I have two side-by-side tomato beds and at this point in the season, the enormous leaning, reaching plants are woven together –grown well beyond their tall slender bamboo stakes cut for me by a friend. The plants themselves make passage between the two beds difficult enough, but even if I wanted access to gather the beckoning red, ripe fruit, it’s not the fuzzy aromatic foliage that stops me – it’s the spiders. Photo: Tomato beds and bamboo stakes festooned with orb weaver webs.
Enormous, colorful and plentiful, these spiders the size of silver dollars sit contentedly each morning and evening in the center of perfectly crafted orb webs. After four years of gardening here, I now associate orb weavers and their elegant webs festooning the air above the tomato beds with the garden in September. Photo: Female orb weaver working on a meal.
Light and dew drops gather on the orbs, as do the many other bugs large and small that are the reason for the spiders’ setting up camp. I am very appreciative of the spiders’ labors – I am and my appreciation would be complete but for one tiny little problem – they scare me. In flat light you can’t see the webs, which are generally positioned at exactly head height and so what’s a gardener to do? We are generally an easy-going lot – although, granted, some interactions with deer or raccoons, gophers, aphids or invasive weeds will bring out the vindictive gardener in any of us, my lovely though terrifying spiders do not elicit this reaction in me. Instead they intrigue me and inspire a whole new level of respect and interest for the many creatures large and small who partner with us along our gardening journeys. Photo: A female orb weaver’s elegantly constructed, geometric orb web.
So, I have a small broom that I leave next to the vegetable garden with which to gently redirect the webs across my path, and as I go in each day to harvest, I talk to them (mostly to calm myself): “Hello ladies,” I say softly, “I am here to harvest some tomatoes. I promise to be careful.” Then I steel myself and go about my own gardening labors. Photo: A well-known black and yellow orb-weaving non-venemous garden spider (Argiope aurantia) decorating my santolina.
Friend, vertebrate paleontologist and spider enthusiast Greg Liggett (gregliggett.com or boneblogger.com) explained some simple spider anatomy to me recently, including how I might be able to tell which of my spiders were female and which of my spiders were male. “In most spider species, the female is larger by a lot than the male. If you look near a spider’s mouth,” he went on, “you will see two appendages that look a little like short legs – these are not legs but actually mouth parts called ‘pedipalps’. On males, the outermost end of the pedipalp is larger – often looking like boxing gloves.” Photo: The male of my tomato-bed orb weavers, waiting patiently in the wings of the larger female’s web.
Some other resources indicate that in many orb weavers, the smaller male will spin his zig-zag patterned web adjacent to or within the larger female’s larger orb web and foray from his web to hers in order to mate. One source said that the males will often strum the web-strings as part of the mating ritual. When I went out to look more closely at my orb web community, sure enough – the slighter, paler males were easy to spot near almost every large orb web. Photo: A male of my tomato-bed orb weavers and his side web adjacent to a female’s larger orb web.
Garden labors in September are many. With on-going harvesting, plant winter crops – which you should make sure to fertilize, water and protect as September’s weather tries to make its way from late summer to early fall, a transition that happens officially on Sept 23rd. It’s a good time to seed carrots, bok choy, peas, radish and spinach. It’s a good time, too, to start broadcasting seed for early spring flowers such as poppy, foxglove, hollyhocks and cornflower. The fall rains should not be too far off and will with luck take over some of our watering duties. Photo: A blue flowering gentian in September in higher elevations of the North State.
In the monthly calendar of gardening events, county fairs, fall plant sales and gardening clubs and classes are once again back in the swing of things. The On-line Calendar of Regional Gardening Events at jewellgarden.com adds events throughout the month. I do my very best to keep the calendar up to date and accurate, please confirm all events with the event host. If you have an event you would like listed or if you are aware of a mistake on my calendar, please send all pertinent information to me at: Jennifer@jewellgarden.com. Thanks. Photo: The bright yellow and black of a swallowtail butterfly on the purple of joe pye-weed.
