Permaculture Guild) 828-6390 modcpg@gmail.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: inform@wyntourgarden.com. 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: inform@wyntourgarden.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 gillums@yahoo.com

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: inform@wyntourgarden.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: woodyelliott@gmail.com. For more info:http://mountlassen.cnps.org

Follow Jewellgarden.com/In a North State Garden on Facebook

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.

Shrove Tuesday in the garden and coop

February 14th, 2015

My hens are laying up a storm now that storms have arrived in our part of the world. I welcome both! Shrove Tuesday is February 17th this year, so the Lenten Season is here.

Every year Shrove Tuesday arrives - the day before Ash Wednesday and the beginning of Lent, the Catholic/Anglican/Episcopal 40-day season of thoughtful repentance and fasting before Easter - and I think to myself: “it’s pancakes for dinner tonight.” Photo: Two of my hens on pest control duty in the garden. Read the rest of this entry »

February in the Garden & North State Calendar of Gardening Events

January 31st, 2015


Photo : The dried seed head of a native twining brodiaea - late January.

This time of year always reminds me how amazing plants are – how resourceful and resilient. Even in this spare time of year they are working and growing. Each part of the whole working to progress the cycle of life – each part with a purpose – integrated: the roots, the stems, the leaves, the flowers, the seeds, the relationships with others: some, like the mycorrhizal relationships, are underground and out of our view. Others, like pollinator relations, are aboveground in plain sight. Many bees are already out in the warmth of the day – flowers are opening on the early bloomers, providing these bees food. Buds are forming and swelling on other plants, and young seedlings are slowly beginning to unfurl at ground level.

But under the ground, under the bark, and within buds – so much activity ensues – even when it looks dormant to the naked eye. There’s always more than meets the eye.

The same is perhaps true for us as gardeners: the chilly mornings, and the still early dark evenings might keep us from our full gardening activity level, but even we are never fully dormant – things are happening. Intentions and plans and dreams hover just below the visible surface. Seeds of all kinds are sown within and without. As the season moves along – our own resourcefulness and resilience will appear as needed.

Resourcefulness and resilience are hallmarks of the gardening activities on offer all around the North State in the coming month and beyond. Groups are preparing to help us gardeners prepare for the seasons (and even years) ahead. The annual return of these groups’ intentions, enthusiasm and generosity in encouraging a world built on resourcefulness, resilience and deep appreciation – always humbles me. And gets me back out into the garden – my own garden – and the greater North State Garden that is all of ours to enjoy - and to protect.


Photo : A stand of grey pine back lit by winter’s afternoon light.

WHAT TO DO IN YOUR GARDEN THIS MONTH:

February in the garden is an interesting in-between month. Keep pruning dormant trees and vines, and roses in the warmer sections of the North State. Bare root plants are widely available at our local nurseries and ready to be planted during breaks from bad weather if your soil is not too frozen or too wet. With continued dry weather, remember to irrigate new plantings as necessary. Keep in mind that while the dry weather might prompt you to irrigate your established plants - annual edibles and your perennials plants and trees - keep in mind that less is more. Daylight hours are still short and nighttime temperatures are still cool, so established plants might appreciate a deep watering once a week or once every other week, these plants are not yet in their real growing stage and do not require a lot. Overwatering now will only increase your fungal issues in the soil and on foliage.

Now is a great time to consider what plants (and lawn areas) require a lot of water to stay looking good and to consider how important these are to you. Perhaps this is the year to replace your unused lawn areas?

If you are going to start tender vegetable or annual seeds indoors, bad weather February days and early February evenings are good times to do this; some cold happy vegetable starts or seeds including lettuce beets broccoli carrots and chard can be sown outside already.


Photo: A frosty little oak leaf pinch-pot sculpture in the morning garden path.

Here is a MID-WINTER CHECKLIST from Wyntour Gardens in Redding:

FOR WATER GARDENS & FISH PONDS ˆ Check water-flow from pumps, check
intakes, leaf traps, skimmer nets, clean out all debris, and clear debris from filters. Check the health of
your fish, check water levels in your pond and overall pond area. It‚s time to add Barley Extract, or
Barley Straw, also beneficial bacteria. It‚s time to divide Lotus and Water Lilies. If you have any
questions, please give Sherrie, our Pond and Water Garden expert a call.

