Life cycles around us constantly and the August garden makes me especially aware of this – reminding me how much I am moved by plants: their constant transformations, their resilience. How a seed can grow from a tiny speck to a towering-fruiting-falling-over tomato plant in one season; how a cluster of insignificant flowers on my grape vines can grow into a pendulous cluster of light catching water and sugar in the space of just a few months. The fact that the slanting heat of an August day can wither a potted basil to a sad fraction of its former self and a good drink, some shade and the relief of evening can revive it completely is a model for stress management. Photo: Lotus flower in bloom at the Denver Botanic Garden, July 2012.
Daylight has been shortening little by little since the summer solstice, August is a softer more sideways light by far than that of July. My bats don’t soundlessly tuck themselves in for the day until almost 6, evenings are marked by flying squadrons of dragonflies and the vibrations of heat happy insects. For now, the seasonal cycle is not difficult – the nicest bits of summer are still ours. Middays are still intense, but early mornings and evenings whisper to us of the next aspect of the seasonal cycle. Photo: Late summer’s slanting light.
This month continue to water well and even feed those plants that need it, such as annual or seasonal crops in the vegetable garden, but cut-back water on those plants whose primary growing season is now past. Avoid overwatering many drought tolerant perennials such as native flowering buckwheat or English lavender – overwater now is a primary cause for the death of drought-tolerant and/or Mediterranean plants. Keep deadheading spent blooms on most perennials to encourage one more round of bloom in early fall, but take care not to prune spring flowering shrubs and trees, such as dogwood and magnolia, that have already set bud for next spring. Photo: Adjust water as needed for your late summer plants. A little praying mantis takes a sip from a leaky faucet.
Pam Geisel, Statewide Coordinator for the Master Gardener program recommends pruning much of the home orchard now including apricots, cherries and olives. Pruning while it’s hot and dry will diminish disease problems. Photo: Pruning hydrangeas. For more information on how, see Pruning Summer Flowering Shrubs: Old Fashioned Hydrangeas.
Lots of home garden produce is being harvested and and canning and drying takes over many kitchens across the region. Look for lots of classes on the how-tos of preserving and storing produce in the August calendar of North State Gardening events.
August is also the leading edge of the North State’s second growing season for both ornamentals and edibles. It’s time to plant starts or direct seed many winter vegetables including: broccoli, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, dill, endive, fennel, green onion, kohlrabi, leeks, lettuce, mustards, peas, spinach, chard, and turnips. Protect young seedlings on hot days with a light shade cloth and remember that newly planted items need extra attention and water.
August second at 3:27 am marked the first full moon in this two full moon month of August. A blue moon month. The second full moon will come on August 31st at 13:58. Due to a full lunar cycle taking place in 29.5 days, if you miss appreciating this month’s two full moons, you will have to wait until July of 2015 to enjoy another Blue Moon month.
In the calendar of North State gardening events plant societies and nurseries are slowly waking out of summer dormancy to greet the next season in the cycle: FAll. The On-line Calendar of North State 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! Photo: A stunning summer flowering Pelargonium species.
Aug 1 – 31 – Redding: Wyntour Gardens Hot August Sale- 20% off of all concrete and wrought iron garden decor all month!
Aug 2 – FULL MOON
Aug 3 – Chico: Mt. Lassen Chapter of the California Native Plant Society Field Trip: Humbug Summit Plumas National Forest This is another of the slightly new type of field trips (as have been done at Lumpkin Ridge and Scotts John Creek), with less hiking and more identifying. Botanically interested folks of all skill levels are invited. This is a chance to improve your plant-keying skills in an area with good diversity of primarily native species. Roadside meadows (dry and wet) and forests will be visited, culminating with the area of Humbug Summit at 6714 feet – the highest spot in Butte County reached by a good dirt road. Our goal will be to produce a list of all plant species identifiable on this date. Bring water, lunch, insect/sun protection and money for ride sharing. Meet at west lot of Chico Park & Ride (Hwy 32/ 99) to leave at 9 am, return probably 5 pm. For further details as the roadside stops are chosen in July, email leaders: Rob Schlising email@example.com and Robert Fischer firstname.lastname@example.org For more information: http://mountlassen.cnps.org/
Aug 4 – Fair Oaks: Fair Oaks Horticulture Center HARVEST DAY 8 am – 2 pm. Sacramento’s biggest one-day gardening event. Featured speakers, demonstrations, educational booths, open gardens, produce tastings, a plant clinic and more. Bring your questions and enjoy! Fair Oaks Horticulture Center 11549 Fair Oaks Boulevard Fair Oaks, CA 95628 For more info: http://ucanr.org/sites/sacmg/Fair_Oaks_Horticulture_Center/
Photo: A day’s harvest from the home garden.
