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Pruning, roses, insects take stage at Loomis gathering

Master Gardeners’ educational series showcases the experts
By: Gloria Young Home & Garden
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Now it its fourth year, the Gardeners Gathering brings together 125 enthusiasts for a day of talks and discussions on a variety of green thumb topics. Sponsored by the Placer County Master Gardeners, this year’s presentations will include Beneficial Insects, Easy Care Roses, Having a Better Lawn and Pruning Dos and Don’ts. After being held in April last year because of scheduling conflicts, the gathering goes back to its early March time slot this year. Speaker Patty Kiehl, an instructor in the Sierra College horticulture department, will discuss “Who are the Good Guys Here? She’ll explain how to identify, encourage and protect the “good guy” insects. Charlotte Owendyke, past president of the Foothill Rose Society, will identify easy-to-grow roses and provide tips on how to care for them. Florasource representative Michael Connelly will focus on lawn care, explaining how to use less water and fewer chemicals, and spend less time mowing. Scott Paris, owner of High Hand Nursery in Loomis, will discuss how to prune landscape plants including conifers and Japanese maples. Paris, who frequently gives garden talks, said it is getting near the end of pruning season, but there’s still an opportunity. How do you know when to prune? “If it is a fruit tree, you want to create balance and support for the type of fruit it will produce,” he said. “(There’s also) pruning for the right space in the yard, selective cosmetic pruning and keeping trees shaped properly so their energy can be transferred appropriately.” Pruning is important for the tree’s health and not something to neglect. At the same time, don’t go overboard. You don’t want to remove more than a third of the tree, he advised. In addition to pruning advice and tips, he will provide the latest information on nursery industry trends and “what’s passionate about it these days,” he said. Paris, who travels all over the world visiting nurseries, garden centers and growers, will include comments on his recent trip to The Netherlands. For the master gardeners, lining up the program is about finding good speakers more than seeking specific topics, according to Linda Ewing co-chairwoman along with Peggy Beltramo. “We have our meetings and everyone gives suggestions of people they’ve heard speak,” Ewing said. “Then we make a list and start contacting (people). We come up with people who have been recommended by other gardeners and we try to get a variety of subjects. ... We’ve really had a wonderful variety of people over the years on different subjects. It is very educational.” In addition to the speakers, there will be information tables. “We’ll have a Master Gardener booth,” Ewing said. “We’re having a horticulturist who will demonstrate sharpening tools. We’re having people from the Roseville Utility Exploration Center. We’ll have a compost table with worm bins.” There will also be free University of California publications. Lunch is being catered by Panera bakery. Participants will also get coffee and bagels in the morning and a snack in the afternoon. Reach Gloria Young at gloriay@goldcountrymedia.com. ------------ Fourth annual Gardeners Gathering When: 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, March 5 Where: Historic Blue Goose Fruit Shed, downtown Loomis Cost: Tickets are $25 per person and include lunch. Pre-registration is required Register online at ceplacer.ucdavis.edu, in person at the UCCE office, 11477 E Ave., North Auburn or call the Master Gardener hotline at (530) 889-7388