COOL SEASON VEGGIE STARTS Broccoli, Brussels Sprouts, Cabbage,
Cauliflower, Chard, Collards, Arugula, Red Sails, Mesclun mix, Joi Choi, Onions, Spinach, Kale and onion
starts of California Red, Italian Red Torpedo, Walla Walla and Yellow Sweet Spanish.

Now is a good time to plant SPRING PLANTED SUMMER BLOOMING BULBS: Gladiolas, Japanese Iris, Dahlias, Clematis, Tuberose, Begonias, Cannes, Oxallis, Peonies & Tree Peonies, and Oriental, Tiger & Asiatic Lilies.

While weather remains warm, dry and not windy, consider applying another dormant spray on your fruit trees and to give them a fresh coat of white latex paint to protect them from sunburn.


Photo : As the light lengthens a little each day, the hens begin to pick up in their laying.

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!

FEBRUARY 2015


Photo : A small Pacific chorus frog, waiting.

Feb 1 – Redding: Wyntour Gardens: Successful Seed Starting with Ferne 11 am, Presented by Ferne, who will teach you how to grow your own plant starts from seed. Classes fill up fast, so please call or email to reserve your seat! 8026 Airport Road - Redding, CA. 96002 - 530-365-2256 - Email Us: inform@wyntourgarden.com. Hours of Operation: Monday thru Saturday 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. Sundays: 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.

Feb 2 – Chico: Cultivating Community North Valley Presentation: Sauerkraut making workshop + Cottage Industry & Value Added products from your garden 6:30pm – 8:00pm. Pre-registration required. Where: Chico Grange, 2775 Nord Avenue, Chico, CA 95973, United States. Description: Join us for discussion of Cottage Industry & Value Added Products in addition to hands on sauerkraut workshop led by Claire Hutkins Seda For more info: http://cultivatingcommunitynv.org/events-2/

Feb 3 - FULL MOON

Feb 4 - Chico: Mt. Lassen Chapter of the California Native Plant Society Monthly meeting 7:30 PM. Josephine Guardino, Botanical Consultant. Effects of Rim Fire on Plants in Stanislaus National Forest. At: Chico Branch County Library, 1st & Sherman Ave. Chico. For more info:http://mountlassen.cnps.org

Feb 7 - Redding: Shasta Chapter CNPS FIELD TRIP: The Guardian Rock Trail, Whiskeytown National Recreation Area This is a two-mile hike, fairly easy, but a few steep sections require agility and balance. The trail follows Clear Creek below Whiskeytown Dam near extensive gold rush era mining sites. Expect to see Pacific sedum and little Oregon grape (Berberis nervosa) under a mixed canopy of gray pine and canyon live oak. We will also walk along a section of Clear Creek where extensive sections of gravel have been placed to help spawning beds for migrating salmon. No dogs, please. Meet at the Mt. Shasta Mall near Chase Bank at 9 AM. For more information, call David Ledger at 355-8542. For more info: http://www.shastacnps.org

Feb 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)

Feb 7 – Oroville: Cultivating Community North Valley Workshop: Planning Your Spring Crops 10am – 2pm. Pre-registration required. Where: Fresh Start Youth Farm, 42 County Center Dr. Oroville. Description: Learn about when to start certain vegetables in the greenhouse and when to transplant outside. Learn techniques for successful germination and care during the seedling stage. Learn to calculate how many plants you’ll want for a particular garden space. For more info: http://cultivatingcommunitynv.org/events-2/

Feb 7 – Redding: Wyntour Gardens: Backyard Grape Pruning and Care 11 am, Learn when and how to prune your backyard grapes for healthier plants and better fruit production. Classes fill up fast, so please call or email to reserve your seat! 8026 Airport Road - Redding, CA. 96002 - 530-365-2256 - Email Us: inform@wyntourgarden.com. Hours of Operation: Monday thru Saturday 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. Sundays: 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.

