In the pink (or blue): The Blue Ridge Hydrangea Society will offer a class titled Companion Plants for Hydrangeas at the N.C. Arboretum on Saturday, Aug. 25, from 1 to 4 p.m. Master Gardener Linda Cobb will lead the discussion of how to blend other plants with hydrangeas and address trends in cottage gardening. She will also talk about feeding formulas and how to prepare soil for your own garden. Free and open to the public, the usual parking fees apply. For more information visit www.ncaboretum.org or call the Arboretum at 665-2492
Berry blue news: A quick check with blueberry growers throughout the region has confirmed that last spring’s late frost virtually wiped out the WNC crop. And Pelham Thomas, of Thomas Berry Farm in Cullowhee, told Xpress he’d visited Graveyard Fields (milepost 418 on the Blue Ridge Parkway) and found very few ripening berries. Graveyard Fields is normally one of the best sources of wild berries in the region. On the other hand, West Asheville resident Shannon Seymoour reported that she picked the “largest wild blueberries I’ve ever seen” last week at Black Balsam (milepost 420).
Wood, and it be nice: The Carolina Mountain Land Conservancy will host its fourth annual short course for private woodland owners at the Pisgah Ranger Station in the Pisgah National Forest on Friday, Aug. 24. The session is titled Stewardship of Your Land and is free for those who have attended three or more workshops in the series. This is a chance to explore management practices in the field and apply new knowledge and skills. For more information and registration materials, visit www.carolinamountain.org or call Alice Cohen-Goldstein at the Pisgah Ranger Station at 877-3350, ext. 203.