Garden Club: February 2019

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  • Patty McHugh


Where/When: February 19th – Berger Center

Time:  Tea and Social at 9:30 followed by

meeting from 10:00 to 11:15 am

Topic/Speaker:  Caerleone Safford, coordinator at Fire Safe Sonoma and member of the grant team of the Sonoma County Emergency Services Department will be showing the Defensible Space presentation she did in October at the Berger Center.   Caerleone conducted the Living with Fire Symposium at SSU and makes fire-safe presentations at venues throughout our county since the terrible fire disaster of 2017.  Caerleone is a Cal-Fire fire fighter herself and provides useful information about how to protect our homes from fire.  Her message is of great importance and she is committed to educating the public.  She is a dynamic speaker with a touch of wit – you will be glad you attended.  While drought and climate change are out of our control, she shows us how we can all make a difference.


Living with so many years of drought (and devasting fires), we never again want to bemoan the rain, but this month can test our resolve.  February is typically a month of heavy rain and freezing temperatures – not very encouraging to head outside and do some gardening.

On the flip side, we can get some false-spring days this month that spur us to think about the garden.  By the end of the month we see the promise of spring in the swelling of buds on early blooming deciduous shrubs and trees.  The days are getting longer little by little and we are energized.

  • If you didn’t do so in January, shop now for bare-root plants; they are less expensive than potted plants and adapt quickly to their new home in the garden. Cover the roots with damp soil until you can get them planted.  As long as the plants are in a cool, shaded area with their roots protected, they can wait a few weeks – but don’t wait too long, allowing the roots to start growing.  And definitely don’t let the roots to dry out.  Look for healthy plants with smooth, well developed, knot-free roots, unblemished bark, plump buds and a well-branched top.  Shop early for best selection.
  • Now is an excellent time to purchase/plant azaleas, rhododendrons and camellias. These species bloom while dormant so when they are budding (February) and blooming (March) is the best time to plant them.
  • Seed catalogs started arriving in the mail last month. While it’s much too early to start seeds, send in your orders before the merchandizers run out of stock.  Resist the urge to order every pretty thing you see.
  • Complete winter pruning of deciduous trees, vines, fruit trees and roses. Dormant spray.
  • Fertilize spring-blooming bulbs as the foliage emerges.
  • Cut back grasses to a few inches.
  • Every time you go out, pull a few weeds. Pat yourself on the back.

“A garden is a thing of beauty and a job forever.”  Barry Tobin


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