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Foothill gardens open for Mother's Day tour

Six Loomis and Granite Bay sites to welcome visitors

Love butterflies? A butterfly garden is among the six gardens on the Mother's Day Garden Tour, presented by the Placer County master gardeners.

Love butterflies? A butterfly garden is among the six gardens on the Mother's Day Garden Tour, presented by the Placer County master gardeners. Kathy Morrison

This Sunday, skip the crowded holiday brunch and take the mom in your life (or yourself) outside – and up out of the soon-to-be-hot Valley. Six fabulous gardens await in Granite Bay and Loomis on the Placer County master gardeners’ 36th Annual Mother's Day Garden Tour.

“We have been trying to get one of these gardens on the tour for three years,” said Kortne Phillips, co-chair of the event, along with Cooki Vonasek. “This may be our best tour yet,” she added.

The tour window is 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, rain or (likely) shine. Tickets with maps are $20, available now through the day of the tour at the Green Acres Nursery & Supply sites in Auburn (the former Eisley’s), Rocklin and Roseville; cash or check only. Children under 12 are admitted free.

Here’s how the Placer master gardeners describe the six gardens on the tour:

– The Reimagined Garden: This homeowner has completely transformed her “water hungry” landscape into a “water wise”, easy to care for spacious setting with a diversity of drought tolerant flowering plants that attract the local pollinators. It’s a peaceful, relaxing place to just sit and watch the evening sun set. 

 – The Estate Garden: Behind the grand gates, explore elegant acres complete with large reflecting ponds filled with koi and water lilies, an incredible collection of plantings and wandering pathways that lead to a breathtaking vista. Caution: some steep stairs and uneven walking surfaces.

–  The Butterfly Garden: The uniqueness of this garden is evident right away. Its charm beckons you to see more, and more there is. Creative features greet you at every turn. Look closely and discover butterfly shapes in unexpected ways along with impressive design elements widely placed throughout the garden.

 – The Tranquility Garden: The feel of Tuscany welcomes you immediately with towering Italian Cypress, old world stonework and tile, and distinctive decorative urns. Follow the pathway to a fabulous entertaining area secluded among the redwoods with lots of striking surprises.

 – The More is Better Garden: When you love plants and just have to have more but nowhere left to plant them, what do you do? This homeowner’s answer was to put them in pots! Now you have a mobile landscape that adds a completely new dimension that is flexible, colorful, and totally unique. 

  – The Traveler’s Garden: Inspired by their extensive local and international travels, this garden oasis is bursting with an extensive collection of amazing plants, flowers, water features and eclectic art treasures. Every pathway is an experience to be discovered in this vibrant and dramatic party-ready retreat.

For more information on the garden tour, visit the Placer master gardeners’ website,

Gardeners around Sacramento have a wealth of garden tour opportunities this weekend. There is of course the East Sac Garden Tour, which Debbie posted about Monday, happening both Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. 

Also, the River Valley Garden Club in Rancho Murieta presents its Garden Stroll on Saturday, May 13, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. as part of its 20th anniversary celebration. Seven gardens in Rancho Murieta are on the tour; they will have artists in residence at each. Tickets are $25, available through Friday at the Rancho Murieta Ace Hardware  (in the shopping center across from the main entrance to Rancho Murieta) and on the day of the tour at the Rancho Murieta Association Building, 7191 Murieta Parkway.

This event also will feature plant sales and a raffle. Information: (916) 730-7403.

-- Kathy Morrison


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For week of Feb. 18:

It's wet to start the week. When you do get outside, between or after storms, concentrate on damage control:

* Keep storm drains and gutters clear of debris.

* Clean up tree debris knocked down by wind and rain.

* Where did the water flow in your garden? Make notes where revisions are necessary.

* Are any trees leaning? See disturbances in the ground or lawn around their base? Time to call an arborist before the tree topples.

* Dump excess water out of pots.

* Indoors, start peppers, tomatoes and eggplant from seed.

* Lettuce and other greens also can be started indoors from seed.

* Got bare-root plants? Put their roots in a bucket of water until outdoor soil dries out. Or pot them up in 1- or 5-gallon containers. In April, transplant the plant, rootball and all, into the garden.

* Browse garden websites and catalogs. It’s not too late to order for spring and summer.

* Show your indoor plants some love. Dust leaves and mist to refresh.

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