The sun will shine in the upcoming week, which means spring has finally sprung. While the soil dries enough to be worked without compressing, step back to plan your next move in the garden.
Some gardeners think best on their feet. If that rings true, grab the walking shoes. Garden tour season is almost here. Online tickets are available for several venues (listed below), and stock-taking opportunities are part of the fun. Even the most independent gardeners might glean an idea or two worth bringing home.
What To Plant: Garden Tours at Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden, March 26 and 27. Guided walking tours of California native wildflowers with informed garden reps at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. $8 general admission or free with membership. The Botanic Garden is located at 1500 North College Avenue in Claremont. For more information, call 909-625-8767.
Smart Gardening: Safe and Healthy Soil starts with you! Did you know you can manage aphids with worm castings tea? March 26, from 9:30 to 11 a.m., the Department of Water and Power offers an advanced residential workshop on landscape design, use of native plants, integrated pest management, and soil improvements. Plus, a limited number of worm and compost bins will be available for sale. Limit two per household, at the Arboretum, 301 N. Baldwin Avenue, Arcadia. Free admission to members or $8 per adult at the door.
Seeing Is Believing: Special talks and visual aids right before your eyes, in the RSABG nursery. See what’s in bloom in the native garden Saturday, April 2, from 11 a.m. to 12 p.m. The theme: Iris, Coral Bells and Salvia, at the Grow Native Nursery, just east of the information booth and parking lot. Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden, 1500 North College Avenue, Claremont. Garden admission not required. For more information, call 909-625-8767.
Decisions, Decisions: Spring Plant Sale at the . Saturday and Sunday, April 2 & 3, from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Fruit trees, berries, orchids, heirloom tomatoes, herbs, and succulents. Located at 301 N. Baldwin Avenue, Arcadia.
Mt. San Antonio College Plant Sale, April 8-10 , at Descanso Botanical Gardens. Student-staffed, with many specimens grown in the college greenhouses. Past selections include clivias, low-light plants, drought tolerant, heirloom tomatoes and wicked hot peppers. Cultivation and care information available, so ask these students to share the knowledge. Located at 1418 Descanso Drive, La Cañada Flintridge.
How To Plant: Victory Garden Workshops, for those who want to learn how to grow their own food. Classes provided by the UC Cooperative Extension Master Gardeners’ Program. Registration is recommended for the nearby location at the Altadena Community Garden, 3330 N. Lincoln Avenue, Altadena, 91007. The beginning level takes place on four Saturdays: April 9, 16, 23 and 30, from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. Intermediate level, same four Saturdays, 2 to 5 p.m. Contact Jeri Huston or Josie Cortes at 323-344-6012 or firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Natives Bring It Home: The 8th Annual Theodore Payne Native Plant Garden Tour is bigger and better than every this year, but see for yourself. It's taking place April 9 and 10, Saturday and Sunday, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Nine gardens are featured from the San Gabriel Valley, in Monrovia, Altadena, La Canada, Pasadena and South Pasadena, and a few in Glendale and Eagle Rock as well. $20 admission gets you access to 35 gardens throughout Los Angeles County, several designed and constructed by the homeowners over a number of years. Improve your knowledge of California native plants; you'll be glad you did. Vist www.theodorepayne.org for more information.
Celebrate Good Plants: And while we’re at it, this is the first year to celebrate California Native Plants Week. Thank you, California Native Plant Society and Assembly Resolution 173, which invites all to hail water conservation and history through native plants knowledge. From April 17 through 23, just keep a good thought in mind. Simple or what?
Plan Ahead: Creative Arts Group of Sierra Madre hosts its annual garden tour, Sunday, April 17, from 10:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The theme: Art in the Garden, with four hotly anticipated sites to stroll. Tickets are $25 each. Mail checks to Creative Arts Group, 108 N. Baldwin Avenue, Sierra Madre, CA 91024. Call 626-355-8350 for more information.
Play With The Big Kids: The Garden Conservancy’s Open Days tour is nearly upon us, and I can hear the accelerated, collective heartbeat of the chic garden set all the way up here in the foothills. May 1 features fine Pasadena gardens, and on May 15, greater Los Angeles designs will be on view. An admission book of six tickets is $15 for Garden Conservancy members, and $25 for the general public. Pearls optional. Purchase tickets or request further information at www.gardenconservancy.org.