Feb 8 – Redding: Wyntour Gardens: Successful Seed Starting with Ferne 11 am, Presented by Ferne, who will teach you how to grow your own plant starts from seed. Classes fill up fast, so please call or email to reserve your seat! 8026 Airport Road - Redding, CA. 96002 - 530-365-2256 - Email Us: inform@wyntourgarden.com. Hours of Operation: Monday thru Saturday 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. Sundays: 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.

Feb 10 - Chico: Chico Seed Lending Library - Lettuce Get Together 5:30 - 7:30 at the Butte County Library conference room in Chico. We’ve moved our work parties to the meeting room for more space and optional potlucks! For more Info: https://www.facebook.com/ChicoSLL

Feb 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.

Feb 11 – Chico: Cultivating Community North Valley Presentation: Growing More from Scarce Water: Enhancing Water Efficiency for Fruit and Vegetable Crop Production 3:30 - 5:00. Pre-registration required. Where: OVP @ CSUC University Farm, Nicholas C Shouten Lane, Chico, CA, United States. Description: This is a presentation about water management for growing fruit and vegetables, Israeli style. By increasing the soil’s capacity for water infiltration, absorption, and retention, irrigation requirements are reduced and more efficient. Shahar will describe practical techniques for enhancing water efficiency and show pictures of his project in Oregon House, CA. The workshop will include a walk around the Chico State Organic Vegetable Project to discuss the irrigation and opportunities for improvements. Shahar Caspi has a bachelor’s degree in agriculture from Hebrew University. He was born and raised in a small village in central Israel. Since age 16, he has been farming in different parts of the world. In 2008, he moved to Oregon House where he is directing a community agriculture project. Direct questions to contact@cultivatingcommunity.org. For more info: http://cultivatingcommunitynv.org/events-2/

Feb 14 – Redding: Wyntour Gardens: Cane Berries Care and Pruning 11 am. Presented by Johanna Trennery, Trennery Berry Farm (Happy Valley Farm Trail) Learn when and how to prune your cane berries (blackberries, boysenberries and raspberries) for healthier plants and better fruit production. Classes fill up fast, so please call or email to reserve your seat! 8026 Airport Road - Redding, CA. 96002 - 530-365-2256 - Email Us: inform@wyntourgarden.com. Hours of Operation: Monday thru Saturday 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. Sundays: 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.

Feb 14 – Chico: Cultivating Community North Valley Presentation: Soil Boosting–Compost and Natural Amendments (open) 1 - 4 pm. Pre-registration required. Where: Sky Creek Dharma Center, Chico, CA, United States. Description: We have great soil in most parts of the valley. Though after a growing season or more your soil will start becoming depleted of nutrients and there are quite a few ways you can help feed your soils, in turn feeding your plants that feed you. Learn techniques for composting and how to use some natural amendments that are on the market. All levels & abilities welcome For more info: http://cultivatingcommunitynv.org/events-2/

Feb 15 - Chico: Mt. Lassen Chapter of the California Native Plant Society Field Trip CSU CHICO Greenhouse Tour 10 am
Meet at the CSU Health Center parking lot at the corner of Warner St and College Ave. From there we will walk the short distance to the campus greenhouses. Tim Devine, the curator, has collected hundreds of unusual plants from all over the world and is eager to show them to you and relate their stories. In the tropical room he will show you vanilla bean orchid, coffee tree, and banana. In the aquatic room you will see many ferns, water lettuce, and blue-flowered water hyacinths. In the desert room there are usually a few cacti in bloom. Invite your favorite valentine’s Day partner to enjoy the show. Ends at noon. Leader: Tim Devine 530 345-8444

Feb 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 gillums@yahoo.com

Feb 19 - Redding: Shasta Chapter CNPS Chapter Meeting. Linnea Hanson was hired as a botanist for the Plumas National Forest in 1979 and retired in 2011. In 2008, she received the first Agency Person of the Year Award from the California Native Plant Society. Linnea recently compiled information about fens in California National Forests for the US Forest Service Celebrating Wildflowers website. In her presentation, Fens in California; An Overview of Fens in California National Forests, she will talk about the difference between a fen, a bog, a swamp, and a marsh; types of fens, where they are known in California National Forests; and some of the mosses and flowering plants found in fens. 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

Feb 21 – Redding: Wyntour Gardens: Backyard Grape Pruning and Care 11 am, Learn when and how to prune your backyard grapes for healthier plants and better fruit production. Classes fill up fast, so please call or email to reserve your seat! 8026 Airport Road - Redding, CA. 96002 - 530-365-2256 - Email Us: inform@wyntourgarden.com. Hours of Operation: Monday thru Saturday 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. Sundays: 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.