August 27 – Redding: Shasta Chapter of California Native Plant Society: Plant Weeding Session One- to two-hour work session starting at 9 AM at the Shasta College greenhouses. (Note the earlier time; due to hot summer temperatures!) The greenhouses are located near the back of Shasta College, where the livestock barns are. We will be weeding and getting ready for the Fall Plant Sale, which will be Saturday, September 24, this year. Bring clippers and any other tools you might need. Please call Susan Libonati at 347-4654 for further information.
August 27 – Redding: Shasta Chapter of California Native Plant Society: Field Trip Brokeoff Mountain 8 am Meet at Redding City Hall south parking lot on Parkview Avenue. Brokeoff Mountain hike and plant walk. This is a strenuous 7-mile, 6- to 7-hour hike with a 2,700’ elevation climb. This is a more difficult hike than to the top of Mt. Lassen, but if you can do that hike, you can make it up Brokeoff. The trail starts in a riparian, flowering streamside filled with willow and alder, and climbs through red fir and mountain hemlock forests, intermixed with meadows and ponds. The top ridge features whitebark pine and many wind- and desiccation-resistant wildflowers. Bring plenty of water, lunch, suncreen and hat. Meet at 8 AM at the Redding City Hall south parking lot on Parkview Avenue, or at 9:30 AM at the trailhead. Call walk leader David Ledger 355-8542 for more information. Photo: Butterfly on native Monarda above Butte Meadows.
August 27 – Redding: McConnell Arboretum & Botanical Gardens at Turtle Bay: Walk With Lisa Endicott, Horticultural Manager 11 am. Bring your notebooks and camera! We’ll make our way through the Gardens with frequent stops for discussions about (what else?) plants! Free with Park or Garden admission. Meet at West Garden Entrance. Take N. Market Street, turn on Arboretum Drive. Take the right fork. Parking lot and entrance are on the left. More info: 530-242-3178 or www.turtlebay.org/nursery
August 27 – Davis: UC Davis Arboretum: Guided Tour: Native American Contemplative Garden 10 a.m., Buehler Alumni & Visitors Center, Old Davis Road, UC Davis. Native Californians traditionally use plants for food, clothing, building materials, medicine, tools and games. Learn about traditional uses of California native plants during a free public tour of the Native American Contemplative Garden at the UC Davis Arboretum on Saturday, August 27. This garden honors the Patwin people who lived at the Arboretum site and the descendents who keep their traditions. The tour will leave at 10:00 a.m. from the Buehler Alumni & Visitors Center, across from the Mondavi Center for the Performing Arts on Old Davis Road on the UC Davis campus. There is no charge for the tour, and free parking is available in Visitor Lot 1 and the parking garage south of the Mondavi Center. For more information, please call (530) 752-4880 or visit arboretum.ucdavis.edu.
August 28 – Chico: GRUB Farm’s Third Annual Tomato Fest! 1 – 4 p.m. FREE. Celebrate the flavors of summer with a tomato tasting and salsa contest under the shade of GRUB’s huge walnut tree in the back at 1525 Dayton Rd, Chico (access @ McIntosh.) Reds, blacks, greens, yellows, oranges, striped, marbled, big small, heirloom, hybrid…over 40 varieties to try*. Discover new favorites from the farm or bring your own to share. Salsa Contest. Prizes awarded to best tasting as judged by the crowd. For more Information email: email@example.com. Photo: Selection of heirloom tomatoes.
August 29 – Colusa: Garden Club of Colusa County regular member meeting and program 6:30 pm St. Stephan’s Church 5th and Webster Colusa For more information, email John Vafis: firstname.lastname@example.org or Cynthia White: email@example.com.
August 30 – Red Bluff: Red Bluff Garden Club: Regular Member Meeting and Program with Sharon Kessey 12:30 pm Union Hall 12889 Baker Road Red Bluff, CA. For more info: http://redbluffgardenclub.com
August 30 – Chico: Butte Rose Society General Member Meeting & Little Rose Show 6 pm gather, 7 pm meeting and program begin. Chico Veterans Memorial Hall at 554 Rio Lindo Ave. For more information: http://www.butte-rosesociety.org/
September 2 – Orland: Friendly Garden Club Regular Monthly Meeting 10:30 AM – 12:30 PM Monthly on the first Friday Carnegie Center, 912 3rd St., Orland CA 95963 more info: please email: FriendlyGardenClub@hushmail.com. Photo: Heleniums blooming in September garden.
