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Murer House celebrates Lavender Day in Folsom

Learn how to grow, enjoy this favorite flowering herb

Colorful and pretty, with a heavenly scent -- that's lavender! Celebrate this beloved herb Saturday in Folsom.

Colorful and pretty, with a heavenly scent -- that's lavender! Celebrate this beloved herb Saturday in Folsom. Kathy Morrison

What’s that fragrance? Saturday morning in Folsom, it’s most likely lavender as a local landmark celebrates this popular Mediterranean herb.

Saturday, June 3, is “Lavender Day” at the Murer House and Gardens. Set for 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., this free event salutes all things lavender with speakers, lavender-laced gift items and (of course) lavender lemonade.

Lavender fits well with the Italian heritage and history behind Murer House, the home of Joe Murer. An Italian immigrant, Murer settled in Folsom more than a century ago and became an integral part of the growing community. His home and gardens – packed with Mediterranean fruit and flowers – reflected his Italian homeland.

On Lavender Day, Murer House will focus more on the horticultural benefits of this beloved flower. At 10 a.m., beekeeper Roger Steel will discuss bees, lavender and honey. Lavender flowers are not only a favorite food for bees, but their nectar also makes a distinctive honey.

At 11:30 a.m., Greg Gayton – garden guru at Green Acres Nursery & Supply – joins Christine Eschen of Tres Jolie Lavender Farm to speak on growing lavender at home, the many varieties available and which ones grow best in the greater Sacramento area. Learn how to tell a Spanish lavender from a French or English variety.

Lavender not only smells good, it has a distinctive flavor as an herb. Lavender lemonade and lavender gift items will be offered for sale. A drawing will be held for lavender plants and other prizes.

Murer House is located at 1125 Joe Murer Court in historic Folsom. In addition to the lavender festivities, free docent-led tours of the home and gardens will be offered from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Details and directions: https://murerhousefoundation.org/.

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Dig In: Garden Checklist for week of April 7

The warm wave coming this week will shift weeds into overdrive. Get to work!

* Weed, weed, weed! Whack them before they flower.

* Mulch around plants to conserve moisture and control weeds.

* Smell orange blossoms? Feed citrus trees with a low dose of balanced fertilizer (such as 10-10-10) during bloom to help set fruit. Keep an eye out for ants.

* Apply slow-release fertilizer to the lawn.

* Thoroughly clean debris from the bottom of outdoor ponds or fountains.

* Spring brings a flush of rapid growth, and that means your garden is really hungry. Feed shrubs and trees with a slow-release fertilizer. Or mulch with a 1-inch layer of compost.

* Azaleas and camellias looking a little yellow? If leaves are turning yellow between the veins, give them a boost with chelated iron.

* Trim dead flowers but not leaves from spring-flowering bulbs such as daffodils and tulips. Those leaves gather energy to create next year's flowers. Also, give the bulbs a fertilizer boost after bloom.

* Pinch chrysanthemums back to 12 inches for fall flowers. Cut old stems to the ground.

* From seed, plant beans, beets, cantaloupes, carrots, corn, cucumbers, melons, radishes and squash. Plant onion sets.

* In the flower garden, plant seeds for asters, cosmos, celosia, marigolds, salvia, sunflowers and zinnias. Transplant petunias, zinnias, geraniums and other summer bloomers.

* Plant perennials and dahlia tubers for summer bloom. April is about the last chance to plant summer bulbs, such as gladiolus and tuberous begonias.

* Transplant lettuce and cabbage seedlings.

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