Aug 4 – Redding: McConnell Arboretum & Botanical Gardens at Turtle Bay: Charlie Rabbit and His Friends 10:30 am. Join us the first Saturday of every month for an interactive program in the Gardens (or Greenhouse when it rains) for children, their siblings, parents and Grandparents. Join Charlie, our adorable jack rabbit puppet, in various gardening activities. Wear your favorite gardening clothes! Presented by Dennis and Sherrill Bambauer. Free with park admission! Meet at the Arboretum & Botanical Gardens Office (1135 Arboretum Drive next to Nursery Greenhouse)
Aug 4 – Davis: UC Davis Arboretum Guided Tour: Armchair Birding–Plants in Your Yard and the Feathered Friends Who Visit 9–10:30 a.m., Arboretum Terrace Garden & Lois Crowe Patio. Go birding in your own backyard! The most fascinating birds can be the ones perched right outside your window! Discover where and when to be on the lookout, which plants at the Arboretum Terrace attract birds and what species you may expect to see. At this event Lois Richter—bird watcher extraordinaire, outdoor enthusiast and extremely entertaining educator—will guide attendees in the skill of bird watching at the Arboretum Terrace Garden and Lois Crowe Patio. All ages are welcome. This event will be held at Arboretum Terrace Garden and Lois Crowe Patio, located at the intersection of Richards Blvd. and First St. in the Davis Commons Shopping Center. Free parking is available behind the shopping center. For more information, please call (530) 752-4880 or visit arboretum.ucdavis.edu.
Photo: A busy home garden bird house.
Aug 5 – Chico: Mt. Lassen Chapter of the California Native Plant Society Field Trip: Hat Lake To Paradise Meadow – Lassen Volcanic National Park Meet at the west lot of Chico Park & Ride (Hwy 32/99) to leave at 8:30 am. We will drive Hwy 32 and 89 a distance of 86 miles to the trailhead in Lassen Park. Paradise Meadows is one of botanist Vern Oswald’s favorite places for flowers in the park. The meadow, at 7200’ has a glaciated headwall for a scenic backdrop. Elephant head and Gentian can be seen near Hat Lake, scarlet gilia along the first mile and satin lupine in timbered openings. Watch for columbine, lupine, monkshood, penstemon, Copeland’s owl’s clover and bog orchid in the meadow. From the trail head at Hat Lake the trail climbs 700 vertical feet over a distance of 1.4 miles to Paradise Meadow. Wear sturdy shoes. Take lunch, water, sun/insect protection, and money for ride sharing. Take your park pass if you have one. Call for alternate meeting place. Leader: Wes Dempsey 530-342-2239 For more information: http://mountlassen.cnps.org/
Photo: Gentian, courtesy of John Whittlesey, Canyon Creek Nursery & Design.
