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Water-wise workshop at Garden on Eden

Buckwalter leads free event at Carmichael demonstration garden

Manzanita bush
This Vine Hill manzanita ( Arctostaphylos densiflora ) 'Howard McMinn' is a popular low-water cultivar of a California native shrub. Learn about others as part of a free workshop Thursday. (Photo: Kathy Morrison)

Thinking about a water-wise makeover? Learn how simple steps can add up to big savings – and a more beautiful, easy-care garden – during a special workshop led by one of Sacramento’s leading water-wise landscaping experts.

Join award-winning landscape designer Cheryl Buckwalter of Landscape Liaisons for “Conservation in the Garden,” a free one-hour workshop and tour at noon Thursday, Oct. 21, at the Garden on Eden, 4900 Eden Court, Carmichael.

The Garden on Eden is the cleverly named low water-use demonstration garden of the Sacramento Suburban Water District (SSWD), which is also hosting this event.

Participants will learn about: different types of water-efficient landscape designs; beautiful water-wise native plants; sprinkler system upgrades; proper tree care; and more.

Buckwalter also will answer questions about planting and maintaining a water-wise landscape, plant selection, lawn conversion and other topics. Fall is the best time to start such water-wise makeovers.

Serving as the site of the tour and workshop, the Garden on Eden is a makeover success story. The flower-filled and colorful water-wise landscape replaced a former lawn in 2018.

“This landscape is considered to have multiple benefits because it was designed to provide year-round color and beauty, minimize the work needed to maintain it, and minimize the water needed to irrigate it,” according to the water district. “The previous landscape of cool-season turf grass and inefficient sprinklers had a water requirement of 125,829 gallons per year. This landscape, with its low and very-low-water plants and efficient drip system, will only need 33,113 gallons per year, once established.”

See for yourself and start saving, too.

Details: 916-972-7171 or .


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Dig In: Garden checklist for week of Jan. 29

Bundle up and get work done!

* Prune, prune, prune. Now is the time to cut back most deciduous trees and shrubs. The exceptions are spring-flowering shrubs such as lilacs.

* Now is the time to prune fruit trees, except apricot and cherry trees. Clean up leaves and debris around the trees to prevent the spread of disease.

* Prune roses, even if they’re still trying to bloom or sprouting new growth. Strip off any remaining leaves, so the bush will be able to put out new growth in early spring.

* Prune Christmas camellias (Camellia sasanqua), the early-flowering varieties, after their bloom. They don’t need much, but selective pruning can promote bushiness, upright growth and more bloom next winter. Feed with an acid-type fertilizer. But don’t feed your Japonica camellias until after they finish blooming next month. Feeding while camellias are in bloom may cause them to drop unopened buds.

* Clean up leaves and debris around your newly pruned roses and shrubs. Put down fresh mulch or bark to keep roots cozy.

* Apply horticultural oil to fruit trees to control scale, mites and aphids. Oils need 24 hours of dry weather after application to be effective.

* This is also the time to spray a copper-based oil to peach and nectarine trees to fight leaf curl. Avoid spraying on windy days.

* Divide daylilies, Shasta daisies and other perennials.

* Cut back and divide chrysanthemums.

* Plant bare-root roses, trees and shrubs.

* Transplant pansies, violas, calendulas, English daisies, snapdragons and fairy primroses.

* In the vegetable garden, plant fava beans, head lettuce, mustard, onion sets, radicchio and radishes.

* Plant bare-root asparagus and root divisions of rhubarb.

* In the bulb department, plant callas, anemones, ranunculus and gladiolus for bloom from late spring into summer.

* Plant blooming azaleas, camellias and rhododendrons. If you’re shopping for these beautiful landscape plants, you can now find them in full flower at local nurseries.

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