Plant lovers: Bookmark this! It’s your event guide for having a super green summer

Colorful bromeliads of pinkish to yellowish tones sprawled across a lush green room.
Tillandsias, a.k.a. “air plants,” are some of the bromeliads that will be on display — and for sale — at the Plant-o-rama Plant Sale on July 17-18.
(Cristy Brenner)

Summertime, and the plant shows are flooooowing … with new events popping up weekly!

OK, so I’m a little giddy about the real-time plant events finally popping up around Southern California. But, wow, isn’t it great to be among other plant lovers this summer?

There’s even a class in styling your garden to become habitat for desert tortoises, and on July 31, you can get a two-fer activity to explore the historic Union Station while attending its “Plantopia” event, designed to “immerse guests in the art of indoor gardening.”

Send your real-time garden events to me,, and we may include them in our next calendar.


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July 2, 2021

Through Aug. 29
Roger’s Gardens presents Hummingbird Summer, an all-things-hummingbird display, fundraiser (and sales event, of course) with lots of information about how to create a garden that attracts hummingbirds and keeps them healthy. It’s from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily at 2301 San Joaquin Hills Road in Corona del Mar. The nursery’s website also features information and photos about hummers provided by the Sea & Sage Audubon Society Orange County Chapter. During the event, Roger’s Gardens encourages patrons to round up their purchases to the nearest dollar as a donation to Sea & Sage Audubon, and the nursery will match the donation. A sampling of the fun hummer facts: “Hummingbirds move their wings in figure eights to hover, as where other birds move their wings up and down. ... They can do it so fast (upwards of 200 beats per minute) and have such strong muscles (25% of their body weight is pectoral muscle) that they can hover for 30–40 seconds if they need to.” Admission is free.

Through Sept. 6
Summer Evening Strolls at the Huntington Library, Art Museum & Botanical Gardens, Fridays through Sundays through Labor Day, from 4:30 to 8 p.m. at 1151 Oxford Road, San Marino. Advance reservations required for members and the public; tickets are released every other Tuesday for the coming two weeks. The 1919 Cafe will be open until 7 p.m. and the store will stay open until 8 p.m. Tickets are $20 ($15 active military, students with ID, and seniors 65 and older, $5 for children 4-11, free for children under 4).

Through Sept. 12
Sherman Library & Gardens greenHOUSE is the gardens’ summer exhibit of “living” rooms with a botanical twist, such as the Bedroom, with its “flower bed,” and the Formal Dining Room, with garden tool cutlery and terra-cotta “plates.” The seven rooms are scattered throughout the gardens, which are open daily from 10:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. and until 7 p.m. on Thursdays and Fridays through Sept. 3. The exhibit is free with $5 admission to the gardens (Members and children 3 and under enter free).

Through Sept. 21
Nature of Sculpture II Exhibition at the Arboretum features dozens of sculptures that highlight the interaction of art and nature throughout the gardens, which are open daily from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. at 301 N. Baldwin Ave. in Arcadia. The exhibit is free with $15 admission ($11 seniors 62 and older and students with ID, $5 children ages 5-12, members and children under 5 enter free). Reservations required for nonmembers.

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June 10, 2021

July 10
Hot weather watering and plant protection is a workshop taught by Conor Fitzpatrick, owner of Fig Earth Supply nursery, 3577 N. Figueroa St. in Mount Washington. The class starts at 11 a.m. at the nursery and will include tips for keeping plants happy this summer. Advance registration required; tickets are $8.

July 16
Native Plant Maintenance Basics with native plant enthusiast Erik Blank from 8:30 to 9:30 a.m. at the Theodore Payne Foundation gardens, 10459 Tuxford St. in Sun Valley. Learn how to maintain native plants in the summer, when many go into dormancy. Participants should wear long pants and closed-toe shoes for walking on sometimes steep and uneven terrain; full water bottles and sun protection recommended. Masks are mandatory at the nursery. Register online. Tickets are $15 ($12 for members).


July 16, 23 and 30
Live Music in the Gardens at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. during three Fridays in July at Descanso Gardens, 1418 Descanso Drive in La Cañada Flintridge. The Paul Livingstone Ensemble performs July 16, Yuval Ron Music on July 23 and SAKURA Cellos on July 30. Free with $15 admission to the gardens ($11 seniors and students with ID and $5 children 5 to 12. Members and children under 5 enter free). Chairs, blankets, outside food and picnics are not permitted.

