Botanic garden light shows and some serious classes for improving your garden soil.


Nov. 2
Fig Earth Supply explains how to grow a vegetable from seed, including instructions in how to decipher a seed packet. Attendees get a free seed tray. Admission is free at 3577 N. Figueroa Ave., Mount Washington. 11 a.m. to noon.

Nov. 4
“How Restoring Habitat With Native Plants Helps Wildlife” features entomologist and author Bob Allen discussing how native plants can help support and restore native insects. The talk takes place during the monthly meeting of the South Coast California Native Plant Society at 7:30 p.m. in South Coast Botanic Garden, 26300 Crenshaw Blvd., Rolling Hills Estates. Admission is free.

Nov. 5
The Pacific Rose Society welcomes longtime rose hybridizer Tom Carruth, who introduced at least 125 roses through his breeding work at Weeks Roses, including 11 All-American Rose Society winners such as Julia Child and Scentimental, and is now the E.L. and Ruth B. Shannon Curator of the Rose Collection at the Huntington Library, Art Museum and Botanical Gardens. In the Lecture Room of the L.A. Arboretum, 301 N. Baldwin Ave., Arcadia. Enter via the main gate. Potluck dinner at 7 p.m., program begins at 8 p.m. Free.


Nov. 8
Sherman Library & Gardens Lunch & Lecture series presents “The Art of Gardening at Chanticleer,” a public “pleasure garden” in what was once the suburban Philadelphia home of the Rosengarten family. Bill Thomas, Chanticleer executive director and head gardener, will discuss the plant choices, unusual containers and imaginative furniture at what the Washington Post called “one of the most interesting and edgy public gardens in America,” 11:30 a.m. at 2647 E. Coast Highway, Corona del Mar. $25 for members, $35 nonmembers. Lecture only: Members free, nonmembers pay $5.

Nov. 9-10
National Chrysanthemum Society’s 2019 Chrysanthemum Show and Sale features more than 100 exhibition-style chrysanthemums in a range of classes, including pompom, anemone brush and thistle, spoon, bonsai and Fukusuke, at the Huntington Library, Art Museum, and Botanical Gardens, 1151 Oxford Road in San Marino, 1 to 5 p.m. Nov. 9 and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Nov. 10. General admission is $29, $24 seniors and students and military with ID.

Nov. 10
“Dudleya: Succulent Diversity in Our Own Backyard” is the topic of November’s meeting of the South Coast Cactus & Succulent Society. Speakers John Martinez and Nils Schirrmacher will share their photos of the 11 species and six subspecies in the Santa Monica and San Bernardino mountains. 1 p.m. at the South Coast Botanic Garden, 26300 Crenshaw Blvd., Rolling Hills Estates.

Nov. 12
What’s eating your garden plants? The Orange County Organic Gardening Club is offering answers from Laura Krueger Prelesnik, a vector ecologist and board-certified entomologist with the Orange County Mosquito and Vector Control District, at its November meeting at the Orange County Fairgrounds, 88 Fair Drive, Costa Mesa. Krueger Prelesnik will discuss her efforts to control mosquitoes, rats, fire ants, flies and other garden pests, and identify mystery pests in your garden. Bring a sealed jar with an insect and/or leaves that have been damaged for identification. (Bugs can eat through plastic bags.) 7 p.m. Free.

“Butterflies, Birds and Bees, Botanical Bedfellows” is the topic of the West Valley Garden Club’s monthly meeting at Orcutt Ranch Horticulture Center Park, 23600 Roscoe Blvd., West Hills. Speaker Sandy Massau, conservationist, author and editor, begins her talk at 11 a.m. At 9:30 a.m., Jennifer Lee-Thorp will focus her floral design workshop on preparing for the holidays.

Amargosa Consevancy Director Bill Neill discusses the geology of the Amargosa Desert, southeast of Death Valley, and its transition from a mining economy to eco-tourism during this month’s meeting of the Los Angeles/Santa Monica Mountains Chapter of the California Native Plant Society, 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. at the Sepulveda Garden Center, 16633 Magnolia Blvd., in Encino. Admission is free.


Nov. 13
“The New American Garden” is this month’s topic at the monthly meeting of the Claremont Garden Club at the Napier Building, 660 Avery Road in the Pilgrim Place neighborhood of Claremont. Agriculture scientist Nicholas Staddon, director of new plant introductions at Monrovia Growers, will talk about the Chelsea Flower Show, gardening trends in the U.S. and abroad, climate-related changes in gardening and regionally appropriate plants. Refreshments at 6:30 p.m.; program 7-8:30 p.m. Free.

Nov. 14
“Spines, Thorns, Prickles and Beyond”: Sean Lahmeyer, plant conservation specialist at the Huntington Library, Art Museum, and Botanical Gardens, discusses the “spinescence” of the gardens and the many external defenses that plants in the gardens use to protect themselves. A plant sale will follow. 2:30 to 3:30 pm. in the Ahmanson Classroom in the Brody Botanical Center, 1151 Oxford Road in San Marino. Admission is free.

Nov. 15-16
“Sheet Mulching for Healthy Soil” is the topic of two free workshops offered by the Pasadena Department of Water and Power about sheet/lasagna mulching techniques to suppress weeds, reduce irrigation and improve your garden soil, at the Sheldon Reservoir, 1800 N. Arroyo Blvd., in Pasadena. 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. both days. Register for one workshop taught by Leigh Adams and Shawn Maestretti.

Nov. 17-Jan. 5
Descanso Gardens’ Enchanted Forest of Light is a gentle one-mile walk through the gardens highlighting some of the most popular locations with large-scale light displays. New this year is a “magical ‘stained-glass’” creation at Mulberry Pond by contemporary sculptor Tom Fruin. This year’s exhibit also features updated versions of the popular “Celestial Shadows” display of spinning polyhedrons, the “Lightwave Lake” light show and Jen Lewin’s flowing interactive landscape of meandering pathways called “Aqueous.” Students from California School of the Arts will perform Dec. 6-7 and 13-14. Member-only nights Dec. 20-23 and 26-28. General admission tickets start at $30, members pay $5 less. Children 2 and younger, free. Tickets must be purchased in advance.

Nov. 23-24
Landfill to Landscape in Altadena: Hands-on Hugelkultur/Bioswale Workshops These two-day rain garden and bioswale workshops by Shawn Maestretti Garden Architecture are $20 a day, with a $10 refund on Day 2 if participants attend both days. Hugelkultur is a technique for creating raised garden beds using logs, branches and other clippings covered with soil. Rain gardens and bioswales are techniques for collecting, filtering and storing excess water. Specific location to be announced Nov. 20. 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. each day.

Dec. 5-8, 12-15, 19-22
The sixth Nights of 1000 Lights at Sherman Library & Gardens celebrates the holidays with a 12-night garden light show Thursdays through Sundays. The event, which includes music, has been expanded this year. Ticketed guests get free photos with Santa, a chance to make a traditional Scandinavian Julehjerter (heart-shaped Christmas decoration), complimentary coffee, hot chocolate and s’mores around a bonfire, along with beer, wine and other food on sale. Tickets on sale now; $15 members, $25 nonmembers, children 3 and under free. 6 to 9 p.m.