Aug 6 – Chico: Slow Food Shasta Cascade: Monthly Meeting in Chico For Information Please Contact: Chico area co-leader – Lori Weber Lweber@csuchico.eduRed Bluff and Redding area co-leader – Kathy Moore at 530-529-2729. http://www.slowfoodshastacascade.org/index.htm
Aug 11 – Redding: Shasta Chapter California Native Plant Society Field Trip: Cedar Basin Hike. This will be a four- to five-mile hike of moderate difficulty with a 500-foot elevation climb to three small mountain lakes at the 6,000-foot elevation. We will hike to a high elevation Port Orford cedar grove and see Klamath manzanita (discovered there in 1982), roundleaf sundew, and California pitcher plant. This area is a US Forest Service research area and has five species listed on the CNPS rare and endangered species list, and the trail is featured in Michael Kauffman’s Conifer Country. The area is 14 miles west of Mount Shasta. Meet at Redding City Hall’s south parking lot on Parkview Avenue at 8 AM to carpool to the trailhead. Bring water, lunch, and adequate hiking footwear. No dogs, please. Please call David Ledger at 355-8542 for further information.
Photo: California pitcher plant.
Aug 11 – Chico: Cultivating Community Workshop: How to Build a Solar Cooker, with Todd Harris 10 am – noon. GRUB Cooperative 1525 Dayton Ave., Chico. In this workshop you will build a light-weight, efficient “CooKit” solar cooker (also known as a “solar oven”) with Todd Harris. Solar ovens are a great alternative to conventional ovens during Chico’s summer heat. Solar energy reduces dependence on fossil fuels, doesn’t heat up the house, is easy to learn and is a fun way to enjoy your summer harvest while cooking outdoors! The cooker we will be building can reach up to 300 degrees Fahrenheit with full sun. Similar to a crock pot or low-temperature oven, the panel style cooker can make one-pot main dishes, baked goods such as cakes and brownies, and much more! Solar-cooked summer veggie lunch to follow. Free for qualifiers, $10 all others to cover cost of building materials. About the Presenter: Todd Harris is a green contractor focused on sustainable building who owns his own business, Good Green Homes. He developed a passion for solar cookers when he helped families build similar cookers on the side while installing rain catchment infrastructure with the Peace corps in Kenya during the 1990s. He has built a full range of cookers, from the simple (foil cellophane that once acted as the liner on a cereal box, glued to some folded cardboard) to the complex, such as a “skewer cooker,” in which a metallic parabolic shield (shaped like a satellite dish) directs the reflected sunlight into a line rather than to a single point, so one could cook a kebab. He’s made solar cookers out of repurposed doors, windows, portions of skylights and old medicine cabinets. For more info: www.cultivatingcommunitynv.org
Aug 11 – Redding: Wyntour Gardens Workshop: Preserving the Harvest 10 am. Join Betty for a fun informative class learning different methods for preserving and using your harvest. 8026 Airport Road – Redding, CA. 96002 – 530-365-2256 – Hours of Operation: Monday thru Saturday 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. Sundays: 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. For more info: http://wyntourgardens.com/
Aug 11 – Corning: Slow Food Shasta Cascade: Lucero 2nd Saturday at the Mill 6:30 pm – 9:30 pm. “2nd Saturday at the Mill” – Local wine, beer and food tastings. Music and cooking demonstrations. Lucero Olive Mill – 2120 Loleta Avenue, Corning – For more information call 824-2190 or go to the website http://lucerooliveoil.com/. For Information on Slow Food Shasta Cascade Please Contact: Chico area co-leader – Lori Weber Lweber@csuchico.eduRed Bluff and Redding area co-leader – Kathy Moore at 530-529-2729. http://www.slowfoodshastacascade.org/index.htm
Photo: Ripening grapes catching the morning light.
Earth Sky.org tells us that after midnight Aug 11 – 13th, North State Gardeners should be able to enjoy the Perseid meteor showers as “The moon will have shifted to the early morning sky, not rising until shortly before dawn, and appearing in a waning crescent phase. On August 11, 12 and 13, as an added treat, the moon will be sweeping past the brightest planets – Venus and Jupiter – in the eastern predawn sky. You can’t ask for more!” To see starlight or moonlight reflected is often what inspires gardeners create white or “moon” gardens.
