Seasonal precipitation has returned with relative gentleness on the Valley portions of the North State along with some frosts and early enticing snow in the foothills and high country. Our scenic California oak grasslands and wetlands are greening and filling; deciduous blue oaks, sycamores, maples and alders drop their summer biomass and rich, colorful fall changes to winter’s simplicity.
We are in the season of thankfulness.
I am thankful for the dried oak leaves and grass clippings both readily available now. A cozy layer of this mix insulates soil and root systems from the coming temperature and humidity fluctuations, and allows the winter rains to slow-release their nutrients down. If you have been able to get a feeding of 0-10-10 fertilizer onto the soil before topdressing with this mulch – all the better for edibles or ornamentals.
If you can work the soil, December and January are still ideal for the planting of new perennials, shrubs and trees – and bare root season for ornamental and fruit trees as well as perennial berry canes and veg will be getting fully underway by January.
In the seasonal edible garden, now is a good time to direct seed bok choy, broccoli, kale/collards, lettuce, onion sets, peas, radish and spinach. It’s also a good time to direct some annual flowers for next spring and summer’s color, these include: California poppy, larkspur, cornflower and scabiosa.
As you continue to cut back perennials and edibles that have run their course, remember that diligent attention to plant and soil hygiene now will pay-off well in the long run – winter precipitation can also inadvertently spread bacterial and fungal diseases from diseased plants. Carefully clean up the dead and fallen leaves from roses, peonies, iris, cane fruits and any other plants on which you have ever notices black spot, mildew or other issues. Do not compost diseased leaves or woody materials, discard it with your household trash.
Watch the weather forecast closely now and be prepared with frost cloth to cover tender plants.
When pruning, try to leave seed heads, healthy foliage, and winter blooms for the birds and insects to snack on and nest with – weather permitting. You will be as thankful as them. The frolicking of birds, bees and butterflies in the winter garden are some of the many gifts of the season.
Gifts of the season overflow the calendar of gardening events this month. 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 the calendar, please send all pertinent information to: Jennifer@jewellgarden.com! Thanks!
November 27 – Chico: Mt Lassen Chapter Cal Native Plant Society – Field Trip: Ten Mile House Trail to Big Chico Creek 9:15 am Meet at Chico Park & Ride west parking lot (Hwy 99/32) in time to leave by 9:30 am. Wear hiking shoes and bring lunch, water, sunscreen/insect protection and money for ride sharing. We’ll drive east 9 miles on Hwy 32 to the Green Gate Trail Head. From there we’ll follow an historic wagon road down to Big Chico Creek, our lunch site. On our return we’ll see buckeye and black oak in fruit and stop at a spring where a homestead once stood. Be prepared for a 700′ elevation gain back to the trail head. Four miles round trip. Call leader for alternate meeting location. Gerry 530-893-5123. For more information: http://mountlassen.cnps.org/
November 29 – Red Bluff Garden Club: Monthly Meeting and Program: 1:00 p.m. at the Union Hall, 12889 Baker Road in Red Bluff, California. Public Welcome! For more info: http://redbluffgardenclub.com/Home_Page.html; 530.824-5661 or email email@example.com.