September 3 – Chico: Mt Lassen Chapter Cal Native Plant Society – Field Trip: RIDGE LAKES LASSEN VOLCANIC NATIONAL PARK 9 am; Meet at Chico Park & Ride west parking lot (Hwy CA 99/ 32) in time to leave by 9 am. Call the leader for an alter- nate meeting. Take a lunch, water, sun/wind/insect pro- tection and money for ride sharing. We will drive Hwy CA 32 to CA 89, 74 miles to the Lassen Park southwest en- trance Visitor Center for a rest stop. Ridge Lake trailhead is at the Sulfur Works parking lot, 1 1?2 miles north of the Visitor Center. Experience an alpine high with minimum of effort. You will however, have to work because the el- evation gain is 1,000 ft over a mile’s distance of trail. The trail is clean and easy to follow and we will make many stops to view flowers and view spectacular vistas. The two Ridge Lakes lie cupped in a stark high country bowl at the base of a bony ridge between two of Lassen Park’s major peaks. We return the same way. Leaders: Gerry Ingco 530-893-5123, Wes Dempsey 530-342-2293.
September 3 – Redding: McConnell Arboretum & Botanical Gardens at Turtle Bay: Charlie Rabbit and Friends 11 am. Presented by John & Betty Fitzpatrick. An interactive program in the Children’s Garden (or Greenhouse in rain) for children, their siblings, parents and grandparents. Join Charlie, our adorable jack rabbit puppet, in various gardening activities. Wear your favorite gardening clothes! Free with Park or Garden admission. Meet at West Garden Entrance. Take N. Market Street, turn on Arboretum Drive. Take the right fork. Parking lot and entrance are on the left. More info: 530-242-3178 or www.turtlebay.org/nursery
September 3 – Davis: UC Davis Arboretum: Guided Tour: Abundance and Water Conservation 10 am, Gazebo, Garrod Drive, UC Davis. Learn how to create an abundant garden while conserving water on a free guided tour of the Storer Garden, the UC Davis Arboretum’s demonstration garden of drought-tolerant flowering shrubs and perennials, with an emphasis on sustainable, low-maintenance gardening. The tour will meet at 10:00 a.m. at the Arboretum Gazebo, on Garrod Drive on the UC Davis campus. There is no charge for the tour and free parking is available along Garrod Drive and in Visitor Lot 55. For more information, please call (530) 752-4880 or visit arboretum.ucdavis.edu. Photo: Pink eriogonums and rabbit brush.
September 5 – Chico: Chico Permaculture Guild General Meeting 7 – 9 pm Quaker Meeting House – 1601 Hemlock Street, Chico. The meeting will start at 7pm and go til we’re tired of it. Our hopes for the meetings are to share ideas and knowledge, plan projects and cultivate community. We would love for you and any friends who would be interested to join us! The Guild meets monthly to schedule member and community events, permaculture training courses as well as collaboration efforts with local groups actively involved in sustainability. We seek to engage people in cultivating a more permanent culture in Chico and the Northern Sacramento Valley. More info: http://grou.ps/chicopermacultureguild
September 7 – Chico: Mt. Lassen Chapter of the California Native Plant Society Regular Monthly meeting and Members’ Summer Sights Slideshow 7:30 pm Butte County Library, Chico. For more information: http://www.cnps.org/cnps/chapters/newsletters/pipevine.pdf. Photo: A lovely stand of Epilobium siskiyouense, which according to Forest Service botanist Julie Nelson of Redding is a “Klamath Range endemic and a strict endemic to serpentine,” so even more fun to have seen near the trail head for hiking Mt. Eddy, the highest peak in the Trinity Mountains of the Klamath Range.
