Real Estate

Home front: Oak talk; pumpkin decor craft

Also, autumn cleaning advice

A roundup of Midpeninsula home and garden news and events, including a talk on oak trees, do-it-yourself tips to decorate pumpkins and how to dispose of bulky items in Mountain View.

OAK TALK ... On Sunday, Oct. 13, botany professor Matt Ritter will give a talk on "Oaks and other California plants." Sponsored by Gamble Garden and the nonprofit Canopy, the talk will be held at Eastside College Preparatory School, 1041 Myrtle St., East Palo Alto, from 9:30 a.m. to noon. Ritter, professor of botany at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, will take attendees on a visual "tour" through the state's flora in a lecture based on his new book, "California Plants." A richly illustrated field guide to the state's native plants. He will use his photos and humor to share the natural history of California's plants. In recognition of "Oaktober," Canopy's oak month, he will share stories of the state's rich oak heritage. Books will be available to purchase at the event. Cost is $15. To register, go to gamblegarden.org.

DIY PUMPKIN DECOR ... The staff at SummerWinds Nursery in Palo Alto will host a free 30-minute workshop on Sunday, Oct. 14, on creating a succulent-topped pumpkin. Garden experts will demonstrate how to make the season's latest pumpkin "trend" and display them at home. Seating is limited. To register, go to summerwindsnursery.com.

AUTUMN CLEANING ... Mountain View residents who need to dispose of bulky items (old furniture, appliances, mattresses) that don't fit in their garbage bins can arrange for a free curbside collection pickup through their collection agency Recology. Residential customers are eligible for three curbside cleanups per calendar year at no additional charge. Residents may also exchange a free pickup for a dump voucher that allows residents to take their stuff to the landfill at no charge. Recology also rents bins (smaller than a debris box), which are delivered to and picked up no more than seven days after delivery. For more information, contact Recology Mountain View at 650-967-3034.

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