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Take a late-spring ramble through a garden of native plants

Event near Davis is free but requires registration

June grass, yarrow and Ithuriel's spear grow in the valley grassland area of Patricia Carpenter's property.

June grass, yarrow and Ithuriel's spear grow in the valley grassland area of Patricia Carpenter's property.

Photo courtesy Beth Savidge

Many California natives rest or go dormant in the summer, so May is an excellent time to view native plants still in their spring flush.

This Sunday offers an ideal opportunity, as California Native Plant Society Ambassador Patricia Carpenter opens her garden west of Davis for her Late Spring Seasonal Native Garden Ramble.

Carpenter's 1-acre property, with more than 400 species and cultivars of natives, will be available for self-guided tours from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday, May 21, starting at any time within those hours. The event is free but registration is required. The link to register can be found here. A map and plant list can be found on Carpenter's CNPS profile page.

In addition to viewing late-spring color, visitors will be able to see the many geophytes blooming in the garden.  Seasonal maintenance, pruning, seed collecting, and plant propagation also will be in progress.

An optional short orientation and Q&A gathering with Carpenter will be held at 11 a.m. and again at 1 p.m. To participate, meet near the check-in table.

Visitors should bring a sun hat or personal umbrella and a filled water bottle. Toting a lunch or snack is allowed, but no dogs, please.

For more information, email both Patricia Carpenter <> and Maya Argaman <>.


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Dig In: Garden Checklist

For week of Sept. 24:

This week our weather will be just right for fall gardening. What are you waiting for?

* Now is the time to plant for fall. The warm soil will get these veggies off to a fast start.

* Keep harvesting tomatoes, peppers, squash, melons and eggplant. Tomatoes may ripen faster off the vine and sitting on the kitchen counter.

* Compost annuals and vegetable crops that have finished producing.

* Cultivate and add compost to the soil to replenish its nutrients for fall and winter vegetables and flowers.

* Fertilize deciduous fruit trees.

* Plant onions, lettuce, peas, radishes, turnips, beets, carrots, bok choy, spinach and potatoes directly into the vegetable beds.

* Transplant cabbage, broccoli, kale, Brussels sprouts and cauliflower as well as lettuce seedlings.

* Sow seeds of California poppies, clarkia and African daisies.

* Transplant cool-weather annuals such as pansies, violas, fairy primroses, calendulas, stocks and snapdragons.

* Divide and replant bulbs, rhizomes and perennials. That includes bearded iris; if they haven’t bloomed in three years, it’s time to dig them up and divide their rhizomes.

* Dig up and divide daylilies as they complete their bloom cycle.

* Divide and transplant peonies that have become overcrowded. Replant with “eyes” about an inch below the soil surface.

* Late September is ideal for sowing a new lawn or re-seeding bare spots.

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