Reaching out to gardeners of all levels 

If your green thumb is feeling a little brown, or you just want to get some fresh gardening ideas for spring, you might want to check out the educational programs at the San Francisco Flower and Garden Show.

In addition to the display gardens and the marketplace, the event offers seminars all five days, morning through evening. The variety of presentations will fit any schedule and any experience level.

Fitting in with the overall theme of the flower show, which is “Gardens of the Future,” most of the seminars fall under the subject “Green Living.” That means the session will have something to do with sustainability, whether it’s growing your own food, composting or using less water.

If you’re looking to start growing food, author and gardening consultant Pamela Peirce will give a talk on edible gardening for beginners, while Jean Ann Van Krevelan will discuss “Plant or Purchase” — which produce it makes more sense to buy and which to grow.

Water conservation is a hot topic, and Pamela Berstler, one of three judges of this year’s show gardens, will give tips on how to stick to a “water budget.” She will also give another talk on converting an irrigation system to be more environmental.

Many of the seminars are suitable for beginners, including “101-level” courses on roses, small spaces, seed starting and composting.

For more advanced gardeners or those who want to specialize, there are subject-specific talks on everything from pruning Japanese maples to repotting orchids to growing the best, hottest chili peppers.

If you bring the kids, they can have fun with the hands-on Sprout Stage. “Wiggly Worms: Discover How Worms Make Compost,” presented by Lynn Adams, is sure to be a hit — even if you have to bring a souvenir or two home with you.

Whatever your gardening interest or experience level, there’s a seminar to draw you in and get the spring sap flowing.

For the seminar schedule and information, visit

San Francisco Flower and Garden Show

Where: S
an Mateo Event Center, 2495 S. Delaware St., San Mateo
When: 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Wednesday through March 27; 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. March 28
Tickets: $20 at door; $16 advance; $13 half-day (from 3 p.m. to close); $9 student; $4 youth
Contact: (415) 684-7278;

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Staff Report

Staff Report

A daily newspaper covering San Francisco, San Mateo County and serving Alameda, Marin and Santa Clara counties.
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