Home gardeners build wee pot of plants

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Popularity is growing for the Colusa County Master Gardeners’ educational programs.

Two dozen participants celebrated St. Patrick’s Day a little early by creating living container gardens adorned with small plants, tiny leprechauns, four-leaf clovers, and gold coins.

The holiday-themed terrarium workshop on Feb. 28 followed a number of other events designed for people to learn science-based solutions to home gardening.

“I’ve been to five of these,” said Beth Lohman, of Colusa, who added she’s learned a lot about succulents since she started participating in the classes. “I’m a reformed succulent killer,” she admitted.

The Master Gardeners of Colusa County are trained agents of the University of California, through the university’s California Cooperative Extension. Their purpose is to extend research-based knowledge and information on home gardening to all residents of the county, according to Gerry Hernandez, coordinator.

Fees charged for the class were used to provide the materials, and expert help came from Master Gardeners Cynthia Peterson and Diane Vafis.

Like Hernandez, Peterson and Vafis are trained and certified by the University of California Cooperative Extension in the areas of home gardening and horticulture.

At last week’s class, participants were provided large glass terrariums, a variety of plants, rocks, and props: everything needed to create a living garden that will continue to thrive with very little water and care.

Participation has varied at previous programs from six to 18 people, Hernandez said, but interest in this particular event continued even after the Master Gardeners met its maximum of 24 participants.

“It’s the most we’ve ever had,” Hernandez said, “and more would have liked to come.”

Those attending said holding the event at Rocco’s was part of the draw.

The atmosphere provided an opportunity for people to get together, socialize, eat, and drink.

“It was great to spend more time with my sister, and go home with something fun,” said Barb Rosas, of Colusa, who attended with sister Renee Ross and Elvira Gutierrez.

All three said this was their first class with the program.

The Colusa County Master Gardeners will host a gourd decorating class in May, and will offer other educational programs and garden-related demonstrations throughout the year, Hernandez said.