Fire and water, two classical Greek elements — why are they important to gardeners?

We’ll tackle water conservation first — that’s WSU Chelan/Douglas Master Gardeners’ theme at the KPQ Home Expo in Town Toyota Center Friday through Sunday.

“We are excited to give the public practical ways to conserve water in their yards and gardens and local resources that can help,” says Vanessa Martyn, co-coordinator of the Master Gardener portion of the event.

Three seminars Saturday include "Much To Do About Mulch" by Bonnie Orr at 10 a.m.; "Waterwise Landscaping” by Paula Dinius at noon; and “Lush and Lean — More Vegetables with Less Irrigation” at 4 p.m. by Susan Copner, Fernie Slabaugh and Lynn Palmer.

Ward Larsen will present “How to Water Efficiently” at 1 p.m. Sunday.

In addition to the four talks, check out displays featuring waterwise gardening, a plant clinic to help you with your gardening questions and merchandise for sale to support our programs. Children’s activities include a poster and flip chart where they can guess their households’ water usage, then compare that with normal usage. Kids can color water cycle wheels as well as make a bead bracelet showing the water cycle with different colors and types of beads.

The fire part is a spiffy new full-color handbook, "Fire Resistant Plants", available at the Home Show as well as the fourth annual Firewise Days on Saturday at Pybus Public Market. A shortened version with the same information is also available, as well as lots of other information helping with firewise safety during both of these events.

This impressive booklet was put together thanks to a dozen Chelan/Douglas Master Gardeners with financial help from the state Department of Natural Resources and Cascadia Conservation District, explains Master Gardener Al Murphy, organizer of many local firewise efforts.

“Fire burns or has burned every acre in North Central Washington every six to 30 years,” he says. “We have had lots of fire and will continue to have more fires as the population grows and builds in the wildland urban interface. Fires will continue but homes will be less prone to burn if we build with more fire resistant materials and landscape with appropriate vegetation.”

The handbook is free and available at the Master Gardener office in Wenatchee, Douglas County Fire District 2, Chelan County Fire District 1 and Cascadia Conservation District, as well as the home show and Firewise Days events.


A WSU Master Gardeners of Chelan County column appears weekly in The Wenatchee World. Mary Fran McClure is one of four columnists featured.