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Water-wise demonstration garden coming to Loomis

Placer County master gardeners to break ground on 11,000-square-foot project

This area behind the Loomis Library will become the demonstration garden for the Placer County master gardeners.

This area behind the Loomis Library will become the demonstration garden for the Placer County master gardeners.

Photo courtesy Loomis Library

A huge asset for Placer County gardeners – plus those from neighboring counties – is one step closer to reality.

On Tuesday morning, Sept. 19, the UC Cooperative Extension Master Gardeners of Placer County will break ground on their own demonstration garden behind Loomis Library. The public is welcome to the 9:30 a.m. ceremony to learn more about the project.

More than a year in the making, the new garden will replace more than 11,000 square feet of lawn with water-wise landscaping plus a demonstration orchard and edible garden.

“In collaboration with the Town of Loomis and the Loomis Library and Community Center, the Master Gardeners will be transforming an existing lawn into a beautiful water-wise garden showcasing California natives, pollinators, and edible plants,” say the master gardeners. “Opportunities for education in the garden will bring a living classroom to the community.”

It takes a community to create such a large new garden, which is being funded mostly via individual donations. The Placer County Water Agency is contributing about $10,000 in rebates and incentives for turf removal and irrigation upgrades. Wood chips and compost for the new garden will be provided by the Town of Loomis.

The Friends of the Loomis Library also are raising money for the garden through their “Buy a Brick” campaign; the engraved bricks will be used in a permanent garden display. You can support the garden by purchasing an engraved brick at The bricks cost $120 ($130 with logo).

Or make a contribution directly to the master gardeners at

As its name implies, the new demonstration garden will show how to grow a water-wise and wildlife-friendly garden that looks good year-round while attracting pollinators such as butterflies and bees as well as supporting birds. The garden also will provide space to grow vegetables, fruit, berries and herbs as part of educational displays.

Besides offering a living showcase of the master gardeners’ work, the project will save a significant amount of water by the replacement of all that old lawn. The garden’s design includes places to hold gardening workshops and other events. Signage will identify all the plants and offer tips for home gardeners.

According to library officials, the master gardeners hope to have the first phases of construction including the lawn removal completed in time for fall planting of California natives.

Loomis Library is located at 6050 Library Drive, Loomis.


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Dig In: Garden Checklist

For week of Oct. 1:

Make the most of this cooler weather. Get to work on your fall garden:

* October is the best month to plant trees, shrubs and perennials. Plants become established – sending down deep, strong roots – faster in warm soil.

* Divide and replant perennials. Add a little well-aged compost and bone meal to the planting hole, but hold off on other fertilizers until spring. Keep the transplants well-watered (but not wet) for the first month as they become settled.

* Now is the time to plant seeds for many flowers directly into the garden, including cornflower, nasturtium, nigella, poppy, portulaca, sweet pea and stock.

* Plant seeds for radishes, bok choy, mustard, spinach and peas.

* Plant garlic and onions.

* Set out cool-weather bedding plants, including calendula, pansy, snapdragon, primrose and viola.

* Reseed and feed the lawn. Work on bare spots.

* Dig up corms and tubers of gladioli, dahlias and tuberous begonias after the foliage dies. Clean and store in a cool, dry place.

* Treat azaleas, gardenias and camellias with chelated iron if leaves are yellowing between the veins.

* Clean up the summer vegetable garden and compost disease-free foliage.

* Harvest pumpkins and winter squash.

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