May 2018

Submitted by Yvonne Savio
Contact each location to confirm the listed event, for details, and for a full schedule.
Events are free with admission unless otherwise indicated.


Armstrong Garden Centers

Including Anaheim, Claremont, Costa Mesa, Glendora, Huntington Beach, Irvine, La Canada-Flintridge, La Crescenta, Laguna Niguel, La Habra, Long Beach, Monrovia, Newport, Pasadena, Santa Monica, Sherman Oaks, Thousand Oaks, Torrance, Tustin, Westchester

Saturday, 5/5, 8am.  Flowers for a Cutting Garden.  Beyond roses and hydrangeas, learn the best flowers to plant for a California cutting garden. Enjoy lovely cut flowers in your home.  Our experts will teach you how easy it is to care for and grow beautiful blooms.

Saturday, 5/16, 6am.  Make & Take: Red, White, & Blue Planter.  Bring on the Red, White and Blue spirit with a planter perfect for your porch or patio. Class includes reusable Americana oval tin planter and all materials. Demonstration and hands on planting. Great for gardeners of all ages. 14-in. Planter Cost 29.99.  Prior registration and fee required.

California Native Plant Society – San Gabriel Mountains Chapter  
Eaton Canyon Nature Center

1750 North Altadena Drive
Pasadena 91107

Thursday, 5/24, 7:30 pm.  Lessons learned from 12 years of local stewardship in an urban nature park in Southern California, with Barbara Eisenstein.  Cities love to cut ribbons at park openings; however, it is what happens next that determines the success or failure of urban habitat parks. Without proper care, even beautifully designed and installed landscapes will fail. For twelve years, volunteers have been caring for a nature park in the city of South Pasadena to prevent it from reverting to its formerly degraded state. Prior to the creation of the park, the site along the Arroyo Seco Flood Control Channel was used for illegal dumping, homeless encampments and passive recreation including walking and horseback riding. Within six months of the opening in 2004, the recently extirpated weeds were making an impressive comeback on the three-acre parcel. In response, Barbara initiated a volunteer park stewardship program, Friends of South Pasadena Nature Park. Over the years, the group has developed strategies for replacing noxious weeds with locally appropriate native plants. Many of these practices would work in other newly designated urban habitat parks. Though it has taken years – and there is still much work to do – a small team of volunteers, with city support, is gradually improving conditions in the park. Barbara Eisenstein is a native plant gardener, writer and blogger. Her book, “Wild Suburbia – Learning to Garden with Native Plants”, guides new and experienced gardeners on a journey toward sustainable, habitat gardening. Barbara is a research associate at Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden, Plant Sale Chair of the CNPS San Gabriel Mountains Chapter, and founder of Friends of South Pasadena Nature Park.

California Native Plant Society – Los Angeles/Santa Monica Mountains Chapter
First United Methodist Church

1008 11th Street
Santa Monica 90403

(None for May)

California Native Plant Society – Los Angeles/Santa Monica Mountains Chapter
Sepulveda Garden Center

16633 Magnolia Blvd
Encino 91436

Tuesday, 5/8, 7:30pm.  Southern California Conservation: Present Threats and Future Opportunities lecture and slide show by Nick Jensen, California Native Plant Society Southern California Conservation Analyst. Nick will be discussing California opportunities to save native plants and habitats and some of the pressing conservation issues shaping southern California today. More info at  For details or to volunteer, call Snowdy Dodson at 818-782-9346 or email

California Rare Fruit Growers - Foothill Chapter

Los Angeles County Arboretum, Lecture Hall A
301 North Baldwin Ave
Arcadia 91007

(None for May)

Coastkeeper Garden

1560 East Santiago Canyon Road
Orange 92869

Saturday, 5/12, 9:30am.  Monthly Garden Share.  Attendees bring garden-related items such as plants, cuttings, pots, tools, produce, etc., to trade.  This is a great way to obtain new plants and meet like-minded plant lovers.  For more information, go to second Saturdays. 

