Take the fall

Two leaves grew on a branch, and I, I admired them both, and that has made all the difference.

Two leaves grew on a branch, and I, I admired them both, and that has made all the difference.

Sacramento’s autumn display rivals the deciduous forests of the Northeast. Leaves of all colors are overhead and underfoot. Every gust of wind sends orange, red, yellow, gold, brown and plum leaves raining down like swatches of sunshine.

To fully appreciate the colors of fall, you need only walk outside. However, if you hope to cultivate those colors for your garden, you might need help from the University of California, Davis, Arboretum. The arboretum is the site of free garden tours and classes year-round. Mediterranean plants—plants that grow well in dry, hot summers and wet, cold winters—are the arboretum’s specialty. Because these are the plants that are likely to work best in your own garden, the UC Davis Arboretum offers plenty of backyard inspiration.

This Saturday, arboretum docent Dagny Huillade will lead a tour of the Arboretum Terrace home-demonstration garden and point out which plants retain color and texture late in the growing season. The tour will begin at 11 a.m. at the garden, which is located next to Borders Books in the Davis Commons retail center on First Street in Davis.

For apartment dwellers limited to container gardening, docent Mary Horton will lead a tour called “Big Impact in Small Spaces with Container Gardens.” The tour begins at 2 p.m. on Sunday at the Arboretum Terrace.

To appreciate the gardening efforts of others, take an autumn walk through the arboretum with its superintendent, Warren Roberts, this Wednesday at noon. This tour meets on the south steps of Mrak Hall at UC Davis.

All tours are free. For more information, call (530) 752-4880 or visit http://arboretum.ucdavis.edu.