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Home front: learn about herbs; glass art sale


A roundup of local home and garden news and events, including a class on identifying and using herbs, a fall glass arts sale and tips to attract bees to your garden.

LEARN ABOUT HERBS ... Common Ground Garden will host a class 2-4 p.m., on Saturday, Sept. 9, on kid- and dog-friendly herbs, like lavender and rosemary, that grow well in the Bay Area's climate and are easy to use for self care. Participants will learn to identify, grow and dry herbs for use on a regular basis as well as how to use them in essential oils. The class will be taught by Penni Thorpe, a longtime lay herbalist. To register, go to commongroundgarden.org. Common Ground is located at 687 Arastradero Road, Palo Alto.

GLASS ART SALE ... The Palo Alto High School Glass blowing program will host its fifth annual Fall Fiery Arts Glass Sale on Friday, Sept. 15, 3-6 p.m., and Saturday, Sept. 16, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. See free live demonstrations and find more than 1,000 glass pumpkins, pears, elephants, moose, trees and fish. The event will be held at Palo Alto High School, 50 Embarcadero Road in Palo Alto.

HOW TO GET A BEE-FRIENDLY GARDEN ... The Honeybee Conservancy has some tips for how to attract bees and get them to stay in your garden. Plant native flowers, which are adapted to the region. Replace your lawn grass with flowering plants for bees. Single-flower tops like daisies and marigolds are better for bees than double-flower tops. The reason is double-headed flowers produce much less nectar and make it more difficult for bees to get to the nectar. Don't plant hybridized flowers, which have been bred not to seed and thus produce very little pollen for bees. Your yard also can be a place for bees to nest. Leave a sunny part of your garden uncultivated with soil surface exposed. Wood and stem-nesting bees will benefit from untended areas or nesting blocks made of untreated wood. Avoid using herbicides or pesticides as they are toxic to bees. Ladybugs, spiders and praying mantises will naturally keep pest populations in check. Bees also need a place to get fresh, clean water. Fill a shallow container of water with pebbles or twigs for the bees to land on while drinking.

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Short story writers wanted!

The 34th Annual Palo Alto Weekly Short Story Contest is now accepting entries for Adult, Young Adult and Teen categories. Send us your short story (2,500 words or less) and entry form by March 27, 2020. First, Second and Third Place prizes awarded in each category. Sponsored by Kepler's Books, Linden Tree Books and Bell's Books.

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