The SoCal Garden Calendar: Lots of virtual plant events and one up-close in person

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The Garden Calendar is back, with lots of virtual meetings and one real-live-in-person event. Please send your events to jeanette.marantos@latimes at least three weeks in advance, and we’ll try to include it. Stay safe and keep growing!

Oct. 29
The Theodore Payne Foundation’s Poppy Hour Wildfire Awareness talk by Jon Keeley, a fire ecologist with the U.S. Geological Survey, and Henry Herrera, a forester with the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CAL FIRE) will focus on local fire ecology and ways to create wildfire-resilient communities using native plants. The free talk, sponsored by the Theodore Payne Foundation for Wild Flowers & Native Plants, is from 5:30 to 7 p.m. and available on Zoom, but you must preregister.

Oct. 31
New Plants and Recent Introductions for the Changing California Garden, a Zoom class presented by Tree Town USA plantsman and spokesman Nicholas Staddon, is at 10 a.m. Staddon will discuss a large selection of regionally appropriate plants for in-ground and container plantings. Free, but open only to members of the L.A. Arboretum as part of its autumn lecture series. Annual memberships are $55 for two seniors, ages 62+, $60 for individuals and $85 for families (two adults plus children/grandchildren under 18). Membership includes free entry to the arboretum.

Fire-wise Landscaping around Rancho Cucamonga is a free Zoom class sponsored by the Theodore Payne Foundation for Wild Flowers & Native Plants, from 11 a.m. to noon. Learn about fire history in the Rancho Cucamonga area, and how garden design and maintenance can protect homes in high-risk fire areas. Pre-registration is required.


Dominguez Rancho Adobe Museum presents “Science at the Museum: Wild California,” a free series of webinars every Saturday through Dec. 12 from 11 a.m. to noon by Lauren Chroman, a field biologist specializing in animal behavior and native California botany. Chroman teaches a variety of classes at Santa Ana College and the California Naturalist Program through the UC Agricultural and Natural Resources department and specializes in conservation biology, mammalogy, ornithology and ecology. Pre-registration is required.

Oct. 31-Nov. 1
Orange County Chrysanthemum Society’s Mum Show & Sale at Sherman Library & Gardens, free with $5 admission to the gardens. Children 3 and younger and members enter free at 2647 East Coast Highway in Corona del Mar. Be sure to visit the ofreda (home altar) set up near the patio in celebration of Día de Muertos (the Day of the Dead.)

The final phase of the Huntington’s famed Chinese Garden is scheduled to open Oct. 9, with an additional 11.5 acres, or 15 acres total with new pavilions, landscaping and — someday — even restaurants.

Oct. 8, 2020

Nov. 5-7
“The Sowers” Holiday Gift Faire at Sherman Library & Gardens features seasonal plants and unique handmade items made by the Sowers, a group of talented volunteers (and garden boosters). Proceeds from the sale support garden projects and special events. Members get a 15% discount and a special members-only shopping time from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Nov. 5. Shopping times for non-members is 1 to 4 p.m. Nov. 5 and 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Nov. 6-7. Membership fees are 15% off for people who buy their membership at the gift fair at 2647 East Coast Highway in Corona del Mar. Admission $5 for non-members, who must also make advance reservations. Face masks required.

Nov. 10
The Orange County Organic Gardening Club is meeting virtually on Zoom at 7:30 p.m. to hear Master Gardeners and KUCI Garden Radio host Mark Oertel’s suggestions for planning and planting a year-round garden in Southern California. RSVP at to be included in this free meeting.

Nov. 16-20
The Los Angeles Biodiversity Symposium is a five-day event (two hours each afternoon) co-sponsored by the City of Los Angeles Sanitation and the Assn. of Professional Landscape Designers in Greater L.A. to discuss ways to protect Los Angeles’ biodiversity. Topics include the Los Angeles Biodiversity Index on Nov. 16, urban wildlife Nov. 17, wildlife and plant community Nov. 18, urban resilience Nov. 19, and Regeneration on Nov. 20. Tickets are $20 a day ($10 students/educators) or $60 for the whole series ($30 student/educators).