Garden Calendar: It’s time for moonlight gardens and showy orchids

The orchid family boasts roughly 28,000 species of stupifyingly showy blooms, such as this Paphiopedilum orchid. You can see many species Feb. 7-9 at the Newport Harbor Orchid Society Orchid Expo and Sale.
(Carlos Chavez / Los Angeles Times)

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 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.

Feb. 1
At Home With Houseplants, a two-hour workshop by Danae Horst of the Folia Collective, discusses how to choose the right plants for your indoor space and the best ways to keep them healthy. It starts at 10 a.m. at the Los Angeles County Arboretum, 301 N. Baldwin Ave. in Arcadia. Pre-registration required, register online; $45, or $35 for members.

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 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 and 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. Re-potting classes every day at 2 p.m., limited to the first 20 registrants.

Feb. 8-9
48th Camellia Show and Sale at the Huntington Library, Art Museum and Botanical Gardens features hundreds of blooms competing for top honors at the show co-sponsored by the Southern California Camellia Society in the Huntington’s Brody Botanical Center, 1151 Oxford Road in San Marino, 1 to 5 p.m. on Feb. 8, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Feb. 9. The show includes camellia sales and tips from experts. Free with general admission to the Huntington, starting at $29 (members enter free).

Feb. 9
The South Coast Cactus and 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.

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

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 mushrooms that grow during each season.

Feb. 13
Designing a Desert Moonlight Garden: a talk by horticulturist Jason Wiley of the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum, who explains how to create a “moonlight garden” with drought-tolerant, night-blooming plants that engage all five senses. 2:30 p.m. with a plant sale following the talk. Free admission, in the Ahmanson Classroom of the Brody Botanical Center at the Huntington Library, Art Museum and Botanical Gardens, 1151 Oxford Road in San Marino.

Feb. 13-March 19
Acorns & Oaks, the L.A. Arboretum’s first Parent & Me program designed to provide outdoor nature-based learning for babies, toddlers and children up to the age of 5. Instructor Betsy Edelberg, founder of Playgroup Los Angeles, encourages parent-child bonding through tactile play with nature, crafts, songs and stories. Every Thursday, 9 to 10 a.m. at the Arboretum, 301 N. Baldwin Ave. in Arcadia. $150 for up to one child and two adults, max. Additional siblings $50. Member fees $10 plus $45 for additional siblings.

Feb. 14
Sherman Library and Gardens’ lunch talk features Cornell University professor Donald A. Rakow, co-author of “Nature Rx — Improving College Student Mental Health,” discussing ways to overcome college students’ “overwhelming anxiety” at 2647 E. Coast Highway in Corona del Mar. Lunch is served at 11:30 a.m., the talk begins at 12:15 p.m. Reservations required for lunch; $30 for members, $40 non-members. Lecture only is free for members, $5 for non-members.

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 (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.

Feb. 22-23
Bonsai-a-Thon at the Huntington Library, Art Museum and Botanical Gardens,10 a.m.–5 p.m. each day. Southern California bonsai masters share their passion during this annual event that includes exhibits, demonstrations, prize drawings, a “bonsai bazaar,” and a live auction at 3 p.m. each day. Proceeds support the Golden State Bonsai Collection at the Huntington. Free with general admission, 1151 Oxford Road in San Marino, starting at $29 (members enter free). A special bonsai workshop for adults from 9 a.m. to noon on Feb. 22 gives each participant a small tree to grow at home. $55, $45 for members. A similar workshop for children ages 7 and up is also scheduled from 9 to 11:30 a.m. on Feb. 22. The fee of $45 ($35 for members) includes one child and one accompanying adult.