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It's 'Walk with Warren' time again

Sacramento Digs Gardening logo
Sacramento Digs Gardening
Warren Roberts is superintendent emeritus of the UC Davis Arboretum
and quite a raconteur. (Courtesy UC Davis Arboretum)
Popular arboretum guide starts his monthly series
It’s a new school year and a new season of exploration through the UC Davis Arboretum with everyone’s favorite pun-spinning garden guide, Warren Roberts.

At noon Sept. 11, join Roberts for his popular “Walk with Warren,” a lunchtime stroll in search of blooms and more. On this walk, he’ll discuss the change of seasons in the gardens including fall flowering bulbs and shrubs.

As superintendent emeritus, Roberts has a unique perspective of the arboretum gardens; he knows the full history of thousands of the arboretum's plants, where they came from, what they like, how they grow and why they were chosen for the collection. He probably has an entertaining story for every plant, too.

Meet at the Arboretum Gazebo. As always, admission is free. One-hour free parking is available along Garrod Drive near the Gazebo. Or stay longer and park in Visitor Parking Lot 55; a parking pass is $10.

Wear comfortable shoes and, if it’s particularly sunny, a hat and sunscreen. See how the arboretum’s water-wise gardens survived (and thrived) this summer and discover possibilities for your own landscape.

Roberts leads these Wednesday tours once a month. Become a "Walk with Warren" regular and really get to know this wonderful local resource.

Details and directions:


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For week of Dec. 10:

Take advantage of these dry but crisp conditions. It’s time to get out the rake!

* Rake leaves away from storm drains and keep gutters clear.

* Fallen leaves can be used for mulch and compost. Chop up large leaves with a couple of passes with a lawn mower.

* Prune non-flowering trees and shrubs while they’re dormant. Without their foliage, trees are easier to prune.

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

* Make sure to take frost precautions with new transplants and sensitive plants. Mulch, water and cover tender plants in the late afternoon to retain warmth.

* Succulent plants are at particular risk if temperatures drop below freezing. Don’t water succulents before frost; cover instead. Use cloth sheets, not plastic. Make sure to remove coverings during the day.

* 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.

* 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 eaves or under evergreen trees. Also, well-watered plants hold up better to frost than thirsty plants.

* Plant garlic (December's the last chance -- the ground is getting cold!) and onions for harvest in summer.

* 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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