Aug 12 – Fall River Mills: Wayside Garden Club Garden Tour 9 am – 4 pm. Wayside Garden Club is offering the chance to view a dozen gardens in the Fall River Mills and McArthur region from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Aug. 12. Tickets for the club’s 13th self-guided tour are $10 and include a sack lunch. The tickets and lunches are available from 9 a.m. to noon at the Intermountain Fair grounds in McArthur.
Aug 12 – Chico: Mt. Lassen Chapter of the California Native Plant Society Field Trip: Caribou Wilderness – Lassen National Forest Meet at west lot Chico Park & Ride (Hwy 99/32) at 8 am with lunch, water, sun/insect protection, and money for ride sharing. We will drive to a wilderness area that borders Lassen Park. We will hike about 4.5 miles on an easy loop past several beautiful little lakes and open lodgepole-fir-pine forest at 6800’ elevation. Leather grape fern (Botrychium) and many other plants of interest. Call for alternate meeting place. Leaders: Wes Dempsey 530-342- 2293 and Gerry Ingco 530-893-5123. For more information: http://mountlassen.cnps.org/
Aug 14 – Mt. Shasta: Spring Hill Nursery Free Summer Workshop series: Fall/Winter Vegetable Gardens with Micah Dobush. Nursery is open Monday-Saturday 9:00-5:00 Sunday 10:00-4:00 Phone & Fax: 530.926.2565 Serving Greater Mt. Shasta for over 15 years! For more information please call the nursery!
Photo: Exuberance in the beans and things of the home garden late-summer.
Aug 15 – Chico: Cultivating Community Workshop: Drying Herbs for Culinary and Medicinal Use, with Susan Tchudi of Turkey Tail Farm 6 pm – 8 pm. GRUB Cooperative 1525 Dayton Ave., Chico. Herbs, Fabulous Herbs With Susan Tchudi (grower, Everything Herbal, TurkeyTail Farm) and Mojohito Richerson von Tchudi (herbalist, Everything Herbal) Herbs are enormously versatile plants that not only make foods delicious (while adding very few calories) but also have surprising nutritional value and medicinal uses. They can be used fresh or dried, and can be stored for at least a year. Herbs have been used for centuries to enhance the flavor and nutrition of foods and to create plant-based medicine. In this workshop, we’ll talk about (and share!) some of our favorite herbs (including teas), provide you with recipes and preparations for both food and health, and share some amazing facts about herbs (For example, five basil leaves provide 3 percent of the recommended daily value for vitamin A!). Finally, we’ll give you ideas about the five, ten, and fifteen best herbs you can grow yourselves! Herbs are easy to grow, not water greedy, and not loved by insects. And we hope to have some baby plants for you to take home. For more info: www.cultivatingcommunitynv.org
Photo: Air-drying herbs from the garden.
Aug 16 – Red Bluff: Slow Food Shasta Cascade: Monthly Meeting in Red Bluff For Information Please Contact: Chico area co-leader – Lori Weber Lweber@csuchico.eduRed Bluff and Redding area co-leader – Kathy Moore at 530-529-2729. http://www.slowfoodshastacascade.org/index.htm
Aug 18 – Redding: Shasta Chapter California Native Plant Society Field Trip: Join Marla Knight, Forest Botanist for the Klamath National Forest, for a summer fieldtrip to Siskiyou County. Meet with Jay & Terri Thesken in Redding at 7:30 AM for the 2-hour drive up to Yreka, where we will meet Marla and other Klamath National Forest botanists, and then drive up I-5 to Mt. Ashland for a day on the Siskiyou Crest. This tour will largely be roadside hotspots, where we will explore meadows and rocky serpentine outcrops on short jaunts along the ridges. We expect to see species such as Horkelia hendersonii, Tauschia howellii, and Lupinus ashlandensis. This will be an all-day fieldtrip, with a likely late return to Redding in the evening as we may stop for dinner in Yreka. We will leave Redding at 7:30 AM from the south side of City Hall (Parkview Avenue side), 777 Cypress Avenue. Or meet at 9:30 AM at the new Forest Service office in Yreka, 1711 South Main Street. Bring water, lunch, and sturdy walking shoes. No dogs, please. Call Jay & Terri at 221-0906, or Marla in Yreka at 841-4425 for details.