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May 30, 2024

July 17
Plumeria Day at the Arboretum includes a plant sale, talks by experts on topics such as pruning, winterizing and rooting plumeria cuttings, vendors selling a variety of plants and supplies, and walking tours through the gardens’ collection of more than 100 plumeria plants on Tallac Knoll. It’s from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at 301 N. Baldwin Ave. in Arcadia. Vendors include Jordan Plumeria’s, Jungle Jack’s Palms, Plumeria & More, Nani’s Hawaiian Crafts, Plumeria Palace of Orange County, Ricky’s Nursery, Sarah’s Plumeria and the Ventura County Plumeria Society. Tickets are limited. Admission is free with the advance purchase of $15 tickets to the gardens ($11 seniors 62 and older and students with ID, $5 ages 5-12; free for members and children younger than 5).

Gardening With California Desert Tortoises is an hourlong class starting at 10 a.m. at the Theodore Payne Foundation, 10459 Tuxford St. in Sun Valley. The class, taught by Katherine Pakradouni, a “lifelong desert tortoise caretaker” and native plant horticulturist, will be held outdoors with live tortoises and includes information about native and non-native forage sources, the importance of water and ways to mimic the tortoise’s natural conditions and seasonal rhythms. Register online. Tickets are $25 ($20 for members).

July 17-18
The annual Plant-o-rama Plant Sale at Sherman Library & Gardens features a wide range of exotic, rare or just plain weird specialty plants for admiration and purchase from the garden’s nursery and four plant organizations: Los Angeles International Fern Society, Saddleback Bromeliad Society, Southern California Hibiscus Society and the Newport Harbor Orchid Society from 10:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day at 2647 East Coast Highway in Corona del Mar. Admission to the sale is free with your $5 admission to the garden. Members and children 3 and under enter free.

Summer Music Strolls at Descanso Gardens offers live classical music in various parts of the garden between 5:30 and 7:30 p.m. at 1418 Descanso Drive in La Cañada Flintridge. Performers include the Sakura Cello Quintet, Paul Livingstone: Arohi Ensemble and the Yuval Ron Ensemble featuring Manuel Gutierrez. Reservations are required; tickets are $25 ($20 for members). Chairs, blankets, outside food and picnics are not permitted.

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June 15, 2021

July 18
Goats & Compost combines adorable goats with step-by-step instructions for how to compost properly at home, apply compost to plants and improve your soil’s health from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Laudamus Farm (a.k.a. Malibu Goats farm) in Malibu. The other hosts are Cecilie Stuart of Move the World and Full Circle Compost and artist Brittney Banks of Make Life Green. Participants are invited to bring food scraps, and they will get a chance to plant pots with seedlings to take home. The event also includes refreshments (mint lemonade, treats by Rob Rhinehart and other farm-to-table snacks from local vendors). Tickets are $45, but parents who bring their children enter free. Participants are encouraged to bring a water bottle, garden gloves and sun protection.


July 21
California Native Container Plants is a class offered by Flora Ito, sales manager of the Theodore Payne Foundation nursery, from 8:30 to 9:45 a.m. at the nursery, 10459 Tuxford St. in Sun Valley. The class offers tips on the best native plants for containers and for creating habitat for pollinators like butterflies and bees as well as a guided walk through the nursery. Masks are mandatory on the nursery grounds, and participants are encouraged to wear long pants and closed-toe shoes for walking on uneven surfaces. Full water bottles and sun protection are also recommended. Tickets are $25 ($20 for members). Register online.

July 22
Behind-the-scenes tour at the Theodore Payne Foundation nursery includes guided visits to the plant propagation and seed conservation facilities not usually open to the public from 7:30 to 9 a.m. at 10459 Tuxford St. in Sun Valley. Masks are mandatory on the nursery grounds and participants are asked towear long pants and closed-toe shoes for walking on steep, uneven and sometimes wet surfaces. Full water bottles and sun protection are also recommended. Register online. Tickets are $10 (free to members).

July 31
Union Station’s Plantopia, a plant and pottery marketplace, is calling all houseplant fetishists to come with their questions and wonder — and wallets — from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. or 12:30 to 3 p.m. to the historic ticket concourse inside the station (air conditioning!). Vendors include a who’s who of L.A.-based plant stores and more: the Plant Chica, Pretty in Green, the Haus Plant, Folia Collective, Latinx with Plants, the Juicy Leaf, Thorn & Raised, Exotic Greens, the Black Thumb and Rocknair as well as planters from Knotty Disco, the Sill, Stevie Dee’s Pottery, Mackenzie’s Macrame and Twigz floral. Expect a plant doctor Q&A with Cillie Barnes and a “Dig in the Dirt” station for potting plants. Danae Horst, founder of the Folia Collective, is doing a green decor demo between signing copies of her book, “House Plants for All: How to Fill Any Home with Happy Plants,” and a live DJ will spin tunes from electronic musician Mort Garson’s album, “Mother Earth’s Plantasia,” designed specifically for the pleasure of plants. Admission is free with advance registration.

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