11 December, 2007

Winter Solstice Celebration!

Stop by The Learning Garden on the way to (or instead of) another holiday party... You can join your favorite tree huggers (that’s us!) for short and sweet celebration of the Winter Solstice (our 4th annual!)

Saturday December 22, 6:30-8:30PM or any portion thereof

We’ll share the fire, hot chocolate, (and some of your cookies if you care to bring any), tall tales, resolutions and song.

The only gift we seek this darkest night of the year, is the company of good friends.

See you at The Learning Garden
on the Venice High School Campus
13000 Venice


Culver City Garden Club: 2008 Schedule

(This was a handout I was to give to all students on this last Saturday, oops...)

NOTE: The ‘Garden Room’ is located in the Culver City Veterans Memorial Hall at 4117 Overland Avenue (the intersection of Overland and Culver Blvd.) Culver City. If you do nothing else with this information, do make it out to their annual club show and sale, I can’t say enough about it – it has a real ‘mid-American’ feel and is a virtually unknown treasure right here in the middle of West Los Angeles!

January 8 – 7:30 PM Meeting: Garden Room with Connie Vadheim Roth, “Beautiful in Blue/Pretty in Pink: A Wildflower Garden”

February 5 – 7:30 PM Meeting: Garden Room with Al Palacio, “Begonias”

March 4 – 7:30 PM Meeting: Garden Room, speaker TBA

April 1 – 7:30 PM Potluck: Garden Room

May 6 – 7:30 PM Meeting: Garden Room, Show Preparation

June 3 – 7:30 PM Meeting: Garden Room

June 27 – Show Set Up Culver City Auditorium, 3- 8 PM

June 28 & 29 – 54th Annual Club Show and plant Sale, Saturday and Sunday, 12 to 4 PM

July 1 – 7:30 PM Meeting: Garden Room

August 5 – 7:30 PM Potluck: Garden Room

September 2 – 7:30 PM Meeting: Garden Room

October 7 – 7:30 PM Meeting: Garden Room

November 4 – 7:30 PM Meeting: Garden Room

Dec 2 – 7:30 PM End of the Year Potluck: Garden Room

The Culver City Garden Club was founded in 1953 as a general-interest organization with an objective of sharing, acknowledging and appreciating the growing of flowers, trees and fruits & vegetables. It is a state recognized non-profit organization and is co-sponsored by Culver City and is a member of California Garden Clubs, Inc. The club usually meets the first Tuesday of the month at 7:30 PM in the Garden Room of the Veterans Memorial Complex. The annual Garden Show & Sale held annually in the summer is one of the gems of the Southern California horticultural calendar. The club has also sponsored the planting of trees around the Auditorium and in Veterans Park. Yearly membership dues are $12 for one and $18 for two. Everyone in the area is welcome to our meetings and to join the club.

03 December, 2007

Pest Control Bibliography

Abiotic Disorders of Landscape Plants, A Diagnostic Guide, Costello, Laurence et al, ©2003 UC Agriculture and Natural Resources Publishing, Most of the problems one faces in the garden are not from pests – unless you count the two legged kind. More often than not, the problem is something to do with too much or too little water or other natural resource. These are ‘abiotic disorders’ and most of the time, this is the book you will need to diagnose the problem.

Common-Sense Pest Control
, Olkowski, William, et al © 1991, Taunton Press This is a well written comprehensive text dealing with pest control. No color pictures, but lots of black and white ones and charts. This one is better for learning how to strategize against pests and so is better for more advanced reading into the art and science of pest control – if this is the kind of subject that cranks your tractor. Taunton Press is the place of origin for Fine Gardening Magazine among others.

Find-It-Fast Answers for Your Vegetable Garden
, Bradley, Fern Marshall, ©2007, Rodale Inc. Arranged encyclopedic style, this book has entries on crops as well as pests, and one might find information either way. I am just becoming familiar with it’s many helpful suggestions (it boasts “1,241 ways to outsmart insects, diseases and weeds…” so it’s likely to take a few more days to cover the whole enchilada), and it’s useful to have this up to date volume on hand. The down and dirty pest illustrations towards the back of the book may well be worth the price of admission alone.

Good Bugs for Your Garden
, Starcher, Allison ©1995, Algonquin Books Written by a Los Angeles local, this book is a treasure for us here – with carefully executed drawings for which she has won numerous awards, Starcher magnificently draws each stage of beneficial insects to help you recognize what that strange critter in front of you really IS.

Pests of Landscape Trees and Shrubs, Dreistadt, Steve et al ©2004, UC Agriculture and Natural Resources Publishing, Like the one below, this is a University of California book and represents one of the three ‘essential’ plant pest books listed here (the others are Abiotic Disorders and the next one on the list, Pests of the Garden and Small Farm). With these three books as references, if you can’t figure out your plant problems, you have something radically new and different, or you haven’t looked hard enough.

Pests of the Garden and Small Farm, A Growers Guide to Using Less Pesticide, Flint,. Mary Louise, ©1998, UC Agriculture and Natural Resources Publishing This is the second edition and it’s even better than the first. Subtitled, “A Grower’s Guide to Using Less Pesticide,” it, and its sister volume, Pests of Landscape Trees and Shrubs, are loaded with color photographs of all the pest (including insects, rodents, diseases, fungi and all the things that make gardeners grow gray hair) and the effects of the pests on our plants. A very valuable resource! This one is targeted at growers of food plants.

Sunset Western Garden Guide 8th Edition, Brenzel, Kathleen Norris, Editor, ©2007, Sunset Publishing This is the book that will help you grow healthy plants on the West Coast and if you have healthy plants, you’ll need to use the other books a lot less. Not a lot of data on pests and their management, but some color photos. (p. 704)

Trowel and Error, Lovejoy, Sharon, ©2003, Workman Publishing With lists from “Clever Uses for Ordinary Household Items” to “Tricks, Traps and Beneficial Helpers” this is one of the most clever compendiums of gardening lore and information you can find today. Written with humor and style, Lovejoy’s book is a must on any organic gardener’s shelf. It doesn’t cost much and it will save you that amount a thousand times over!


02 December, 2007

Saturday Field Trips!

This coming Saturday will be 'Field Trip Saturday' for both of my classes.

Culver City Adult School
- meet at The Learning Garden at 10 - we will be in class from 10 AM to about 1 PM. Parking will be available in the Venice High School back parking lots and on the street as well.

UCLA Extension Class - your field trip to The Learning Garden starts at 2:00 and goes until 5:00 PM - it is a potluck. Parking is the same as above. Please note that the original posting of this entry stated 1:00. Ah, not so! It is TWO PM to 5:00 PM. Bring food.

The VHS monthly Swap Meet will be going on from about 9 to 2 in the faculty parking lot just to the east of the Garden - if you like that sort of thing, come early, leave late and take a waltz through the vendors.

Wear clothes appropriate to the weather and expect to get dirty - both classes will be doing things in the Garden unless it's just pouring rain!

We will meet regardless of the weather because we need to finish the promised hours of instruction for both classes.
If it is a real 'gully washer' I'll locate some shelter for us and we'll figure out a way to make it work for us as best as we can!

Extension students: Never mind bringing a grading card or envelope - I have learned your grades will be available online as soon as I have posted all the grades for the class - expect that to be done close to the Monday following our last scheduled meeting.

Call me with questions.