Climate change will be a key topic during a one-day conference Feb. 27 titled “The 3 Ds of Gardening in a Changing Climate: Drought, Drip and Design,” presented by the University of California Cooperative Extension Master Gardeners of Fresno County.
Climate change is here and it’s real. We have to pay attention to all this stuff.
“Even though we know that we have a wonderful El Niño year,” says Gerry Hanford, conference chairperson and past president of the local Master Gardener group, “we are still not out of the woods with this drought. … People still need to be aware that there are things we can do constantly and always to conserve water.”
Nicholas Staddon will open the Smart Gardening Conference as one of two keynote speakers with a talk titled, “Gardening in a Changing Climate: Regional and Global Impacts.”
The garden, in some ways, is a reflection of who you are.
Staddon says climate change has become a “trendy” topic among gardeners, who are showing a growing interest in things like nutrient-rich soils and attracting and protecting pollinators.
“Regardless of heat and drought, there are still fun things you can do in your garden,” Staddon says. “There is just not a quick-fix solution. We need to be more sensitive to the use of water, move away from chemicals, and use predatory insects.”
In my garden, I don’t use any chemicals whatsoever. … It needs to look healthy. It needs to be diverse. It needs to be sustainable.
Staddon is frequently featured as a guest on television and radio gardening shows across the country. He’s an adviser for Sunset Magazine, has managed garden centers in Albuquerque and Santa Fe, New Mexico, and worked for Monrovia Nursery for nearly 27 years.
“He really does have his finger on the pulse of what is going on across the country with nurseries,” Hanford says.
In addition to the keynote talks, there will be 20 smaller hour-long sessions. Participants can attend four. Speakers will cover a wide variety of garden topics: how to design for drought, watering wisely and using reclaimed water, plant hormones, attracting “good” bugs and other pollinators, improving soils, dealing with weeds, and how to care for succulents, trees, lavender, citrus, vegetables, fruits and herbs, to name a few.
It’s almost like cooking, not all you make is going to be great. So go back and change it. A garden is a little like that.
Staddon hopes he can leave gardeners and prospective gardeners with this message, foremost: “Don’t give up.”
“I mean that right from the heart. A lot of people think gardening is very complicated, and it’s not. … If a plant dies while it’s in your care, don’t let that stop you. It’s almost like cooking, not all you make is going to be great. So go back and change it. A garden is a little like that.”
Smart Gardening Conference
Details: 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 27, at the Piccadilly Inn Airport, 5150 E. McKinley Ave., Fresno. More information is available by calling the Fresno County Cooperative Extension at 559-241-7515.
Registration: Online at ucanr.org/sgc. Registration forms can also be downloaded and mailed in. Tickets are $45 in advance and $55 the day of event. Day-of registration 7:30 a.m. to 8:30 a.m. Includes continental breakfast, lunch and door prizes.