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Home&Real Estate OPEN HOME GUIDE 52 Also online at Home Front DIG HEALTHY ... Master Gardeners Ann Burrell and Marianne Mueller will give a free talk on “Building Healthy Soil” on Saturday, Oct. 1, from 10 to 11 a.m. at the Palo Alto Demonstration Garden, 851 Center Drive, Palo Alto. Mueller will talk about making compost, preparing beds for later planting, digging, adding fertilizer and using cover crops and mulches, and offer hands-on demonstrations. Information: Master Gardeners at 408-2823105, between 9:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m., Monday through Friday or MINI-FARMING ... John Jeavons, executive director of Ecology Action and author of “How to Grow More Vegetables,” will teach two classes on Saturday, Oct. 1 at Common Ground Education Center, 559 College Ave., Palo Alto. The first, “Complete-Diet Mini-Farming,” from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., will deal with planning a productive, ecologically sustainable garden in the smallest space possible; the second, “Double-Digging and Bed Preparation,” from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m., includes a hands-on demonstration at the nearby Common Ground Garden. Cost for each class is $31. Information: 650-493-6072 or COMMUNITY DAY ... Gamble Garden will hold its annual Community Day on Sunday, Oct. 2, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Friends, neighbors and gardeners are invited to participate in free activities, including exploring the garden, docent tours of the house, creating flower arrangements with the Garden Club of Palo Alto, emergency-reparedness information, shopping at the plant sale, checking out horticultural resources, honey tastings and food for sale. The event takes place at 1431 Waverley St., Palo Alto. Information: 650329-1356 or WHAT’S UP? ... Robin Stockwell will teach a class on “Vertical Gardening” on Wednesday, Oct. 12, from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at Filoli, 86 Cañada Road, Woodside. The class deals with planting succulents on a redwood frame, and includes the frame, potting mix, a variety of succulents, and instruction to make your own living mural. Cost is $125 for nonmembers, $105 for mem(continued on page 43) Mark Pendleton, left, pulls decorative moss from an orchid plant, which can limit the plant’s ability to receive oxygen; below, Pendleton trims a bit of the root structure to keep the stronger roots from being choked; bottom, Phalaenopsis orchids are for sale at Brookside Nursery in Menlo Park. CAN THIS ORCHID BE SAVED? FILOLI CLASS OFFERS BASICS OF HOME CARE AND RESCUE F by Kathy Cordova U photographs by Veronica Weber or centuries orchids have been a hobby of the very wealthy. Orchid collectors, like the Rothschilds in Europe, have mounted expeditions to faroff places like Africa, Asia and South America in search of the finest, most exotic specimens. Now, with the advent of cloning and decades of commercial breeding, orchids are one of the best-selling plants in America. A search for orchids today will likely lead you to the aisles of Trader Joe’s or Home Depot. But, like too much of any good thing, accessibility and popularity have a downside. “We figure that probably 90 percent of the orchids that are bought in the big-box stores end up in the trash,” Mark Pendleton, orchid aficionado and managing grower of Brookside Nursery in Menlo Park, said. As anyone who has tried to keep an orchid alive knows, orchids are complicated plants. You can’t just stick them in a sunny corner with a little water and expect them to flourish. “It’s relational,” Pendleton said. “They’re the plants that are most like people. If you want to see them grow and bloom, you have to get to know them.” The desire to rescue orchids from the trash bin and to teach people how to care for them are the reasons Pendleton teaches the class, “The Basics of Home Orchid Care,” at Filoli in Woodside. Pendleton has spent more than half his life growing orchids, first as a hobbyist and then for 27 years in a commercial environment. (continued on page 43) *>œÊÌœÊ7iiŽÞÊUÊ-i«Ìi“LiÀÊÎä]ÊÓ䣣ÊU Page 41

Palo Alto Weekly 09.30.11 - Section 2

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