An Alameda Garden: June 2009

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Forget the Gorgeous Young Man, What I Really Want Is the Garden

Went to see the movie Cheri tonight. It is a gorgeous thing to watch, a truly stunning representation of the Belle Epoque in all its art nouveau glory. It's the story of an aging courtesan (Michelle Pfeiffer) who falls in love with a beautiful young man (Rupert Friend). And he is indeed beautiful, but what I was really lusting after was the garden of the beautiful young man's mother (played by a very wonderful Kathy Bates). Lush, rose-laden, romantic--it was everything you could want a garden to be. But like all good things, it was fleeting--just glimpses here and there and before you can fully appreciate it, everyone has moved indoors. Ah, well. It was nice while it lasted.

CHERI: Movie Trailer - Click here for another funny movie.

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Thursday, June 18, 2009

What to Do This Weekend: Carnivorous Plant Show

The Bay Area Carnivorous Plant Society is hosting it's annual plant show and sale this Saturday (June 20th) at the Garden Center at Oakland's Lakeside Park (by Lake Merritt). Pitcher plants, sundews, venus fly traps, terrariums, and more will be on display in this juried show and there will be plants for sale as well. Shows like these are a great opportunity to get growing advice from the experts on the very particular needs of these amazing plants. The show runs from noon to 4 p.m., but I'd suggest getting there early before all the plants have pigged out and fallen asleep in front of the TV.

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Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Dates Set for SF Flower & Garden Show 2010

After narrowly escaping a complete shutdown, the recently rescued SF Flower & Garden Show now has dates set for next year's show. Mark your calendars: March 24-28, 2010. Once again, the show will be taking place at the San Mateo Event Center rather than in San Francisco proper. Show organizers promise that the show is committed to focusing on the topics relevant to bay area gardeners, including the organic and show food movements.
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Saturday, June 06, 2009

Propagation Demystified

Ever wondered why those little black seeds you've planted never sprout? (Tip: Most black seeds require some form of scarification.) Or how you can successfully root cuttings from your grandmother's favorite rose bush? Or how to cross-pollinate two flowers to breed an entirely new variety? Plant propagation doesn't have to be so mysterious--you can get these questions and a lot more answered in the Advanced Propagation class at Merritt College in Oakland.

Like so many other places, Merritt College is having massive budget cuts and this class is in danger of being cut from the Fall schedule if at least 25 people don't enroll by Wednesday (6/10). This 2-unit class requires no text, has no tests, and costs just $40. What it does offer is lots of hands-on lab experience with a wide variety of propagation techniques, the opportunity to try your own propagation experiments with some guidance and supervision and a greenhouse, and many informative field trips to propagation nurseries around the bay area for a behind-the-scenes look. The instructor, Susan Ashley, is knowledgeable and enthusiastic. I took this course a few semesters ago and learned so much that I've been able to try out in my own garden. And it was really fun.

Click here to start the registration process. The class is LH52 and the class number is 44469 lecture, 44470 lab. Classes are on Tuesdays from 1-5 pm starting on Aug. 25. If you have more questions, you can contact Susan at susanwashley at gmail dot com.

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