Descanso Gardens

1418 Descanso Drive
La Canada Flintridge 91011

Saturday, 5/19, 8-10:30am. Community Service Day. Get hands-on gardening experience and help care for the Rose Garden. Instruction will be provided and work will be supervised by Descanso horticulture staff. All experience levels welcome, ages 16 or older. Remember to wear comfortable clothing and closed-toed shoes.  Please bring gardening gloves, water and a hat. Limited space available and RSVP required. Please email by Wednesday May 16. You will be sent additional instructions and will need to sign form in order to participate.

Desert Horticultural Society of the Coachella Valley

UCR Palm Desert
75080 Frank Sinatra Drive
Palm Desert 92211

(None for May)

Eaton Canyon Nature Center      

1750 North Altadena Drive
Pasadena 91107

Every Wednesday, and second Sunday, 10am.  Eaton Canyon Gardening Group.  Volunteers maintain the garden. 

Saturday, 5/19, 9am-12noon, Nature Patio.  Conservation Work Day. We will be weeding invasive plants to conserve habitat for the native species.  Gloves, tools and a snack will be provided. Please bring your own drinking water, and wear clothing, footwear and sun protection appropriate for outdoor work. As a reminder, our volunteers under the age of 18 should bring along an adult. RSVP to eatoncanyon.conservation@gmail.comRepeats third Saturdays. 

El Dorado Nature Center

7550 E. Spring Street
Long Beach 90815

Saturday, 5/5, 2-4pm.  SB and WF Parish:  Amateur Botanists in Southern California

Fullerton Arboretum

1900 Associated Road
Fullerton 92831

Thursday, 5/10, 9-11am.  Oak Hall Classroom.  Beginner Bonsai.  Have you ever wanted to have your own bonsai tree but did not know where to start? Sign up for this class and receive a bonsai tree, basic plastic pot, soil, instructions on care and maintenance, and some history on the art of bonsai. This class is designed for beginners. Instructor Jim Pierce, curator of the current bonsai exhibit at the Arboretum, will cover topics such as variety of trees, survivability, soil, transplanting and timing, appropriate pots, fertilizers and the various styles of bonsai. At the end of class, you will be walking out with your very own bonsai.

Saturdays, 5/12 and 5/26, 10am. Free Nature Tour. Meet at the Nature Center and join one of our knowledgeable docents as they guide you on a tour through the beautiful garden. Repeats 2nd and 4th Saturdays.

Glendale Community Services & Parks Department

Deukmejian Wilderness Park

3429 Markridge Road
La Crescenta 91214

(None for May)

Glendale Community Services & Parks Department
Experimental Forest – Verdugo Mountains

Hostetter Fire Road gate on La Tuna Canyon Road near the 210 freeway

(None for May)

Glendale Community Services & Parks Department
Glendale Narrows Riverwalk

300 Paula Avenue (corner of Garden Street)
Glendale 91201

(None for May)

Huntington Botanical Gardens

1151 Oxford Road
San Marino 91108

Every Saturday, 10am-1pm.  Ranch Open House. Stop by The Huntington’s urban agriculture site during our weekly open house and pick up some fresh ideas for sustainable gardening. Experts from the University of California Los Angeles County Master Gardener program will be on hand to answer questions and offer seasonal tips. From the Teaching Greenhouse, follow signs to the site. Repeats every Saturday.

Saturday, 5/5, 2:30pm.  Rothenberg Hall.  Talk and Book Signing:  Designing with Palms.  Palm trees are so iconic, especially in Southern California, that it’s easy to lose sight of their versatility in the landscape. Jason Dewees, author of Designing with Palms (Timber Press, 2018), will discuss how the sensory appeal of palms, along with their beautiful diversity — delicate understory plants, hardy shrubs, graceful trees, and bamboo-like clusters — earn them a place in well-designed gardens. A book signing follows.

