El Dorado County master gardeners offer workshop Saturday
Gain inspiration from the Shade Garden at the El Dorado County master gardeners’ Sherwood Demonstration Garden. Courtesy El Dorado County master gardeners
In a region with a notable love of trees, gardeners often face a quandary: What can grow in all that shade?
The UCCE master gardeners of El Dorado County can help with that, offering a free workshop on “Shade Gardening” from 9 a.m. to noon this Saturday, Oct. 29, at their Sherwood Demonstration Garden in Placerville.
“Shade gardens offer cool beauty to your landscape," the master gardeners note. "They add texture, color and flowers. ... Learn what plants thrive in all kinds of shade, dappled to deep."
The Sherwood Demonstration Garden includes a shade garden, plus 15 other garden areas, including an orchard, a rose garden, native plant area and a children’s garden. It is open for strolling both Friday and Saturday this week, from 9 a.m. to noon, part of the Open Garden Day series that continues through November. (Hint: Drop in on your way to Apple Hill.) The garden is at 6699 Campus Drive, Placerville.
For more on El Dorado master gardener programs, go to
— Kathy Morrison
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For week of March 3:
* Celebrate the city flower! Catch the 100th Sacramento Camellia Show 3 to 6 p.m. Saturday, March 2, and 10 a.m to 5 p.m. Sunday, March 3, at the Scottish Rite Center, 6151 H St., Sacramento. Admission is free.
* Between showers, pick up fallen camellia blooms; that helps cut down on the spread of blossom blight that prematurely browns petals.
* Feed camellias after they bloom with fertilizer formulated for acid-loving plants.
* Camellias need little pruning. Remove dead wood and shape, if necessary.
* Tread lightly or not at all on wet ground; it compacts soil.
* Avoid digging in wet soil, too; wait until it clumps in your hand but doesn’t feel squishy.
* Note spots in your garden that stay wet after storms; improve drainage with the addition of organic matter such as compost.
* Keep an eye out for leaning trunks or ground disturbances around a tree’s base, a sign of shifting roots in the wet soil.
* Fertilize roses, annual flowers and berries as spring growth begins to appear.
* If aphids are attracted to new growth, knock them off with a strong spray of water or insecticidal soap. To make your own “bug soap,” use two tablespoons liquid soap – not detergent – to one quart water in a spray bottle. Shake it up before use. Among the liquid soaps that seem most effective are Dr. Bronner’s Pure-Castile Soaps; try the peppermint scent.
* Pull weeds now! Don’t let them get started. Take a hoe and whack them as soon as they sprout.
* Prune and fertilize spring-flowering shrubs after bloom.
* Cut back and fertilize perennial herbs to encourage new growth.
* Make plans for your summer garden. Once the soil is ready, start adding amendments such as compost.
* Indoors, start seeds for summer favorites such as tomatoes, peppers and squash as well as summer flowers.
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