Garden Calendar: How to take a free hügelkultur workshop

Vanda Pachong Blue orchid
The Vanda Pachong Blue orchid is one example of the many vibrant blooms on display at the Newport Harbor Orchid Society Orchid Expo & Sale Feb. 7-9.
(Ha Bui)

If you have a plant-related class, garden tour or other event you’d like us to mention, email — at least three weeks in advance — and we may include it. Send a high-resolution horizontal photo, if possible, and tell us what we’re seeing and whom to credit. Here’s what’s happening now:

Through March 29
“Incredible Journey: Bugs” is a new daily exhibit at the South Coast Botanic Garden designed to educate visitors about the butterflies, spiders, ants and bees that can be found in our SoCal gardens and to encourage exploration of the new areas in the 87-acre garden at 26300 Crenshaw Blvd. in Rolling Hills Estates. Free with $9 admission to the garden ($6 seniors and students, $4 children ages 5-12). Members and children under 5 enter free.

Celery is today’s star vegetable. Here’s how to grow your own at home for taller stalks and more robust taste.

Jan. 24 & Jan. 26
Hands-on, free hügelkultur workshops at the Sheldon Reservoir. Learn how to create water-saving berms — called hügel berms — while helping Pasadena Water and Power transform the landscape of the Sheldon Reservoir at 1800 N. Arroyo Blvd. in Pasadena. 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. both days. Water, coffee and lunch will be provided. Wear comfortable clothing and closed-toe shoes that can get dirty, and bring sunscreen, a hat and a reusable water and coffee bottle. Advance registration requested.

Jan. 25
Learn about the trees of Southern California during the first of three tours of the L.A. County Arboretum, which boasts one of the most diverse urban forests in the United States. The hourlong lectures, also scheduled on Feb. 22 and March 21, will cover 20 tree species, followed by a walk in the arboretum to see the trees up close. $30 per class (includes arboretum admission), or $20 for arboretum members, 10 a.m. to noon at the arboretum, 301 N. Baldwin Ave. in Arcadia.


Artist Jessica Rath imagines human-sized bumblebee nests at Rath’s “fruiting bodies” exhibit at Descanso Gardens.

Jan. 25-26
Rose-pruning workshops at Dominguez Rancho Adobe Museum’s rose garden, 18127 S. Alameda St. in Rancho Dominguez. Learn the basics of winter rose care while helping the museum prune its historic roses. Bring your own bypass pruning shears and leather gloves. Light refreshments, snacks and a light lunch will be provided. The workshops are free but require reservations; call educational coordinator Mercedes Hernandez at (310) 603-0088 or email

Southern California Camellia Show includes hundreds of blooms representing all the varieties you see around Southern California this time of year, at the L.A. Arboretum, 301 N. Baldwin Ave., Arcadia, 1 to 4:30 p.m. on Jan. 25 and 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Jan 26. Free with $9 admission to the arboretum ($6 for seniors 62 and older/students with ID, $4 children 5-12, free admission to arboretum members and children under 5).

Jan. 27
The South Coast Orchid Society hosts Brandon Tam, curator of the orchid collection at the Huntington Library, Art Museum & Botanic Gardens, discussing how orchids went from being an expensive hobby to plants available at every grocery store; 7 to 9 p.m. at the Whaley Park Community Center, 5620 E. Atherton St., in Long Beach.

Jan. 30-April 9
Docent training classes for San Diego Botanic Garden begin on Jan. 30 and continue weekly through April 9 from 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the garden’s Larabee House, 230 Quail Gardens Drive in Encinitas. Docents must complete several prerequisites, such as serving at least 10 volunteer hours, be a member of the garden and pay $60 for the nine classes, to enroll in the docent training.

Feb. 1
Fruit-tree grafting demonstrations and scion exchange sponsored by the California Rare Fruit Growers, Foothill chapter. Have a fruit tree with limited and/or tasteless fruit? Learn how to graft more interesting varieties onto your tree and then join in the exchange of fruit-tree cuttings, 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. in the Palm Room at the L.A. County Arboretum, 301 N. Baldwin Ave. in Arcadia. Free with $9 admission to the arboretum ($6 seniors and students). Do not bring fruit or cuttings (scions) from any citrus or citrus relatives such as finger limes, Buddha’s hand, curry leaf or sapote to avoid transmission of huanglongbing (citrus greening disease) spread by the Asian citrus psyllid. Also, be sure the cuttings you share are from dormant wood, not newly sprouted, and not from varieties still under patent protection (with tags that say “propagation prohibited” or PPAF).

Feb. 5
The Malibu Garden Club features Ikebana, the Japanese art of flower arranging, with Camille Van Ast, who holds a first teacher’s degree from the Sogetsu School of Ikebana in Tokyo, at 9:30 a.m. at the Point Dume Club House, 29500 Heathercliff Drive in Malibu.

Feb. 7-9
Newport Harbor Orchid Society Orchid Expo & Sale 2020 at the Westminster Mall, 1025 Westminster Mall in Westminster, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Feb. 7, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Feb. 8 and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Feb. 9, features displays of orchids and cultivation supplies from more than a dozen nurseries and professional growers. Repotting classes every day at 2 p.m., limited to the first 20 registrants.

Feb. 9
The South Coast Cactus & Succulent Society’s monthly meeting features South African horticulturist Sean Dean Gildenhuys discussing the succulent genus Haworthiopsis and other plants, 1 p.m. at the South Coast Botanic Garden, 26300 Crenshaw Blvd., Rolling Hills Estates.

Feb. 11
“The Significance of Seeds” is the topic of West Valley Garden Club’s monthly meeting, by David King, founder and first chair of the Seed Library of Los Angeles. Meeting begins at 9:30 a.m. with Jennifer Lee-Thorpe discussing members’ floral designs, followed by a business meeting at 10 a.m. and the main program at 11 a.m. at the Orcutt Ranch Horticulture Center, 23600 Roscoe Blvd., in West Hills.

Feb. 12
“Garden Mushrooms, a Year-Round Spectacle!” is the topic of the Claremont Garden Club’s monthly meeting at the Napier Building, 660 Avery Road in Claremont. Refreshments at 6:30 p.m., talk begins at 7 p.m. Speaker Steven Pencall describes the mushrooms that grow during each season.

Feb. 15
The 8th 5K Paw Walk in the San Diego Botanic Garden is a fundraiser for the 37-acre garden and the Rancho Coastal Humane Society. The walk is open to all (leashed) dogs and humans, with or without canine companions. Limit two dogs per person, and humans must clean up after their dogs (poo bags are provided). Register online at or the day of the event starting at 7:30 a.m. $32 adults, $21 youth under 18, garden members and humane society volunteers. The walk starts at 9 a.m. at 300 Quail Gardens Drive in Encinitas.

Feb. 16
Family Bird Festival at Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Gardens offers hands-on activities, stories and educational opportunities for bird enthusiasts and beginners who want to know more about bird watching, bird species and rescue, raptors and condors, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Speakers include representatives from Pomona Valley Audubon, International Bird Rescue, Wild Wings of California, Wild Bird Unlimited and California Condors Wild and Free. Free with $10 admission to the garden ($6 student with ID and seniors 65+, $4 for children 3-12. Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden is the largest botanic garden dedicated to California native plants, 1500 College Place, Claremont.