Gardening events: Begonias, orchids and rare puya blooms, plus tours of water-wise yards

Gardening events: Begonias, orchids and rare puya blooms, plus tours of water-wise yards
The wild and crazy puya plant is a type of bromeliad that grows natively high in the Andes Mountains of South America and blooms very rarely, about every 20 years. Lucky us, it's blooming now at Rancho Los Alamitos in Long Beach, probably through the end of June. (Donna Skinner; Ambyr Hardy)

If you have a plant-related class, garden tour or other event you’d like us to mention, email me at — with at least three weeks’ notice, please! — and we may include it later. Include a high-resolution horizontal photo, if possible, and tell us who to credit and what we’re seeing.

Happening NOW

The exotic puya plant is blooming for the first time in more than 20 years at Rancho Los Alamitos Historic Ranch and Gardens in Long Beach. The puya plant, a member of the bromeliad family, is expected to continue blooming until the end of June. Admission and parking are free at Rancho Los Alamitos, open 1 to 5 p.m. Wednesdays through Sundays, at 6400 East Bixby Hill Road in Long Beach.

June 22

Fig Earth Supply’s 2nd Midsummer Night Market features 20 artisans, a full bar, wood-fired pizza and live music, plus garden plants and gardening goodies. Admission is free, children and pets welcome. 5 to 11 p.m at 3577 N Figueroa St. in L.A.’s Mount Washington neighborhood.

The third water-wise garden tour in historic Windsor Square, sponsored by the Greater Wilshire Neighborhood Council’s Sustainability Committee, is a free, self-guided tour of beautiful gardens that use little water. The tour includes the yard of a 1922 home where the lawn was replaced with California native plants, an edible garden and fruit trees watered with gray water. 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Pick up tour maps and garden descriptions at the Memorial Branch Public Library Park, 4625 W. Olympic Blvd., in the Mid-Wilshire neighborhood of Central Los Angeles.

The Orchid Society of Southern California’s Annual Orchid Auction promises a range of orchids, many in full bloom. Doors open at noon for registration and plant inspection. The bidding begins at 1 p.m. and should last until 4 p.m. Admission is free, at the First Christian Church, 221 S. 6th St. in Burbank.

June 27

The Friends of Griffith Park present “Stewarding Griffith Park: Seed Conservation in a Biodiversity Hotspot” at the Summer Science Series of the California Native Plant Society. Speaker Genevieve Arnold, program manager of the Theodore Payne Foundation Seed Program, will outline the environmental importance of seed banking while highlighting efforts to preserve the botanical treasures of the local ecosystem. 6:30-8 p.m. at the Los Feliz Branch of the Los Angeles Public Library, 1874 Hillhurst Ave. RSVP required.

June 28-30

The Cactus and Succulent Society of America 54th Show and Sale at the Huntington Library, Art Collection and Botanical Gardens will feature hundreds of award-winning plants and rare specimens from around the world, including Mexico, Chile, Argentina, Botswana, Madagascar and the Middle East, as well as juried competitions in photography, painting, crafts and dish gardens. Plants and related items will be available for purchase. Free admission to CSSA and Cactus and Succulent Society members wearing their club’s name tag and a special sticker issued by your society’s CSSA representative. 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at 1151 Oxford Road, San Marino.

June 29

Free docent-led garden tour at the Dominguez Rancho Adobe Museum, with rose garden curator Michael Horibe. The tour explores the museum’s 17-acre grounds, including its rose and cactus gardens, orchard and hidden grottos, along with an overview of the historic rancho San Pedro and Dominguez Adobe. 12 to 1 p.m. at 18127 South Alameda Street in Rancho Dominguez.

July 14

Fig Earth Supply’s workshop “What is CBD?” addresses a wide range of questions about cannabidiol, the nonintoxicating form of cannabis reputed to be helpful in alleviating pain, anxiety, insomnia and symptoms from such medical conditions as epilepsy, seizures and multiple sclerosis. The class includes information about how to grow cannabis for personal use and what varieties to grow for CBD. Advance registration is $55, or $60 at the door. 3 to 5 p.m. at Fig Earth Supply, 3577 N. Figueroa St. in Mount Washington.

“Tour Botanical Gardens of Australia” during the South Coast Cactus & Succulent Society’s meeting. Presenter Attila Kapitany presents images of the strange and wonderful plants from Australia’s Botanic Gardens and other gardens down under at 1 p.m., at the South Coast Botanic Garden, 26300 Crenshaw Blvd., Rolling Hills Estates.

Aug. 24

Palos Verdes Begonia Society’s 28th Begonia Show and Sale includes unusual begonias on display and for sale, as well as specialty vendors from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the South Coast Botanic Garden, 26300 S. Crenshaw Blvd., Rolling Hills Estates. Free parking and admission to the show after $9 entry to the garden ($6 seniors and students).