Creating shades of green

Earth Day-themed workshops offer tips on eco-friendly living
By: Gloria Young, Journal Staff Writer
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Wednesday’s Earth Day turned up the volume on green. And two Downtown Auburn businesses are running with that theme with three workshops on Saturday. Tamara Hadley, owner of Design Well, Live Well and Eco-boutique, will tell how to “Get your green on: Simple ways to start greening the home.” At Avantgarden, owner Kim Wright will discuss “Design Principles of Container Gardening,” and John Hoffman of Sungro products will present “Successful and sustainable Container Gardening.” Hadley, who is also an interior designer, will focus on simple ways to green your home. “I’ll give a list and have a little pamphlet on some remodeling ideas, products available, finishes and flooring,” she said. “It’s just kind of a nice general overview of things to think about and making the right choices when you’re ready.” Hadley will offer tips on choosing environmentally friendly countertops, paint options and building products that you can find locally. “There are lots of different countertop choices now,” she said. Wright specializes in container gardens and will show some artistic and common-sense ways to create indoor and patio gardens that are beautiful and easy-care. “Bringing green into containers inside your home purifies the air,” she said. “Green is soothing and live plants kind of make you feel good. Having containers close into living spaces brings the garden in to where we’re actually living. (It allows) people in apartments (and small spaces) to have gardens, too.” Building a container garden is more than simply choosing some pretty plants and potting them. “I’m going to be talking more about design principles of container gardening,” Wright said. That means incorporating different sizes, shades and textures — accent plants, spiller plants, filler plants — the basics of how to make a container look nice. There’s are some common-sense advice, too. “If you’re going to have a container in the sun, you’ll need sun plants,” Wright said. “Choose all plants that don’t need a lot of water or that do. But they have to be kind of similar.” A second workshop at Avantgarden will cover soil preparation and care. “(Hoffman) has been in the business for a long time and knows a lot about potting soil,” Wright said. One thing he will cover is why container gardens don’t necessarily need to be all organic. “It is kind of an artificial contained space,” Wright said. “Normally, when you use organic fertilizer it is because you’re trying to build up soil so it will be healthier. In containers, it’s sometimes better to use slow-release granules or other synthetic fertilizer because they stay in the container and don’t leach out of the pot.” When Wright and Hadley began planning the workshops, they wanted to create an event that was educational as well as useful in bringing people Downtown. “I wanted to build up public goodwill and getting people to shop locally and think about teaming up and giving a percentage of profits to a local nonprofit,” Wright said. “I thought it was a good idea and so we decided to go ahead with it.” They plan to donate 10 percent of that day’s sales to the Placer Land Trust. Hadley hopes to nurture more interest in thinking green. “I want Auburn to know that we have so many resources in our local community (for obtaining and using eco-friendly options),” she said. “We need to get involved and start looking into that and researching alternatives for using green products.” Gloria Young can be reached at ----------- Saturday, April 25, in Downtown Auburn 11 a.m. — “Get your Green On: Simple Ways to Start Greening your Home,” Eco-Boutique, 937 Lincoln Way Noon — “Successful and Sustainable Container Gardening,” Avantgarden, 1085 High St. 2 p.m. — “Design Principles of Container Gardening,” Avantgarden No charge to attend. Ten percent of sales proceeds to be donated to Placer Land Trust