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Do your own workshop with take-home kit

Here's the finished succulent terrarium. (Photo courtesy
The Secret Garden)
The Secret Garden comes up with creative alternative

Just because a nursery can’t hold in-person workshops doesn’t mean they can’t teach gardeners new things.

But how? That’s been the challenge for local nurseries as they (along with all businesses) try to reinvent what they do in these times of COVID.

The Secret Garden, Elk Grove’s beloved nursery and garden store, usually fills its summer schedules with all sorts of fun workshops. This month, it’s re-packaged its workshop materials into individual kits for at-home learning.

“Just because we are asked to stay home doesn't mean we can't still have FUN!” writes Jennifer Kahl, the Secret Garden’s owner, on the nursery’s website.

The kits come with instruction – videos of Kahl and her staff creating the project themselves, just like they would during a “normal” workshop.

“Our Workshop Series is currently being modified due to ‘distancing restrictions’ to become Take Home Kits,” Kahl explains. “Along with everything you need to complete the project, you will also be given a link to the video of us making the item and stepping you through the process.

“We have several varieties of kits ready to go, and will work on more in the days ahead. Our goal hasn't changed; we're here to help keep your hands in the dirt and a smile on your face!”

Among the kits ready to go now are a succulent terrarium and succulent potted “bouquet” (each priced at $19.99), a charming miniature garden kit featuring a fairy cottage ($29.99) and two garden mosaic kits ($54 and $65).

Order online and pick up at The Secret Garden, located at 8450 W. Stockton Blvd., Elk Grove.

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Dig In: Garden Checklist

For week of Dec. 3:

Make the most of gaps between raindrops. This is a busy month!

* Windy conditions brought down a lot of leaves. Make sure to rake them away from storm drains.

* Use those leaves as mulch around frost-tender shrubs and new transplants.

* Rake and remove dead leaves and stems from dormant perennials.

* Just because it rained doesn't mean every plant got watered. Give a drink to plants that the rain didn't reach, such as under eves or under evergreen trees. Also, well-watered plants hold up better to frost than thirsty plants.

* Prune non-flowering trees and shrubs while they're dormant.

* Clean and sharpen garden tools before storing for the winter.

* Brighten the holidays with winter bloomers such as poinsettias, amaryllis, calendulas, Iceland poppies, pansies and primroses.

* Keep poinsettias in a sunny, warm location. Water thoroughly. After the holidays, feed your plants monthly so they'll bloom again next December.

* Plant one last round of spring bulbs including daffodils, crocuses, hyacinths, anemones and scillas. Get those tulips out of the refrigerator and into the ground.

* This is also a good time to seed wildflowers such as California poppies.

* Plant such spring bloomers as sweet pea, sweet alyssum and bachelor buttons.

* Late fall is the best time to plant most trees and shrubs. This gives them plenty of time for root development before spring growth. They also benefit from fall and winter rains.

* Lettuce, cabbage and broccoli also can be planted now.

* Plant garlic and onions.

* Bare-root season begins. Plant bare-root berries, kiwifruit, grapes, artichokes, horseradish and rhubarb. Beware of soggy soil. It can rot bare-root plants.

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