Gardening datebook: A symphony of begonias and symposium of succulents

Autumn Embers begonia
Autumn begonias on display.
(Ted Johnson)

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.

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).

Learn about invasive plants from L.A. Arboretum botanist Frank McDonough, who identifies Southern California’s most problematic invasive species and how to nip them in the bud, before they become fire-feeding water gulpers that crowd out natives and other beneficial plants in your garden. 10 a.m. to noon, pre-registration required, $35 ($25 members). 310 N. Baldwin Ave., Arcadia.


Aug. 31

36th Succulent Plants Symposium in the Ahmanson Room of the Brady Botanical Center at the Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens, 1151 Oxford Road in San Marino, includes international succulent experts discussing a wide range of topics, from rare West Indian cactuses to endangered species legislation. Admission is $85, pre-registration is required.

Fall plant sale at the Bembridge House and Gardens includes fairy gardens made by garden volunteers as well as drought-tolerant plants such as succulents, aloes and cactuses, and hardy perennials at 953 Park Circle in Long Beach. The sale is a fundraiser for the house and gardens. While at the sale, take time to stroll through the gardens. 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Free admission.

Sept. 5


Microminiature roses are the topic of m aster r osarian Kathy Monge’s talk at the September meeting of the Pacific Rose Society at the Los Angeles Arboretum, 601 N. Baldwin Ave., Arcadia. Monge was named o utstanding c onsulting r osarian for the Pacific Southwest District of the American Rose Society in 2018 and is a member of the Pacific Rose Society and past president of the Orange County Rose Society. The meeting begins with a potluck dinner at 7 p.m. and program at 8 p.m. Admission is free.

Sept. 8

The succulents of the high Drakensbergs, a mountain chain in the east central region of South Africa, are the topic of a talk by Tom Glavich, propagator of rare succulents and bulbs, during the September meeting of the South Coast Cactus and Succulent Society, 1-4 p.m. in Frances Young Hall at the South Coast Botanic Garden, 26300 Crenshaw Blvd., Rolling Hills Estates.

Sept. 10

Orange County Organic Gardening Club fall garden seedling exchange, part 1 will provide club members with the containers, soil and seeds to start a flat of vegetable seedlings in their home. On Oct. 8, members bring their seedlings back for the Bonanza Seedling Exchange and go home with a wide selection of vegetables and herbs for their fall garden. Open to all paid-up members. Annual dues are $30. Meet in the Silo Building at the Centennial Farm in the Orange County Fairgrounds in Costa Mesa. Enter through the main gate at 88 Fair Drive and look for the red silo.

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