Woo hoo! It’s a new year and there is so much to be hopeful for. Days are getting longer, a COVID-19 vaccine is happening, we’ll have a new administration, and gardeners are making plans for spring! (Please excuse the excessive exclamations, but it has been almost one year since we have celebrated anything.)

Speaking of celebrations, we are only one year away from our 100th Anniversary, doing business at the same location in North Berkeley. This will be a big one, and event planning has begun. To whet your appetite, pique your curiosity, and otherwise get your attention, we’ll have cool stuff happening for gardeners and non-gardeners alike. Over the course of 2022, there will be free stuff for shoppers, then in August, September and October, each week we will offer live music, guest speakers, workshops, art exhibits, food, fun, and more. The last time we had a blow-out like this was 25 years ago. Stay tuned for updates on our centenary.

As for seasonal chores in the garden right now, here is one that you can skip. A few years ago, I posted a True/False quiz for Bay Area gardeners, and one statement seems worthy of repeating.

“You must prune your fruit trees in winter when they are dormant.”  The answer is FALSE. A deciduous tree pruned at this time of year will grow rapidly back to its original size…perhaps too big for a small garden and too tall to reach the fruit. Now is the ideal time to prune only if you have a large garden with full-size trees, the ability to pick fruit 20 feet above your head, and a way to use or dispose of a pile of branches. How many Bay Area residents have these options? I secretly envy those who do, but they have their work cut out for them. For all the rest of you, consider summer pruning. So take a break, relax, be lazy, and don’t feel guilty.

For obvious reasons we are not offering our pruning workshops for roses and fruit trees. There is talk of putting videos online for you to check out, but that will come later this year. By the way, now is a good time to prune roses. In this issue read Rose Pruning for Hesitant Beginners which covers most of the basics. Get out and get dirty!

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