Sunday, 5/6, 2:30pm.  Rothenberg Hall.  Brody Lecture:  California Plants.  California’s plant diversity numbers more than 5,000 native species — one in five of which are now considered rare or endangered.  Author Matt Ritter, professor of botany at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, will take readers on a visual “tour” through the state’s most iconic flora in a lecture based on his new book, California Plants. A richly illustrated field guide to the state’s spectacular native trees, flowers, and shrubs, the book also seeks to raise awareness of the unique beauty that’s at risk. California Governor Jerry Brown, in the book’s foreword, writes: “Matt Ritter teaches us … to better understand how our future is linked to that of all other living things: our soil, our microbiota, and our wonderful and indomitable native plants.” A book signing will follow the program.

Thursday, 5/10, 2:30pm.  Ahmanson Room.  Garden Talk & Sale:  Remarkable Lichen: Biodiversity and Ecology in Southern California.  Lichens are complex organisms composed of a fungus and an alga living in a symbiotic partnership. They’re also something of a personal obsession for lichenologist Kerry Knudsen, who established the lichen collection at the UC Riverside Herbarium. Join Knudsen for a fascinating talk about the various lichen species found in Southern California, as he shares tales of his collecting expeditions in search of these colorful, crusty, scaly, lacy life forms. A plant sale follows the talk.

Thursday, 5/24, 4:30-5:30pm.  Brody Botanical Center Auditorium.  Botany Bay Series:  Plant Science for Gardeners and Citizen Scientists.  Explore the wonders of the plant world through discussion and hands-on lab time in this monthly series led by Jim Folsom, the Telleen/Jorgensen Director of the Botanical Gardens. Attend one session, or participate every month.

Idyllwild Nature Center

25225 Highway 243
Idyllwild 92549

(None for May)

J Paul Getty Museum – Getty Center

1200 Getty Center Drive
Los Angeles 90049

Daily, 11:30am, 12:30pm, 2:30pm, 3:30pm, Tour meeting place outside the museum entrance.  45-minute Garden Tours.  The Central Garden, designed and conceived by artist Robert Irwin, is an evolving work of art, with tree-lined walkways through extraordinary sights, sounds, and scents.  Repeats daily.

J Paul Getty Museum – Getty Villa

17985 Pacific Coast Highway
Pacific Palisades, CA 90272

Thursdays and Saturdays, 10:30am, 11:30am, 12:30pm, 1:30pm, 3:30pm, Tour meeting place outside the museum entrance.  40-minute Garden Tours.  Discover the rich mythological and cultural connections of four ancient Roman gardens.  Repeats Thursdays and Saturdays.

Los Angeles County Arboretum and Botanic Garden

301 North Baldwin Ave
Arcadia 91007

Wednesday, 5/2, 1:30-3pm.  Plant Information with Arboretum Botanist Frank McDonough.  Frank covers current horticultural topics including landscaping, gardening, design, water-saving strategies and other pertinent topics. He also highlights the most interesting plant and gardening questions of the hundreds he receives every month and talks about the latest pests and diseases that threaten our gardens and landscapes. Bring your own plant questions for discussion. Repeats first Wednesdays.

Thursday, 5/3, 9:30am-12noon.  What’s Happening in Gardening: The Madagascar Spiny Forest.  Matt Tufenkian will share with us his love of plants from Madagascar and lead us on a tour of the Madagascar Spiny Forest, which was completed in May 2007 – the brainchild of Tim Philips, the Arboretum’s Superintendent. (1.25 APLD CEU Credits), $25 per class (includes Arboretum admission), To Register, or for more information, please call the Education Department at 626.821.4623 or pay at the class.