September 10 – Weaverville: Trinity Nursery – TASTE OF SUMMER TOMATO TASTING All day. Trinity Nursery 885 Main Street Weaverville, California (530) 623-3225 www.TrinityNursery.com
September 10 – Redding: Community Teaching Garden, Shasta College Main Campus – Workshop: Four Season Gardening 10 am – 11:30 am. This workshop will focus on organic gardening principles for the year-round gardener, including cover cropping. Gerry Long, along with his wife, Margaret, and son, Ian, owns and operates Good Work Organic Farm, specializing in garlic and in early spring and late fall, vegetables. Workshop will include Fall vegetable six-pack for sale. Presenter: Gerry Long Fee: $15.00 PLEASE PRE-REGISTER on-line! For registration info, call (530) 242-7630 www.shastacollege.edu/EWD, and click on “Pathways.”
September 12 – Paradise: Paradise Garden Club regular member meeting and program by Jennifer Jewell on the McConnell Arboretum and Gardens 12:30 meet at Terry Ashe Recreation Center Terry Ashe Rec Center at 12:30. More info: email Kay Perkins: firstname.lastname@example.org or go to: http://paradisegardenclub.org/. Photo: A late summer flowering at the McConnell Arboretum and Garden at Turtle Bay Exploration Park in Redding.
September 12– Chico: North Valley Orchid Society – Regular Member Meeting 7:30 PM CARD Center 545 Vallambrosa in Chico. For more information: http://www.northvalleyorchidsociety.com/
September 12 – Full Moon
September 14 – Chico: Chico Natural Foods Co-op Hands-On Canning Class with Stephanie Elliot 6 – 7:30 pm, $10. Class held at: Cosina Cortez 1110 Dayton Rd, Chico. CLASS LIMITED TO 15 people, sign up at the Chico Natural Foods Co-op today! Come learn how to preserve your summer bounty by using the water bath method of canning. This hands-on class will take you through all the steps: preparing the food, packing the food into jars, and pulling the jars out of the water bath. Stephanie will talk about tips she has learned over the years and ways to keep your kitchen stocked with wonderful, local food all year long. For more info: email Sherri Scott or call Chico Natural Foods Co-op at: (530) 891-1713
September 15 – Redding: Shasta Chapter of California Native Plant Society: Regular Monthly Meeting and Program 7 PM at the Shasta College Health Science & University Programs building in downtown Redding, 1400 Market Street, Community Room 8220 (clock tower building at the north end of the Market Street Promenade; enter on south side of the building). A Board meeting will be held before the regular meeting, at 5:30 PM at Angelo’s Pizza Parlour in the Foundry Square, 1774 California Street, Redding.
September 17 – Chico: Chico Natural Foods Co-op Hands-On Canning Class with Stephanie Elliot 9 – 10:30 am, $10. Class held at: Cosina Cortez 1110 Dayton Rd, Chico. CLASS LIMITED TO 15 people, sign up at the Chico Natural Foods Co-op today! Come learn how to preserve your summer bounty by using the water bath method of canning. This hands-on class will take you through all the steps: preparing the food, packing the food into jars, and pulling the jars out of the water bath. Stephanie will talk about tips she has learned over the years and ways to keep your kitchen stocked with wonderful, local food all year long. For more info: email Sherri Scott or call Chico Natural Foods Co-op at: (530) 891-1713
September 17 – Davis: UC Davis Arboretum: Guided Tour: Plant Faire Preview 10 a.m., Arboretum Teaching Nursery, Garrod Drive, UC Davis. Local gardeners will have an opportunity to learn about successful plants for Central Valley gardens and plan for the fall planting season during a free public tour at the UC Davis Arboretum Teaching Nursery on Saturday, September 17. The tour will feature uncommon garden plants from California and other parts of the world chosen for their ability to thrive in the Central Valley climate. The featured plants will be available for sale at the annual Plant Faire on September 24. The tour will begin at 10:00 a.m. at the Arboretum Teaching Nursery, on Garrod Drive across from the Vet School on the UC Davis campus. There is no charge for the tour and free parking is available along Garrod Drive and in Visitor Lot 55. For more information, please call (530) 752-4880 or visit arboretum.ucdavis.edu.
