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'Walks with Warren' back at UC Davis Arboretum

On Wednesday, Warren Roberts guides free tour of earliest fall color

Warren Roberts, superintendent emeritus of the UC Davis Arboretum, returns Wednesday to lead one of his entertaining walks.

Warren Roberts, superintendent emeritus of the UC Davis Arboretum, returns Wednesday to lead one of his entertaining walks. Photo courtesy UC Davis Arboretum and Public Garden

UC Davis Arboretum’s beloved tour guide returns to action this week. It’s time again for “Walks with Warren.”

This week, Warren Roberts – the Arboretum’s superintendent emeritus – resumes his monthly free tours of the gardens he helped create. The first will be noon, Wednesday, Sept. 13, and focused on the Arboretum’s first hints of fall foliage as well as late summer blooms.

Meet Roberts at the Gazebo in the Carolee Shields White Flower Garden on the UC Davis Campus and be prepared for a lively hour-long stroll, packed with botanical knowledge spiked with wordplay. Admission is free.

“Get ready to immerse yourself in the vivid beauty of autumn as you embark on a midday adventure through the gardens and collections of the UC Davis Arboretum with your guide Warren Roberts, superintendent emeritus,” say the organizers. “Renowned for his captivating storytelling and playful puns, Warren leads participants on an always-engaging exploration of the Arboretum's seasonal highlights.

“Whether you're a seasoned plant enthusiast or simply eager to revel in the tranquility of nature, this experience promises to be both educational and delightful,” they add. “This event is open to all and free of charge, encouraging everyone to come together and embrace the wonders of nature within the Arboretum's picturesque grounds.”

Although the tour is free, parking is not. Parking ($1.75 per hour) is available along Garrod Drive near the Gazebo via AggiePark on the AMP Park app. Other parking is available in Visitor Lot 55; that lot requires a $15 daily parking permit, also via AggiePark.

Details and directions: https://arboretum.ucdavis.edu/. Phone: 530-752-4880.

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Garden Checklist for week of April 14

It's still not warm enough to transplant tomatoes directly in the ground, but we’re getting there.

* April is the last chance to plant citrus trees such as dwarf orange, lemon and kumquat. These trees also look good in landscaping and provide fresh fruit in winter.

* 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 needs nutrients. Fertilize 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.

* Mulch around plants to conserve moisture and control weeds.

* 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.

* Mid to late April is about the last chance to plant summer bulbs, such as gladiolus and tuberous begonias.

* Transplant lettuce seedlings. Choose varieties that mature quickly such as loose leaf.

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