Friday, 5/4, 6:30-9pm.  Arboretum Library Benefit and Book Sale.  Proceeds fund Arboretum Library programs.  We hope to encourage local plant and garden enthusiasts to create community with this wonderful opportunity for meeting other plant and garden group members.  For one night only, there will be revelry in the Arboretum Library stacks and music in the Arboretum twilight!  Highlights include:  Light refreshments & No Host bar featuring wine, beer, and literary spirits; Projections of Sunset magazine’s photographer William Aplin’s mid-century travel slides; Displays of mid-century modern gardening and landscape architecture books; Pamela Burgess will give tours of her exhibit the naturalist's desk: landscape + language; First chance to purchase at the used book sale of specialty books ready for their new owners. Advanced Tickets: General Public $20; Members of all plant, garden and landscape societies, all library organizations, and all botanic gardens and arboreta $15. At the Door: General Public $25; Members of all plant, garden and landscape societies, all library organizations, and all botanic gardens and arboreta $20. Call 626-821-4623 or go to

Saturday, 5/5, 10am-12noon, Tree Identification, Do you know the trees of Southern California? We have one of the most diverse urban forests in the USA. This class will teach you about different trees on each three Saturdays for a total of 60 trees. Each class will have a one-hour lecture that will cover 20 tree species followed by a walk in the Arboretum to see the trees that were covered during the lecture.   $25 Arboretum members / $35 non-members (Includes Arboretum Admission), To Register, or for more information, please call the Education Department at 626.821.4623 (or pay at the class).

Saturday, 5/19, 10am-12noon.  Crescent Farm: Meadow Planting & Care.  Join the many who've enjoyed our continuously flowering meadow!  Learn how easy it is to make such magic happen using native and compatible flowers from seed!  We'll make seed balls for everyone to enjoy and launch!

Saturday, 5/26, 10-11am.  Greywater 101: Grow Fruit at Home with Your Bath and Laundry Water.  Learn how you can save water and grow delicious sub-tropical fruits with greywater.  Greywater, water from sinks, showers, and washing machines, is a great source of irrigation and can greatly reduce your outdoor water use. Greywater systems are especially important in times of drought. Come learn about common and popular greywater systems, design considerations, water saving potential, fruit growing potential, costs, regulations, health and safety, soaps and products, and how to choose a system that is a good match for your home and landscape.

Through 6/23, Tuesday-Friday 8:30am-5:30pm, Saturday 8:30am-5pm, Sunday 12-4pm, Library.  Pamela Burgess art exhibition, "the naturalist's desk: language + landscape," explores the concept, beauty, and meaning of landscape, including drawings and poetry, sculpture and photography, selections from the Library's book collection, artwork based on specimens found in the Botanic Garden, and an oversized cabinet of curiosities. 

Mojave Desert Land Trust Center for Conservation Initiatives

60124 29 Palms Hwy
Joshua Tree, CA 92252

(None for May)

Morongo Basin Conservation Association

(None for May)

Natural History Museum of Los Angeles

900 Exposition Blvd
Los Angeles 90007

Second Saturdays through July; meet at the North Ticket Booth.  Saturday Strolls in the Nature Gardens.  Are you overwhelmed by the incredible variety of plants in local nurseries?  Not sure what to choose for your own garden?  Join Carol Bornstein, director of the NHMLA Nature Gardens, on monthly morning walks through the always-changing Nature Gardens.  We’ll talk about which plants are tough, which are fussy, how much to water, and what kind of plants will attract butterflies, birds, and other wildlife to your home garden.

Rancho Los Cerritos

4600 Virginia Road
Long Beach 90807

Every Saturday and Sunday, 1-5pm.  Free One-Hour Garden Tours.  The vibrant gardens that grace the property today include trees that date back to the mid-19th century, as well as lush landscaping designed in the early 1930s by notable landscape architect Ralph Cornell.  For details about all our tours, visit Repeats every weekend.

Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden

1500 North College Avenue
Claremont 91711

Saturday, 5/5, 10-11am. Grow Native Nursery Workshop:  Creating a Butterfly Garden. Learn how to attract native butterflies to your yard by planting and maintaining the plants they depend on! Add beauty to your landscape and help foster local habitat for these amazing creatures at the same time. To register, please go to .

