BACKYARD COMPOST ... The City of Palo Alto is offering a free "Backyard Compost Workshop" from 10 a.m. to noon on Saturday, Oct. 20, at the Almost Eden Garden, 701 E. Meadow Drive, Palo Alto. Focus is on suppressing weeds, improving and protecting soil and conserving water. Information: 650-496-5910
TWO CLASSES ... will be taught by Mimi Clarke, former lead horticulturist at Filoli and now owner of Fiddle Fern Landscaping, on Saturday, Oct. 20: "Prepare for Winter," from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., will include winter pruning, protection of frost-sensitive plants, pests and diseases, bare-root planting and general clean up. "Soil Management," from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m., will deal with soil structure, fertility, water and improving through amendments. Cost is $45 (for "Prepare for Winter"), $40 (for "Soil Management") for nonmembers, $35 for members. Information: 650-364-8300 or www.filoli.org
INTRO TO GROW BIOINTENSIVE ... Ryan Batjiaka, assistant garden manager at Ecology Action in Willits, Calif., will teach two classes on Saturday, Oct. 20: "Introduction to Grow Biointensive," from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., deals with the basic principles, including deep soil preparation, composting, intensive and companion planting and more. "Complete Diet Mini-Farming," from 2 to 4 p.m., which will cover how to plan a garden that will contain all the food one needs. Each class costs $31. Information: 650-493-6072 or www.commongroundinpaloalto.org
PASSIVE HOUSE UNVEILED ... Clarum Homes will showcase a new passive house at 1510 Portola Ave., Palo Alto, from 1 to 5 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 20. Experts will be on hand to explain what products were used to achieve a zero-energy home, making it airtight, highly insulated and requiring no furnace to heat. No tickets or reservations are required for the free open house. Information: www.PaloAltoPassive.com and www.Clarum.com or call 650-322-7069. This home was included in last week's Solar Homes Tour: The Road to Net-Zero Energy, co-sponsored by Acterra, SunWork and the City of Palo Alto Utilities, which drew close to 150 people.
IKEBANA ARRANGEMENTS ... Ikebana teacher Katsuko Biko Thiele will talk about Ikebana arrangements at the next meeting of The Garden Club of Los Altos at 1:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 23. She will demonstrate arranging flowers in the ikebana mode. The group meets at the Los Altos Lutheran Church, 460 S. El Monte Ave., Los Altos. Guests pay $5. Information: www.gardencluboflosaltos.org or call Ana at 650-365-6191.
JUBILEE FLOWERS ... Carolyn Barnes, a Los Altos-based flower arranger, will share what she learned at the Chelsea Flower Show in London at a special benefit for the Elizabeth F. Gamble Garden from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 24, in the Freidenrich Conference Center at the Oshman Family Jewish Community Center, 3921 Fabian Way, Palo Alto. Barnes' presentation, "English Flowers Abloom," includes a short photo overview of the Chelsea Flower Show, recreation of five award-winning arrangements, followed by a silent auction for arrangements with vases. Cost is $35 for nonmembers, $30 for members. Information: 650-329-1356 or www.gamblegarden.org
GARDEN HARMONY ... Rebecca Sweet, a garden designer who runs Harmony in the Garden, will offer a program on how to coordinate rhododendrons with other plants, at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 24, for the De Anza Chapter of the American Rhododendron Society. The group meets in Room 12 of the Hillview Community Center, 97 Hillview Ave., Los Altos. Admission is free. Information: www.deanza-ars.com