The meanest sticker in the West!

Friends of Bidwell Park is on the rampage (and rightly so) against nasty ol', tire-popping puncturevine

The meanest sticker in the West
Bicycle riders hate ’em. Dogs hate ’em. So do folks with bare feet. Puncturevine, aka goathead, that is—the plant that grows in abundance in the North State this time of year, producing oodles of that notorious, wicked, hard little thorned sticker that causes bike tires to go flat and people and animals to limp in pain the second they step on one.

That’s why Friends of Bidwell Park has launched a campaign to get rid of the unwanted “opportunistic weed,” as the organization’s poster dubs it.

“The mature puncturevine weed is a matlike plant up to 10 feet in diameter with stems radiating from the crown,” the poster advises. “There are 1/4-inch, 5-petaled yellow flowers and multi-pointed sharp burs.” Those burs are the undesirables.

Wear gloves when removing puncturevine. “Gather the stems into a bunch, cut plant taproot just below the crown, bag and dispose of the cuttings and dried burs,” says the poster.

“We’d love to hear from anyone interested in helping with puncturevine removal/control,” wrote Friends of Bidwell Park representative Patsy Schutz. Call Schutz at 680-1958.

Go to puncturevine.html to learn more and to download a printable poster.

Don’t miss this one! One of the most fun gardening-related events of the year is the annual Summer Soiree at The Plant Barn (406 Entler Ave., 345-3121). Billed in an appropriately over-the-top way as the “5th Annual Superfantabulous Summer Soiree,” the popular event—offering “random sales,” “super-crazy-fun discounts,” “silliness galore” and free beverages and snacks all day long—will take place this year on Saturday, July 28, from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m.

“Polish your tiara, find your boa, primp your prom dress,” advises the soiree’s publicity postcard. “'Floozify’ your outfit and spin the Discount Wheel for even more outrageous discounts and specials!”

Say hi while you’re out there to head “flower floozie” (as all Plant Barn employees proudly call themselves) and Plant Barn owner Denise Kelly (pictured, second from right)—she’s a sweetheart, and full of knowledge about how to make your garden everything you want it to be.

Go to to find out more about The Plant Barn.

Tea party! On Aug. 5, Chico Chai will celebrate its eighth anniversary producing some of the finest, sweet-and-yummy tea products available in these here parts with a tea party.

“Please join us for an afternoon of iced tea and treats as we celebrate our eighth anniversary,” reads the polite little flier handed out at a recent Saturday downtown farmers’ market. The event is free and open to the public.”

If you have not tasted the delicious, delicately spiced wares—iced or hot—made by Chico Chai owner Sarah Adams, you should. And if you have (Adams’ Saturday farmers’ market booth is a great place to do just that), well, you know exactly what I mean.

Festivities on Aug. 5 go from 3 to 7 p.m. at the Chico Chai kitchen at 1919 Park Ave. Go to to learn more about Chico Chai.

“The earth we abuse and the living things we kill will, in the end, take their revenge; for in exploiting their presence we are diminishing our future.” – Marya Mannes