November 29 – Chico: Butte Rose Society General Member Meeting & Little Rose Show 6 pm gather, 7 pm meeting and program on Seasonal Pruning of Roses. Chico Veterans Memorial Hall at 554 Rio Lindo Ave. For more information: http://www.butte-rosesociety.org/
November 26 – 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
December 1 – Paradise: Saturen Studio Botanical Illustration Classes – Fall Session VI begins 3:30 pm to 5:30 pm every Thursday for 4 weeks: Dec 1 – Dec 22, 2011. 10 yrs to Adult. Create scientific illustrations of exotic flowers, leafy foliage, tantalizing fruit, and seeds – even carnivorous species. Draw flora to scale, add texture, shadows, and balance as you transfer visual references to paper. Sharpen your drawing skills and pencils as you learn techniques that create 3-dimensional drawings that appear to pop out of the paper! Terry Ashe Recreation Center in Paradise, California Paradise Recreation and Park District (PRPD) Supplies list available at PRPD office. FEE: $30.00 INSTRUCTOR: Ben Saturen. More info please email: firstname.lastname@example.org
December 2 – 4 – Red Bluff: SLOW FOOD SHASTA CASCADE and Holbrook Studios present 2nd Annual Kilnside Christmas Featuring local artisans, cheeses, wines, olive oils and more. Friday 5 – 8 pm, Sat. & Sun. 9 am – 4 pm. 575 Wiltsey Avenue, Red Bluff. For more info: http://www.themuddyhands.com/Christmas2011
December 2 & 3 – Red Bluff Garden Center: Holiday Wreath Class 10am both days. Create a beautiful holiday wreath to take home. Cost is $10. Please call to reserve space. 530-527-0886. http://www.redbluffgardencenter.com/home?GardenCenter=Events
December 3 – Redding: Shasta Chapter California Native Plant Society : Mule Mountain Hike 9 am meet at Redding City Library. This Mule Mountain hike is a repeat of last year’s hike, except that the trail has been completed to the south base of the mountain, with only a steep 300’ off-trail elevation climb to the top. This is a 5-mile, moderately difficult hike. Expect to see typical mixed conifer and chaparral plants including silk tassel, redberry, deer brush, service berry, snowberry and snowdrop bush. Meet at 9 AM at Redding City Hall south parking lot on Parkview Avenue. No dogs, please. For more information, call David Ledger at 355-8542. http://www.shastacnps.org/calendar.html
December 3 – Redding: McConnell Arboretum & Botanical Gardens at Turtle Bay: Holiday Wreath Making Workshop 9 am – noon. Floral designer and instructor Darlene Montgomery leads this creative and fun holiday workshop. Each participant will create their own fresh, full-size holiday wreath for the front door or family room. All materials provided. Space is limited to 15 participants, adults and youth ages 16+. Call 242-3108 to pre-register (required). Members $35, nonmembers $40 Visitor Center – JSS Classroom More info: 530-242-3178 or www.turtlebay.org/nursery
December 3 – Redding: McConnell Arboretum & Botanical Gardens at Turtle Bay: Charlie Rabbit and Friends 10:30 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
December 3 – Redding: Wyntour Gardens: Holiday Open House and Kids Planting Party Open House All Day. Planting Party 10am – Noon. Join us in celebrating the holiday season with delicious goodies and hot apple cider. One Day Gift Shop Sale. For more info: email@example.com, 365-2256. 8026 Airport Road Redding.
December 3 – Los Molinos: SLOW FOOD SHASTA CASCADE and Kitchel Family Organic Farm present 2nd Annual Holiday Local and Fair Trade Gift Faire 1:00pm – 4:00pm BUY/SELL/TRADE Kitchel Family Organic Farm 25255 3rd Ave. Los Milinos Please call if you are interested in booth space! 384-1966
December 3 – Davis: UC Davis Arboretum: Guided Tour: Planting for Pollinators and Other Beneficial Insects 2 p.m., Arboretum Teaching Nursery, Garrod Drive, UC Davis. People thinking about adding to their home landscapes can tour the new demonstration plantings at the UC Davis Arboretum Teaching Nursery on Saturday, December 3. The guided tour will focus on the best plants for our garden climate that attract and provide habitat for butterflies, hummingbirds and other native pollinators. The tour will meet at 2:00 p.m. at the Arboretum Teaching Nursery, on Garrod Drive across from the School of Veterinary Medicine on the UC Davis campus. There is no charge for the tour, and free parking is available in Visitor Lot 55, on Garrod Drive across from the nursery. For more information, please call (530) 752-4880 or visit arboretum.ucdavis.edu.
December 3 & 4 – Durham/Chico: Patrick Ranch Winter Holiday Fair and Sale: Opening Reception 4 – 8 pm Friday December 2nd with wine, live music and appetizers; Saturday 10 – 5pm, Sunday 10 – 4pm. Seasonal holiday arts and crafts and fun. Glennwood Historic Farmhouse tours will be offered Saturday and Sunday. 10381 Midway, Chico. For more information: 530-570-7343.
December 4 – Redding: Growing Local Shasta Alternative Christmas Fair First United Methodist Church, 1825 East Street, Redding. For more info email firstname.lastname@example.org
December 4 – Chico: The Plant Barn: Annual Wreath Classes Two classes being held, you must call to reserve space in this annual, festive tradition of friends, fun and the fashioning of holiday wreaths. 530-345-3121. 406 Entler Avenue, Chico.
