- Author: Kathy Keatley Garvey
Others will learn how to design and plant a stunning pollinator garden so they can grow--and enjoy--their own flowers. Honey bees, bumble bees and other pollinators will appreciate it, too.
Kate Frey of Hopland, a world-class garden designer, author, and co-founder of the American Garden School, will speak on "Gardening for Bees, Beauty and Diversity” at a free public program at 11 a.m. Sunday, May 14 at Annie's Annuals and Perennials, 740 Market Ave., Richmond.
Frey, a two-time gold medal winner at the prestigious Chelsea Flower Show in London, is the co-author of The Bee-Friendly Garden with Professor Gretchen LeBuhn of San Francisco State University. Her latest endeavor: launching the American Garden School, where gardening enthusiasts, would-be gardeners, landscape professionals and others can learn how to design and plant a bee- and beauty-inspired garden.
Frey, who has close ties with University of California entomologists, horticulturists and other scientists, spoke at the Native Bees Workshop last September at the Hopland Research and Extension Center, Mendocino County, and guided a tour of her one-acre spectacular garden at her Hopland home, where she and husband Ben reside.
"Bee gardens make people happy," she and LeBurhn wrote in their book. "Whether you enjoy a brilliant chorus of saturated color, a tranquil sanctuary from the busy world, or a hardworking edible garden, there is a glorious, flower-filled bee garden waiting for you."
Describing bees as "a critical link in the global food chain," they added. "Bees are the world's most prolific pollinators...Over 70 percent of the world's plants depend on the pollination of bees, including many nuts, fruits, tomatoes, peppers, or berries." The book will be available for purchase at the event.
Frey's presentation is part of Annie's two-day Mother's Day Extravanza, to begin at 10 a.m. both Saturday and Sunday, May 13-14. It promises to be both fun and educational. See the schedule, which includes face painting, balloon twisting with Budderball the Clown; stiltwalking with "circus moves"; music and munchies; and other activities. Saturday's special event, at 11 a.m., will be a presentation by tomato breeder Brad Gates of Wild Boar Farms, Napa Valley, who will discuss "how to grow the perfect tomato." On both days, a free plant will be given to each mother while the supply lasts.
Food available? Yes. A vendor will be selling kosher hot dogs, veggie dogs and other food both days from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Meanwhile, a large crowd is expected to fill the seats at the outdoor program, while bees buzz, syrphid flies hover, and butterflies flutter.