September 17 – Redding: Community Teaching Garden, Shasta College Main Campus – Workshop: Canning Fruit and Making Jam 9 am – 12 noon. Room 822, Shasta College Main Campus. This workshop will focus on canning fruits—hot pack vs. cold pack—including apple pie filling, jam, etc,. with an emphasis on preparation and processing. To maximize nutrient content, proper and safe techniques will be emphasized. Please do NOT bring your own produce. All equipment, produce, and handouts will be provided. Bethany Schaarschmidt is a Shasta College Nutrition Professor, assisted by Susanna Sibilsky, Nutritionist and local food enthusiast. Presenters: Bethany Schaarschmidt and Susanna Sibilsky Fee: $30.00 PLEASE PRE-REGISTER on-line! For registration info, call (530) 242-7630 www.shastacollege.edu/EWD, and click on “Pathways”
September 18 – Chico: The Plant Barn: Container Gardening class with Denise Kelly and Nancy Shanks 1 – 3 pm The Plant Barn, 406 Entler Ave Chico. Join your favorite Flower Floozies to design amazing container gardens and learn container gardening skills for the fall garden. Please call for more information about cost and registration: 530-345-3121.
September 21 – Chico: Chico Horticultural Society: Regular Member Meeting & Program by Joan Walters on the Dynamic Cut Flower Garden 9:30 – 12 noon. All are welcome! The society gathers for coffee, treats and socializing at 9:30 and program begins at 10 am. In this month’s program, Walters, a long-standing gardener and floral designer will walk us through the ups and downs of planning and caring for her extensive cut-flower garden in Forest Ranch. Walters has been growing cut flowers and stunning bouquets for the Chico Saturday Market every summer for 20 years! For more information and program or Chico Hort Membership: email@example.com or call 530-588-6369. Photo: A bouquet of home grown elegance by Joan Walters of Forest Ranch.
September 21 – Redding: Shasta Rose Society: Regular Member Meeting & Little Rose Show 7 pm City of Redding Corporation Yard, 2055 Viking Way, Building 4, Rm 401. For more information: http://www.shastarosesociety.org/Shasta_Rose_Society/Home.html
September 23 – Autumnal Equinox
September 24 – Fair Oaks: Fair Oaks Horticultural Center/Sacramento Master Gardeners: Nurture the Soil, Conserve Water and Energy, Winter Vegetables 8:30 am – 11:30 am. Learn tips and tactics to analyze and improve your soil. Explore lawn alternatives. Plant a winter vegetable garden. Prepare the irrigation system for winter. For more info go to: http://ucanr.org/sites/sacmg/Fair_Oaks_Horticulture_Center/
September 24 – Redding: Shasta Chapter of California Native Plant Society: FALL NATIVE PLANT SALE Shasta College greenhouses. located near the back of Shasta College, where the livestock barns are. Please call Susan Libonati at 347-4654 for further information. Photo: Sweet ‘Red Candy Apple’ onions from Morning Glory Organics in Butte Valley.
September 24 – Chico: Chico State Herbarium: Workshop CONTROLLING INVASIVE PLANTS with Susan Mason Invasive plants taking over your property? Spending too much time weeding your garden? Learn to identify common local garden, pasture and forest weeds, and de- velop effective methods to control them. Learn how timing, technique, and specialized tools can be used to reduce your weeding time and why knowing a little about the plant’s biology can improve your chances of successful weed control or eradication. Instructor Susan Mason is the Invasive Plants Chair of the Mount Lassen Chapter of the California Native Plant Society. As a volunteer for Friends of Bidwell Park, she has spent thousands of hours eradicating weeds from Bidwell Park. Susan has participated in more than 20 weed classes and workshops in the last 8 years and received the Land Manager of the Year award from the California Invasive Plant Council. yellow star-thistle. The workshop will meet Saturday September 24, 2011 from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. in Holt Hall room 129 at CSU Chico. The registration fee is $35.00. Please register in advance; class size is limited to 25 participants (class cancelled without a minimum of 8 participants). For more information about workshop content please contact Susan Mason at firstname.lastname@example.org. For information about registration please contact the Biology office at (530) 898-5356 or email@example.com.