December 4 – Chico: Mt Lassen Chapter Cal Native Plant Society – Field Trip: Lower Bidwell Park Old Forestry Station 10:00 am Meet at the Cedar Grove parking area (just west of the Chico Creek Nature Center at 1968 E. 8th St) for a 2-hour stroll through the old (1888) California Board of Forestry plant introduction and nursery station. Many fine old specimens of American persimmon, Japanese zelkova, cork oak, black ash, and 65 others from around the world still survive. The Bidwells gave these 29 acres to the state for testing woody plants for their use in horticulture, medicine, forestry, and landscaping. Over at noon. Leaders: Wes 530-342-2293 and Gerry 530-893-5123. For more information: http://mountlassen.cnps.org/
December 4 – Chico: Magnolia Gift & Garden: Holiday Open House Benefit for the Butte Humane Society and Featuring the Yule Logs! 2 – 4 pm. Join us for holiday cheer and music, a garden of gifts and delights at the same time helping to support our four-footed friends at the Butte Humane Society this holiday season! Simon Says Santa (who’s a dedicated winter gardener) will be pleased. Magnolia Gift & Garden 1367 East Avenue 530-894-5410. http://magnoliagardening.com/
December 4 – Los Molinos: SLOW FOOD SHASTA CASCADE and Blush Catering present A Moveable Feast: 3 – 9 pm. Arc Pavilion. 2040 Park Avenue, Chico, California.Open Boutique, 3-5 p.m. (free admission). Dinner, 5-9 p.m. Tickets $40 at http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/211986 Appetizers and No Host Bar with Local Wine and Beer Makers, 5-6:30 p.m. Blush Catering and Slow Food Shasta Cascade cordially invite you to join us for an interactive dining experience this holiday season. The meal will highlight products from Chaffin Family Orchards, GRUB, Morse Farms, North Valley Farms Chèvre, and Turri Family farms. Come meet the farmers as we dine together to celebrate community and the North State’s seasonal bounty. Prior to the dinner there will be an open boutique showcasing several of the participating farmers and Slow Food USA’s “Ark of Taste” program. Other eco-friendly local products will also be available for sale. Boutique admission is free. Ticket sales will be available only until Saturday, December 3rd at 5:00 p.m. Get your tickets early, these events sell out! Check out Blush’s website! http://www.blushcatering.com/
December 7 – Chico: Mt. Lassen Chapter of the California Native Plant Society Regular Monthly meeting and Program “Evolutionary Development, Classification, & Name Changes in the California Flora” by Dan Potter 7:30 pm Butte County Library, Chico. Dan Potter is a professor in the Department of Plant Sciences at UC Davis and Director of the UC Davis Center for Plant Diversity, including the University’s herbarium. The names of plants have been in flux for centuries. They have occurred at an accelerated pace in recent years, due to advances in our understanding of evolutionary relationships based on analyses of DNA. The results are sometimes striking. Dan’s presentation will be a great chance to learn the ins and outs of plant naming, to become more confident with sometimes daunting terms.For more information: http://mountlassen.cnps.org/
December 10 – Full Moon and Terre Madre Day
December 10 – Corning: SLOW FOOD SHASTA CASCADE and Lucero Olive Oil celebrate Terre Madre Day with First Annual Winter Crush 10 am – 4 pm 1st Annual Winter Crush at Lucero Olive Oil Saturday Dec. 10 – 10:00am to 4:00pm 2120 Loleta Avenue, Corning Fresh Citrus Olive Oil, Cooking Demo’s by Farwood Bar & Grill (Orland) & GR Gibbs (Redding), Food Tastings, Live Music… For more information go to lucerooliveoil.com andslowfood.com/terramadreday.
December 10 – Sacramento: Sacramento Master Gardeners: All Dried Up – Master Food Preserver Demonstration 10 am – Noon. Basic introduction to safe dehydration techniques. This is a free class. Location: 4145 Branch Center Road Sacramento, Ca 95827 http://ucanr.org/sites/sacmg/?calitem=132072&g=21788
December 10 – Chico: The Plant Barn: Holiday SALEABRATION 10 am – 5pm Holiday-style flower floozie fun! Appetizers, local artists, Wine and Olive Tastings and Random Sales all Day. 530-345-3121. 406 Entler Avenue, Chico.
