Bring out your shrubs and grubs
What distinguishes the master gardener from the mere hobbyist, perhaps, is a flair for the operatic. Gardening has occupied expansive minds: Thoreau, Whitman, Hawthorne and many lesser-knowns, like the British writer Sam Llewellyn, who observed, “In gardens, beauty is a by-product. The main business is sex and death.” What also distinguishes the master, certainly, is completion of a rigorous 17-week training program in UC Davis’ agricultural and natural-resources department—and, most significantly, the willingness to rescue your flora from your own brown thumb. This weekend, the masters are here for you. For eight bucks, there’s the California State Home & Garden Show, at the Sacramento Convention Center, at 13th and J streets, all weekend. Among others, master gardener Paul James, from HGTV’s Gardening by the Yard, will be on hand, and on Saturday, the DIY Network’s new show, The Dirt on Gardening, welcomes your questions. Call (877) 696-6668 or visit www.calstatehomeshow.com for more information.
If you’d prefer something a little earthier, and free, try the plant clinic at Capital Nursery, 5410 Sunrise Boulevard in Citrus Heights, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday. As the event’s good-spirited press release suggests, “The public is encouraged to bring samples from problem plants or insects that need to be identified.” Among those who care to distinguish a sunburned leaf from an overwatered one, or a protein-eating ant from a sugar-eating one, or any ant from a termite, such encouragement is welcome. “Plus, they like to show what they have,” said Master Gardener Program Coordinator Judy McClure. “It’s a big bug show and tell. You name it, we’ve seen it.” Call (916) 875-6913 to learn more.