September 24 – Redding: Community Teaching Garden, Shasta College Main Campus – Workshop: Growing Great Onions and Garlic 10 am – 11:30 am. Teaching Garden, Shasta College Main Campus. Learn techniques for growing great garlic, including gourmet garlic, and onions. Cover cropping information will be included. Premium garlic seeds will be offered for sale. Presenter is an Organic Inspector for the California Certified Organic Farmers; he has been selling at the local Farmers Market since 1996; and teaches Organic Gardening Practices at Shasta College. Presenter: Gerry Long Fee: $15:00 PLEASE PRE-REGISTER! For registration info, call (530) 242-7630 or go to www.shastacollege.edu/EWD, and click on “Pathways”. Photo: Purple cone flower.
September 24 – Redding: McConnell Arboretum & Botanical Gardens at Turtle Bay: Gardening with Natives 10 am – 12 noon. Local California plant expert David Fritchle shares a wealth of knowledge about the benefits (water conservation, among others) and, as well as well as challenges of growing California natives in your home garden. He will also have handouts with nearby locations where you can see hundreds of species of fascinating native plants. Don’t forget to ask about the ongoing work of California Native Plant Society. Meet at the Arboretum & Botanical Garden’s Office (1135 Arboretum Drive next to Nursery Greenhouse. Meet at West Garden Entrance. Take N. Market Street, turn on Arboretum Drive. Take the right fork. Parking lot and entrance are on the left. More info: 530-242-3178 or www.turtlebay.org/nursery
September 24 – Redding: McConnell Arboretum & Botanical Gardens at Turtle Bay: Walk With Lisa Endicott, Horticultural Manager 11 am. Bring your notebooks and camera! We’ll make our way through the Gardens with frequent stops for discussions about (what else?) plants! Free with Park or Garden admission. Meet at West Garden Entrance. Take N. Market Street, turn on Arboretum Drive. Take the right fork. Parking lot and entrance are on the left. More info: 530-242-3178 or www.turtlebay.org/nursery
September 24 – Davis: UC Davis Arboretum: 75th Anniversary Plant Faire and Sale Member sale 9–11 a.m. Public sale 11 a.m.–1 p.m. Arboretum Teaching Nursery, Garrod Drive, UC Davis. Anyone who grows plants in their yard, garden, or home will want to attend the biggest and best plant sale in the Central Valley, at the UC Davis Arboretum on Saturday, September 24. This year’s Plant Faire and Sale is a celebration of the Arboretum’s 75th anniversary, and will feature hundreds of varieties of great plants for Central Valley gardens, including the Arboretum All-Stars and fabulous houseplants and exotics from the Botanical Conservatory. There will be a members-only sale from 9:00 to 11:00 a.m. with live music and free children’s activities, and a public sale from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Arboretum staff and volunteers will be available to provide expert advice on choosing the best plants for your garden conditions. Anyone may join or renew at the door for early admission and a 10% member discount. New members get a free plant. The sale will take place at the Arboretum Teaching Nursery on Garrod Drive, across from the School of Veterinary Medicine on the UC Davis campus. Free parking is available in Visitor Lot 55 across from the nursery. For more information, directions, and a plant list, visit arboretum.ucdavis.edu, or call (530) 752-4880.
September 27 – Chico: Butte Rose Society General Member Meeting & Little Rose Show 6 pm gather, 7 pm meeting and program begin. Chico Veterans Memorial Hall at 554 Rio Lindo Ave. For more information: http://www.butte-rosesociety.org/
To submit plant/gardening related events/classes to the Jewellgarden.com on-line Calendar of Regional Gardening Events, send the pertinent information to me at: Jennifer@jewellgarden.com
Did you know I send out a weekly email with information about upcoming topics and gardening related events in the North State region? If you would like to be added to the mailing list, send an email to Jennifer@jewellgarden.com.
In a North State Garden is a weekly Northstate Public Radio and web-based program celebrating the art, craft and science of home gardening in Northern California. It is made possible in part by the Gateway Science Museum – Exploring the Natural History of the North State and on the campus of CSU, Chico. In a North State Garden is conceived, written, photographed and hosted by Jennifer Jewell – all rights reserved jewellgarden.com. In a North State Garden airs on Northstate Public Radio Saturday mornings at 7:34 AM Pacific time and Sunday morning at 8:34 AM Pacific time. Podcasts of past shows are available here.