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

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 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.

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).