Feb 22 - Davis: UC Davis Arboretum Native Californian Elderberry Flute-making Workshop 1-3 p.m., 146 Environmental Horticulture. People of all ages will learn how to make and play a Native Californian elderberry flute. East Bay Regional Parks docent Antonio Flores will talk about the culture of flute making and also about the endangered elderberry beetle. All materials will be supplied. Please bring a sharpened pocket knife if you have one. Adults will need to supervise their young children. All ages welcome. Sponsored by the Arboretum Ambassadors. 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.

Feb 22 - Chico: Chico Permaculture Guild Monthly Meeting 1 – 4 at the Butte County Library in Chico. CPG EDUCATION: (Always free and open to the public) **We will be continuing our cycle of educational topics. I’ve posted the whole topic schedule for 2015 as a File for you to download/review [https://www.facebook.com/groups/chicopermacultureguild/10152453374217017/]** >>>DESIGN PROCESS #1: MAPPING <<< ** Please bring along a base map of your property that you created at some point last month. You will refer to this as we explore the topics of this month. ** Explore different observation techniques ** Find out how to analyze your property for available resources, water flows, soil conditions, plants, animals, solar access and much, much more. ** Learn how to organize your site information and ideas using mind maps. For more info contact Stephanie Ladwig-Cooper at modcpg@gmail.com or 530-828-6390. WHAT TO BRING: **Please bring a small dish to share as well as your own dishes, utensils and cup for the POTLUCK at 3:15. 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.

Feb 22 - Chico: Perma-Fun-K Spring Hands on Workshop: Organic Fertilizers & composting 10 – 4 305 West Lindo Ave ( Community Garden ) Chico. Get ready for the growing season. This is a great workshop to learn how to utilize materials around you and make amazing organic fertilizers that you can apply to your vegetable, herb & flower garden, perennials and trees. All the activities will directly implement a real PERMACULTURE DESIGN for this property. We have hand outs for this class with compost recipes and ratios that you can take home. Previous registration required to get this hand outs. For more info: http://www.perma-fun-k.com/hands-on-workshops-2015.html.

Feb 22 - Redding: Shasta Chapter CNPS Plant Propagation Session. Join us for our regular two-hour work session starting at 10 AM at the Shasta College greenhouses. The greenhouses are located toward the back of Shasta College, near the livestock barns. We will be potting up newly rooted materials from our December cuttings and seed trays. Bring clippers and any other tools you might need. Please call Jay & Terri Thesken at 221-0906 for further information. For more info: http://www.shastacnps.org

Feb 24 - Chico: Butte Rose Society Monthly meetingButte Rose Society (BRS) Monthly meeting and Educational Rose Program 7 pm. Chico Veternas Memorial Hall 554 Rio Lindo Ave., For more information about BRS, visit: www.butte-rosesociety.org

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.

MARCH 2015

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 sherri@grubchico.org >Stephanie Ladwig-Cooper (Chico Permaculture Guild) 828-6390 modcpg@gmail.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!

Jewellgarden.com/In a North State Garden is on Facebook

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 North State Public Radio Saturday mornings at 7:34 AM Pacific time and Sunday morning at 8:34 AM Pacific time.

Dyeing with Mushrooms: Art, Craft & Science

January 18th, 2015

Mushrooms are sometimes delicious and sometimes dangerous but they are always beautiful and mysterious. Did you know that they also can produce some beautiful dyes? A rainbow of colors in fact. PHOTO: Jack-O-Lantern mushrooms are some of Sherri Scott’s favorite fungi to use for dye. They can produce vibrant purples and lavenders with the right dye-bath techniques and mordants.