Aug 18 – Davis: UC Davis Arboretum Guided Tour: The Redwood Grove–So Cool!9–10:30 a.m., Wyatt Deck. Get outside AND beat the heat? It’s possible in the UC Davis Arboretum T. Elliot Weir Redwood Grove. Enjoy the cathedral-like cool and quiet of the redwood grove while learning about the plants of the redwood forest in this shaded and unique campus microclimate. Ann Johnson, UC Davis Arboretum Docent specializing in the redwood grove and its plantings, leads this tour. This event is FREE and all ages are welcome. The tour leaves from Wyatt Deck in the UC Davis Arboretum near the Redwood Grove. Parking is free on weekends. Use Visitor Lot 5, at Old Davis Road and A Street. For more information, please call (530) 752-4880 or visit arboretum.ucdavis.edu.
Aug 18 – Sacramento: Robert Hamm Class: Plant Propagation for the Home Gardener 9 am – 1 pm. 3072 24th St, Sacramento, bring your own chair. This four hour class (3 hr class and one hour hands on practical) on how to propagate plants from cuttings, division and seed, oriented at the home gardener without a greenhouse or lots of special equipment. During the practical you get to put down cutting and seed to take home! Many cuttings can be started now! The Class runs from 9 am to 1pm at Cynthias, 3072 24th St, Sacramento, bring your own chair. Class is offered both Saturday August 18th or Monday August 20th. Cost $35 per person. Send reservation checks to: Robert Hamm, 2443 Castro Way #1, Sacramento CA 95818
Photo: Late-summer flowers.
Aug 18 – Redding: University of California, Shasta County: 2012 Food Preserving Workshops: Food Dehydration and Steam Juicing 10 am – 1 pm Shasta College Main Campus, Room 822, Redding, CA Cost is $15.00 per session: Make check payable to the Regents of the University of California and mail to 1851 Hartnell Avenue, Redding, CA 96002. Registration required by Aug 13: http://ucce.ucdavis.edu/survey/survey.cfm?surveynumber=8797. First of three workshops in the series. For more information: http://ucce.ucdavis.edu/survey/survey.cfm?surveynumber=8797.
Aug 18 – Orland: Slow Food Shasta Cascade: 12 Tastes of 2012: Manton’s Indian Peak Vineyard @ Farwood Bar & Grill2:30 – 4:30 pm. Farwood Bar and Grill 12 Tastes of 2012 – Each Tasting will feature a different type of drink along with local foods to sample and purchase. 705 Fifth Street Orland, Ca. 865-9900 http://www.farwoodbarandgrill.com. For Information on Slow Food Shasta Cascade Please Contact: Chico area co-leader – Lori Weber Lweber@csuchico.eduRed Bluff and Redding area co-leader – Kathy Moore at 530-529-2729. http://www.slowfoodshastacascade.org/index.htm
Aug 20 – Sacramento: Robert Hamm Class: Plant Propagation for the Home Gardener 9 am – 1 pm. 3072 24th St, Sacramento, bring your own chair. This four hour class (3 hr class and one hour hands on practical) on how to propagate plants from cuttings, division and seed, oriented at the home gardener without a greenhouse or lots of special equipment. During the practical you get to put down cutting and seed to take home! Many cuttings can be started now! The Class runs from 9 am to 1pm at Cynthias, 3072 24th St, Sacramento, bring your own chair. Class is offered both Saturday August 18th or Monday August 20th. Cost $35 per person. Send reservation checks to: Robert Hamm, 2443 Castro Way #1, Sacramento CA 95818
Aug 24 – Redding: University of California, Shasta County: 2012 Food Preserving Workshops: Water Bath Canning 4 pm – 7 pm. Shasta College Main Campus, Room 822, Redding, CA Cost is $15.00 per session: Make check payable to the Regents of the University of California and mail to 1851 Hartnell Avenue, Redding, CA 96002. Registration required by Aug 13: http://ucce.ucdavis.edu/survey/survey.cfm?surveynumber=8797. Second of three workshops in the series. For more information: http://ucce.ucdavis.edu/survey/survey.cfm?surveynumber=8797.
