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It's lavender-picking time at Maple Rock

Lavender will be available for picking June 15 at Maple Rock Gardens, but watch for bees. (Photos: Debbie Arrington)

Famous gardens open gates to public for flower harvest

Acres of lavender are in bloom at Maple Rock Gardens, which means it’s time for harvest.

Tickets are now on sale for “Lavender Picking at Maple Rock Gardens,” from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, June 15. This special pop-up event includes a chance to roam Maple Rock’s famous private gardens and picnic in the garden “rooms” or under the apple trees as well as cut bountiful bouquets of fragrant lavender.

Lavender fields forever at Maple Rock Gardens.
After so much spring rain, the lavender is particularly abundant and at its peak of bloom. (Remember: You’ll be working the fields along with the bees.) Besides gathering lavender, this offers a great photo opportunity in one of Northern California’s most beautiful private gardens. The home of High-Hand Nursery owner Scott Paris, Maple Rock covers about 30 acres.

Admission is $15; parking is free. Children age 12 or younger admitted free. Well-behaved dogs on leash are welcome. Tickets are available online as well as at the gate.

Bring your own clippers (gloves are good, too), something to carry your lavender in and a picnic lunch. Available for sale will be Maple Rock honey, lavender cookies and lavender lemonade.

Maple Rock is located on Highway 193 at Clark Tunnel Road in Penryn. For directions:

For advance tickets or more details, go to .


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Dig In: Garden Checklist

For week of June 4:

Because of the comfortable weather, it’s not too late to set out tomato and pepper seedlings as well as squash and melon plants. They’ll appreciate this not-too-hot weather. Just remember to water.

* From seed, plant corn, pumpkins, radishes, melons, squash and sunflowers.

* Plant basil to go with your tomatoes.

* Transplant summer annuals such as petunias, marigolds and zinnias.

* It’s also a good time to transplant perennial flowers including astilbe, columbine, coneflowers, coreopsis, dahlias, rudbeckia, salvia and verbena.

* Let the grass grow longer. Set the mower blades high to reduce stress on your lawn during summer heat. To cut down on evaporation, water your lawn deeply during the wee hours of the morning, between 2 and 8 a.m.

* Tie up vines and stake tall plants such as gladiolus and lilies. That gives their heavy flowers some support.

* Dig and divide crowded bulbs after the tops have died down.

* Feed summer flowers with a slow-release fertilizer.

* Mulch, mulch, mulch! This “blanket” keeps moisture in the soil longer and helps your plants cope during hot weather.

* Thin grapes on the vine for bigger, better clusters later this summer.

* Cut back fruit-bearing canes on berries.

* Feed camellias, azaleas and other acid-loving plants.

* Trim off dead flowers from rose bushes to keep them blooming through the summer. Roses also benefit from deep watering and feeding now. A top dressing of aged compost will keep them happy. It feeds as well as keeps roots moist.

* Pinch back chrysanthemums for bushier plants with many more flowers in September.

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