During the Dyeing with Mushrooms workshop this coming Saturday January 24, 2015 led by local plantswoman Sherri Scott and hosted by the Friends of the Chico State Herbarium, attendees will have the opportunity to experiment in a lab setting with some of the mushrooms (and a lichen) Butte County has to offer along with safe mordants and a variety of fibers to discover our local fungal rainbow. During the cooking processes we will have plenty of time to go over the beginnerʼs basics of mushroom ID and foraging, dye and mordant processes, and dyeing techniques. Participants will be able to take home some samples and even bring something of their own to dye. Read the rest of this entry »

January 2015 in the Garden & North State Calendar of Gardening Events

January 3rd, 2015

It’s a new year. And in the first days of this New Year, I’m planting a new garden. In many ways, this garden – like this year – is a blank slate. The new garden is on an oddly shaped lot, with not even one tree and currently this unlikely-opportunity for a garden is clothed in nearly nothing but a thick layer of decomposed granite – a material most commonly used for creating pathways, rather than mulching whole gardens.

Based on simply its shape, exposure and lack of any existing plant structure, this garden (like this coming year could be) will be very different from previous gardens I have planned and planted. And yet – as we all know – wherever I go, there I am – and so no doubt this new garden – again, just like this new year - will bear the distinctive marks of me - no matter how diligently I may try to transcend and grow beyond some patterns and preferences. Perhaps what’s different this time around – in both the garden and the year – is how deeply aware I am that I have choices and so what parts of my past I bring along, I have chosen to keep with me. What hopes for my future are cultivated and made manifest, I have consciously (for the most part) chosen to cultivate. From the past, I am sure to include spring bulbs, roses, peonies, things planted too closely together, plants with differing water needs combined. With and eye towards the future, its community and sustainability, I am planning a small grove of mountain mahogany, the seeds of which will delight the birds and sparkle in the falling afternoon sunlight, a front courtyard and seating area from which I can chat with passing neighbors, and very very little if any traditional lawn. Read the rest of this entry »

Poinsettias: Purity and Flower of the Noche Buena

December 20th, 2014

PHOTO: The “poinsettia house” at the Plant Barn in Chico, where (including the many years under the umbrella of Chico Propagators) poinsettias have been cultivated for a dozen winters or more. Most good nurseries and garden centers will have greenhouse sections dedicated to the plants - to visit the warm, moist greenhouse filled with seasonal color this year is strong therapy for the weary or skeptical.

The winter holidays are upon us ready or not. A week or so ago, late in the day in some dreadful place, I found myself waiting in a line to purchase something I must have needed – and staring at a somewhat out of place poinsettia. I recall thinking: that’s sort of an odd place for a poinsettia, poinsettias ARE a little odd - What is a poinsettia even? Read the rest of this entry »

Persimmons - Gifts of the Season & December in the North State Garden

November 28th, 2014

as I eat a persimmon

the bell starts ringing

at Horyuji Temple

Masaoka Shiki (1867-1902)

PHOTOS above: firm rounded persimmon ripening at the Genetic Resource and Conservation Center, also known as the Tree Farm, in Chico.

Persimmon have long represented both the divine and the worldly delights in many cultures. These colorful, tasty and seasonal fruits rank high among the marvels of the North State Garden in early winter. And not just the persimmon, as if there were just one – but the whole range of them available to us from late fall and into the New Year: the fuyugaki (generally shortened to fuyu), which is apple shaped and can be eaten when still firm without fear of bitterness; the hachiya, which is the more heart shaped and full-bodied one, eaten only when very very ripe (generally after cold nighttime temperatures have sweetened them) and almost jelly-like inside; and the so-called chocolate persimmon or maru, which is prized for its cinnamon colored flesh, to mention just three. Read the rest of this entry »

Wreaths & Greens of the Season 2014

November 24th, 2014

The beauty of the garden in winter is a unique pleasure: fragrant, fresh evergreens, bright berries, frosty mornings. Photo: Frosty Indian hawthorne on a cold North State morning.

Seasonal greens, winter fruits, and sculptural cones have long been associated with the winter holidays–with brightening shortened days and long nights, with the universal hope for the return of the light, and symbolic wishes of prosperity for the coming fresh start of the new year. Photo: Seasonal wreath of North State pomegranates. Read the rest of this entry »