San Diego Botanic Garden

230 Quail Gardens Drive
Encinitas CA 92024

Saturday, 5/26, 9am-3pm.  Palm, Cycad, Bamboo and Tropical Plant Sale.  This one-of-a-kind event features rare and exotic species of palms, cycads and other tropical plants provided by exceptional Southern California nurseries. This event is co-hosted by the Palm Society of Southern California and San Diego Botanic Garden. For more information go to

Santa Barbara County Horticultural Society

Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church
909 N La Cumbre Road
Santa Barbara 93110

Wednesday, 5/2, 7pm.  Progress on building the Ventura Botanical Gardens and Recovery from the Thomas Fire. Joe Cahill of Ventura Botanical Gardens will discuss.  Free plant exchange prior to meeting, refreshments, and after the speaker there is a plant raffle where tickets cost only 25 cents.  Repeats First Wednesdays.  Website also lists meetings of other local horticultural organizations, including SBC Rose Society, The Santa Barbara Little Gardens, Orchid Society of Santa Barbara. Santa Barbara/Ventura Chapter of the California Rare Fruit Growers, Santa Barbara Cactus & Succulent Society, and Arroyo Hondo Preserve.

South Coast Botanic Garden

26300 Crenshaw Blvd
Palos Verdes Peninsula 90274

Sunday, 5/6, 9am-4pm.  South Bay Epiphyllum Society Show and Sale.  There are not many flower shows as colorful as an epiphyllum show. Although short-lived, the flowers of the hybrid epiphytic cacti are spectacular. Knowledgeable society members will be on hand to answer your questions. Plants and cuttings will be available to purchase.

Saturday, 5/12, 10am-4pm.  South Coast Rose Society Show and Sale.  Rose and clematis enthusiasts are encouraged to enter their flowering blooms in our community show. Entries are accepted between 6:30 am and 10 am. The Rose Society will provide vases for all blooms. Please bring flower arrangements in personal containers. Stop by to chat with our consulting Rosarians and knowledgeable members. SCRS will also have roses, tools and our famous rose cocktail for sale.

Southern California Horticultural Society

Friendship Auditorium
3201 Riverside Drive
Los Angeles CA 90027

Thursday, 5/10, 7-9:30pm.  Tom Glavich will discuss South African and Mediterranean bulbs. 

Theodore Payne Foundation

10459 Tuxford Street
Sun Valley 91352

Thursday, 5/3, 8-10am.  First Thursday Bird Walk with Ken Gilliland.  Join a passionate local birder for an easy morning ramble on TPF grounds, where more than 50 different species of birds have been seen.  Bring your binoculars, hat and water.  Repeats first Thursdays through May.

Saturday, 5/5, 9am-12noon.  First Saturday Volunteer Day at TPF.  Join the Theodore Payne Foundation family of volunteers to clear, clean, plant, mulch, prune and perform other tasks to spruce up the grounds and show how beautiful native plant gardens can be. Bring hat, gloves, knee pads and other tools for personal use. TPF will provide shovels, trowels, rakes, loppers, hoes, pruners and refreshments. Repeats first Saturdays through June.

University of California Riverside Botanic Garden

900 University Avenue
Riverside 92521

(None for May)

University of California South Coast Research & Extension Center

7601 Irvine Blvd
Irvine 92618

Saturdays, 5/5, 5/12, 5/19, 9am-12noon.  Landscape Design Basics Series.  Tired of your landscape? Looking to make changes so that you can join the "in" crowd and use less water too? Learn from the experts, Kay Havens, Landscape Designer and UCCE Master Gardener; and Juan Garcia, Irvine Ranch Water District Water Efficiency Specialist. Attendees will learn the basic tools to create a water conserving landscape with or without the help of a contractor. Major focus of the workshop is centered on how irrigation, plant growth, and living space come together.  Series Fee $30.  Pre-registration required:

Saturday, 5/19, 9am-12noon.  Practical Composting for Small Spaces Workshop.  This workshop will review composting and vermiculture basics along with hands-on activities demonstrating practical applications to fit local landscapes in a working compost environment.  Participants will learn how to make and take home a worm bin ready to be placed in any garden. $50 (includes materials).  Pre-registration is required:

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