Aug 25 – Redding: McConnell Arboretum & Botanical Gardens at Turtle Bay: Walk with Horticultural Manager Lisa Endicott 10:30 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.
Photo: Rudbeckia in bloom.
Aug 25 – Redding: University of California, Shasta County: 2012 Food Preserving Workshops: Pressure Canning 9:30 am – 1:30 pm. Shasta College Main Campus, Room 822, Redding, CA Cost is $15.00 per session: Make check payable to the Regents of the University of California and mail to 1851 Hartnell Avenue, Redding, CA 96002. Registration required by Aug 13: http://ucce.ucdavis.edu/survey/survey.cfm?surveynumber=8797. Third of three workshops in the series. For more information: http://ucce.ucdavis.edu/survey/survey.cfm?surveynumber=8797.
Aug 25 – Chico: Chico Permaculture Guild Revitalization Gathering, Potluck and Surplus Swap 4 pm – 7 pm. 1926 Salem St. Chico, CA. Dear Permaculture Enthusiasts! Join us as we gather to revitalize our local permaculture guild. Bring your questions, interests, ideas and hopes for permaculture in the larger Chico area. If you are new to permaculture, have some basic knowledge and would like to learn more or you are a certified designer we would love to visit and talk about future meetings, workshops, developing local Permablitz activities and demonstration sites as well as how we can support our local eco-minded projects and organizations. What: Gathering, Potluck and Surplus Swap When: Saturday August 25, 2012 from 4pm to 7pm Where: 1926 Salem St. Chico, CA (map) Please RSVP to Stephanie Ladwig-Cooper at email@example.com or 530-828-6390 if you will be attending (if you are on Facebook join our CPG group and please RSVP in addition to joining the Facebook event). We have a small house/yard so if the event gets too large (more than 15 people) we will meet at another location (which we will establish as a back up). Parking is limited so please ride your bike or carpool. Please bring a small dish to share as well as your own dishes, utensils and cup for the potluck. If you have anything in surplus (vegetables, eggs, fruit etc.) go ahead and bring it and we will have a ‘Share the Surplus’ swap after the potluck. We look forward to meeting new people and visiting with old friends. Feel free to share this event with people you know!!
Photo: Saint Francis in the cool shade of the Redwoods.
Aug 25 – Redding: Wyntour Gardens Workshop: Cool Season Veggies 10 am. Learn what to plant now for successful cool-season vegetable gardening. 8026 Airport Road – Redding, CA. 96002 – 530-365-2256 – Hours of Operation: Monday thru Saturday 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. Sundays: 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. For more info: http://wyntourgardens.com/
Aug 26 – Redding: Shasta Chapter California Native Plant Society Plant Propagation meeting: Plant Weeding Session. One- to two-hour work session starting at 9 AM at the Shasta College greenhouses. (Note 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, October 13 this year. Bring clippers and any other tools you might need. Please call Terri Thesken at 221-0906 for further information.
Aug 28 – Red Bluff: Red Bluff Garden Club Monthly Meeting and Program 1 pm. Monthly meetings with an educational program, garden related, of course. We meet on the last Tuesday of every month at 1:00 p.m. at the Union Hall, 12889 Baker Road in Red Bluff, California. For more Information: http://redbluffgardenclub.com/Home_Page.html
Aug 28 – Chico: Butte Rose Society Regular Monthly Meeting and Program Meetings are held at the Chico Veterans Memorial Hall at 554 Rio Lindo Avenue, at 7 pm, on the last Tuesday of the month January-May and August-November. Anyone may attend the General Meetings. For more info: http://www.butte-rosesociety.org/
Aug 31 – FULL MOON (BLUE MOON)
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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.