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Davis, California

Wednesday, December 8, 2021

Arboretum to host educational event on container gardening

The UC Davis Arboretum is hosting a guided tour titled Improve your container gardening this Saturday in the Arboretum Terrace Garden located next to the Davis Commons retail center on First Street.

The free tour will be led by arboretum docent Mary Horton and start at 11 a.m.

Container gardening can range from a simple indoor plant to the floral and foliage arrangements in the Arboretum Terrace.

The tour will instruct participants on how to improve their container gardening, which can be a challenge in Davis in the summer months because of watering issues, said Holly Crosson, interpretation coordinator at the arboretum.

Horton will begin the tour by discussing the types of containers, soil and fertilization that can be used, the watering systems involved and the different types of plants that can be grown in containers.

The talk will last for approximately 40 minutes, and will be followed by a tour of the Arboretum Terrace.

[On the tour] people can get an idea of what kind of plants look well together or even unusual together, so people can make their own containers, said Horton, who become an arboretum docent after retiring from the university in 2002.

Individuals may garden in a container if there is no open ground to plant, said Mary Patterson, volunteer gardener at the Arboretum Terrace in an e-mail interview.

Container gardening can also add interest to a patio or entryway with a splash of colorful flowers or interesting foliage plants, she said.

Containers offer gardeners the opportunity to grow something that may not do well planted elsewhere, such as a plant that needs a lot of water or particularly protected conditions, Patterson said.

We sometimes grow plants in our containers at the Terrace that might not survive some of the more severe conditions in the garden, she said.

There is a wide variety of plants grown in the containers at the Terrace, including many different types of succulents and aloes, and combinations of perennials and larger evergreen shrubs with annuals, Patterson said.

When we select plants for our containers, we try to put together interesting color combinations and are also thinking about leaf texture and plant outlines, she said. I think of the container plantings as accents around the patio to enhance the atmosphere of the Terrace garden.

The tour is open to the public, and there is no limit on the number of participants.

This is just one of arboretum’s many free Saturday and Sunday docent-led tours, Crosson said.

April, May and June are full of tours highlighting all kinds of different things in the garden, she said.

The arboretum will also be hosting a plant sale on Apr. 12.

If [participants] see something they like, they might just be able to buy it two weeks later, Horton said.

ANNA OPALKA can be reached at campus@californiaaggie.com. XXX

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