December 10 – Chico: Chico Horticultural Society: Annual Holiday Greens Workshop 2 – 4 pm. Bring Family, bring friends and share the holiday spirit. Annual Chico Hort Holiday Greens Workshop: Saturday December 10th from 2 – 4 pm, at the Chico Library General Meeting Room. We will have demonstrations on hand-making your own holiday wreath, swag or centerpiece using seasonal greens, berries and cones. The cost of the workshop is $12 and includes all the materials (forms, greens, wire, ribbon) and help needed to a make one 12″ round wreath, one hearty door swag, or one stunning holiday centerpiece. Registration Required. To register to participate, please contact Jennifer Jewell at 588-6369 or jennifer @jewellgarden.com, in your message please indicate how many are in your party, which item each person would like to make, and a good contact for you for confirmation. Money will be collected at the door on the day of the event.
December 14 – Davis: UC Davis Arboretum: Walk With Warren 12 noon, Gazebo, Garrod Drive, UC Davis. Join Arboretum Superintendent Emeritus Warren Roberts for a lunchtime stroll in the UC Davis Arboretum on Wednesday, November 9. Enjoy the crisp fall weather, explore the pleasures of the autumn garden, and get a little exercise. Meet at noon at the Gazebo, on Garrod Drive on the UC Davis campus. There is no charge for the tour. Parking is available for $7 in Visitor Lot 55, on Garrod Drive at the School of Veterinary Medicine. For more information, please call (530) 752-4880 or visit arboretum.ucdavis.edu.
December 17 – Davis: UC Davis Arboretum: Guided Tour: Under the Redwood Canopy 2 p.m., Wyatt Deck, Old Davis Road, UC Davis. Enjoy the peace and silence of the redwood grove on a misty winter day and learn about the complex and fascinating ecosystem of the redwood forest during a free guided tour at the UC Davis Arboretum on Saturday, December 17. This walk will provide a brief introduction to the ecology and history of the coast redwood and the plants that grow under the redwood canopy. The tour will meet at 2:00 p.m. at the Wyatt Deck, located on Old Davis Road next to the Arboretum redwood grove on the UC Davis campus. There is no charge for the tour and free parking is available in Visitor Lot 5, at Old Davis Road and A Street. For more information, please call (530) 752-4880 or visit arboretum.ucdavis.edu.
December 19 – Chico: In a North State Garden: Special I-5 LIVE! The Wonderful World of Mushrooms 8 – 9 pm. Join host Jennifer Jewell and mushroom-enthusiast guests Don Simoni of Mushroom Adventures, and Beth and Stephan Wattenburg in Forest Ranch to chat about the seasonal appearance of these wonderful structures throughout the North State. What do they tell us? How to begin to id them? Where to go see them, how to make a spore print, and some favorite recipes preparing them. KCHO 91.7/KFPR 88.9 fm in Chico and Redding.
December 21/22 – WINTER SOLSTICE 12:30 am Eastern Standard Time
December 31 – Chico: Butte Rose Society Annual Rose Pruning Demonstration, Historic Stansbury House 10 am. Want to see how to prune roses effectively and correctly and have seasonal fun doing it? Join the BRS for their annual pruning demo in the Historic Stansbury House rose garden. For more information: http://www.butte-rosesociety.org/
December 31 – 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
December 31, 2011 – January 1, 2012 HAPPY NEW YEAR. May be peace be yours in the coming year.
Jewellgarden.com’s collections of note cards and blank journals make wonderful gifts. Dedicated to the art, craft and science of gardening, produced wholly in the North State on 100% recycled papers, Jewellgarden.com’s line of Holiday, Natives in the Garden, Edibles in the Garden, and Seed Series of printed products will delight all the gardeners, readers, writers – all enjoyers of life – in your life this year. Available now on-line. All of Jewellgarden.com’s cards are printed in Chico by Quadco printing using 100% recycled paper and vegetable-based ink.
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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. 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.