Garden Calendar: What you can go, see and do in Southern California

Colorful ceramic sculptures by artist Dustin Gimbel tower over herb plants at Sherman Gardens' "Sculptura Botanica" exhibit.
These giant ceramic equisethum, also known as puzzlegrass, are part of the “Sculptura Botanica” exhibit by landscape and ceramic designer Dustin Gimbel at Sherman Library & Gardens in Corona del Mar.
( Jeremy Jacobson)

At long last, we can finally start venturing out for some real-time plant-related events in Southern California. What a lovely time to stretch our legs and take advantage of some beautiful late-spring blooms.

Just remember to grab your mask before you go, and always do a last-minute check of the event’s website before you walk out the door, since these are still uncertain times for reopening institutions, and things can change.

Many of us grieving about the state of the world — illness, injustice, inequities — are turning to our victory gardens, or the potted tomatoes and basil on our balconies or patios, for the tiny moments of respite they provide.

Now through Aug. 31
“Forest Sounds: ‘The Sky Beneath our Feet’” immersive sound installation at Descanso Gardens, 1418 Descanso Dr. in La Cañada Flintridge. This choral and instrumental composition by Pete M. Wyer was inspired by the gardens’ coast live oaks and is broadcast over 72 speakers throughout the Camelia Forest. The hour-long composition starts at 10 a.m., 12 p.m., 2 p.m., 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. every day at the gardens, which are now open daily from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Members enter free, without advance reservations but non-members must purchase their tickets online, with advance reservations. Admission is $15 ($11 for seniors 65 and older/students with ID, $4 children 5 to 12. Children under 5 are free).


Now through Sept. 15
Sculptura Botanica sculpture exhibit at the newly reopened Sherman Library & Gardens, 2647 East Coast Highway in Corona del Mar. Long Beach artist Dustin Gimbel has created 176 ceramic sculptures that mimic plant forms in exaggerated sizes and/or colors, such as giant eucalyptus pods or lily anthers. Many of the sculptures are for sale. The exhibit is free with admission to the gardens, which are open daily 10:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., but online reservations and face coverings are required. Admission $5 (free to members and children under 4). The library remains closed but the Cafe Jardin dining room has reopened for in-garden dining and food-to-go.

Most of Southern California’s botanic gardens closed in March but are now slowly reopening, with new rules about wearing face coverings, buying tickets online and bringing your own water.

June 26
Artist Dustin Gimbel, creator of the Sculptura Botanica ceramic sculpture exhibit at Sherman Library & Gardens, discusses landscape design and ceramics during the garden’s newly resumed Lunch & Lecture series. Lunch at 11:30 a.m., talk at noon. Admission of $40, ($30 members) includes lunch at the garden’s Cafe Jardin, 2647 East Coast Hwy., Corona del Mar. Lecture only $5, free to members. Advanced reservations recommended since space is very limited due to social distancing requirements.

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.