THE DIRT ON DIRT ... UC Master Gardener David Peterson will teach a free class on "Garden Soil Basics" on Saturday, Feb. 12, from 9 to 11 a.m. at the Gamble Garden Center, 1431 Waverley St., Palo Alto. Topics include compost and mulch, water, nutrients and taking care of garden soils, including when adding sand to soil can be dangerous. Information: Master Gardeners at 408-282-3105, between 9:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, or http://mastergardeners.org
TREE WALK ... Arborist Barrie Coate will lead a tree walk on Saturday, Feb. 12, from 10 a.m. to noon, meeting at the Palo Alto Main Library parking lot, 1213 Newell Road. The walk will be followed by a docent-led tour of the site-specific art installation of Patrick Dougherty. Information: www.canopy.org
MORE ON DIRT ... Filoli will offer a course on "Soil Management" on Saturday, Feb. 12, from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at 86 Canada Road, Woodside. The class deals with soil structure, fertility, water and amendments. Cost is $40 for nonmembers, $35 for members. Information: 650-364-8300 or www.filoli.org
MINI FARMING ... "Complete-Diet Mini-Farming" will be taught on Saturday, Feb. 12, from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at Common Ground Education Center, 599 College Ave., Palo Alto. The class will deal with planning a garden that produces healthy, nutritious food in the smallest space possible. Also, "Composting" will be offered from 2 to 4 p.m. Students are asked to bring a 5-gallon bucket of green material (glass clippings, weeds and/or non-meat kitchen scraps). Cost for each class is $31. Information: 650-493-6072 or www.commongroundinpaloalto.org
SIMPLIFYING CHANGE ... Deputy City Manager Steve Emslie will address the general meeting of the Midtown Residents Association on Tuesday, Feb. 15, at 7 p.m. at Friends Meeting Hall, 957 Colorado Ave., Palo Alto. His talk, "Blueprint for Change of the Development Center," will deal with how the city is attempting to simplify the remodeling process. He will be joined by Larry Perlin, chief building official, and Yvonne Sheets-Saucedo, Blueprint Project manager. Information: Steve Emslie at 650-329-2354 or firstname.lastname@example.org
A WINNING GARDEN ... Hazel White will offer a workshop on "A Winning Garden — What's beauty got to do with it?" on Wednesday, Feb. 16, from 10 a.m. to noon at Gamble Garden Center, 1431 Waverley St., Palo Alto. White will share the "top five constituents of memorably beautiful places" while focusing on planning gardens. Cost is $40 for nonmembers, $30 for members. Information: 650-329-1356 or www.gamblegarden.org
BEST RHODODENDRONS ... Don Wallace, owner of Singing Tree Gardens Nursery, will talk about maddenii series rhododendrons for the De Anza Chapter, American Rhododendron Society, on Wednesday, Feb. 16, at 7:30 p.m. The group meets in Room 12 of the Hillview Community Center, 97 Hillview Ave., Los Altos. Maddenii series rhododendrons thrive in the Bay Area and do well in containers. Information: www.deanza-ars.com
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