Real Estate

Home front: Cheesemaking class; rhododendron gathering

Also, growing ornamentals, pumpkin decor

A roundup of Midpeninsula home and garden news and events, including a cheesemaking class, a meeting on caring for rhododendrons, a presentation on low-water ornamentals and tips on how to incorporate pumpkins into your garden decor.

CHEESEMAKING CLASS ... If you've always wanted to make your own cheese, try this beginner's class at Hidden Villa on Sunday, Oct. 14, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Jeannie Mckenzie of Pinehaven Farm will reveal the secret to making chevre (goat cheese) as well as feta and St. Maure. In addition to learning everything you need to know to make cheeses in your own kitchen, you'll have the opportunity to sample other Pinehaven Farm creations and pick herbs and edible flowers to add different notes to your own cheese. Visit the farm's dairy goats before or after class. Class size is limited to ensure everyone gets full benefit of this interactive session. Class fee includes all materials you'll need. Adults and students 16 and older. Cost is $70 per person. To register, go to hiddenvilla.org.

RHODY MEETING ... The DeAnza Chapter of the American Rhododendron Society will have a program on Wednesday Oct. 17, on "The Compatibility Of Trees And Rhododendrons, by Ted Kipping of Tree Shapers. He will show the best ways for trees to still give light to your rhododendrons. The talk will be at 7:30 p.m. at the Los Altos Masonic Lodge, 146 Main St. in Los Altos. For more information go to deanza-ars.com.

DIVERSIFY WITH ORNAMENTALS ... You don't have to plant vegetables or water-sucking plants to diversify your garden -- instead, try low-water ornamentals. UC Master Gardener Martha Carpenter will talk about which plants to choose during a free presentation on ornamentals at the Palo Alto Main Library onThursday, Oct. 18, at 7 p.m. You may be familiar with California native plants, but did you know that there are Mediterranean climates around the world that have the same growing conditions as here? They produce many beautiful ornamentals that grow very well here and need little water. Fall is the best time to get them into the ground so that they can put down roots during the winter. The Palo Alto Main Library is located at 1213 Newell Road, Palo Alto.

PUT A PUMPKIN IN IT ... They're weirdly shaped and orange, but SummerWinds nursery instructors will teach you how to incorporate pumpkins into your garden decor. The 30-minute free workshop will be held on Sunday, Oct. 21, at 9 a.m. In this "Learn 'n' Grow" class, design experts will demonstrate unique ways to implement pumpkins into your fall planting scheme. To register, go to summerwindsnursery.com. The nursery is located at 725 San Antonio Road in Palo Alto.

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