30 July, 2008

Container Gardening Grades Posted

To the students of the UCLA Extension course, Container Gardening...:

I have posted your grades and they are available through Extension's website. Thank you for being such an enthusiastic and eager group of students, it's all an instructor can ask for in a class. I enjoyed being your instructor; I learned a lot too.

I wish you all well and may our paths cross sometime again in the near future.


21 July, 2008

Field Trip to The Learning Garden

This coming Saturday, the 26th, we will meet at The Learning Garden, on the campus of Venice High School at the corner of Walgrove Avenue and Venice Blvd. The campus address is 13000 Venice Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90025 - however, that address is valid for the entire 20 some odd acre VHS campus. We are the acre closest to the corner of Walgrove and Venice.

Going south on Walgrove from Venice Blvd., park on the street, remaining cognizant of the two hour posted limit, or, park inside the very first gate on your left. This little area might prove challenging because there really is no way for cars to turn around and get out. If you do park there, please pull all the way in and allow all that can the chance to park behind you.

Those who wish to, may meet me at Marian del Ray Garden Center at 8:00, 13198 Mindanao Way, Marina del Rey, CA 90292, their phone is 310.773.4585; for your information they are open 7 Days a Week, 8AM to 6:30PM. They have a good selection of pots and plants (they are not cheap, but they are good).

Everyone is invited to bring a pot and some plants to put together on The Learning Garden's Patio. I will provide the potting soil (OSH's non-premium potting soil) and screening for the bottom hole. We will be able to talk about building fountains and discuss everyone's choices of pots. I do have a few plants available for pots if anyone is interested - I'll get a list up before Friday.


NB Credit students, your project is due this day. Either bring it to the field trip or email it to me. Late papers will have points deducted. Papers offered after next Monday, the 28th, will not be graded unless there are really extenuating circumstances.

07 July, 2008

Field Trip to Pottery Manufacturing and Distribution

We are located at: 18881 S. Hoover Street, Gardena, CA 90248

Driving Directions From the North:

Take the 405 South and exit at Vermont
Go left off the exit ramp and make a left on Vermont
Make a right on 182nd St.
Make a right onto Hoover Street. There is a stop sign on this corner.
Proceed to the end of the street.

Driving Directions From the South:

Take the 405 North to the 110 North
Exit at the 91 West off ramp.
Get over to the far left lane (over 4 lanes)
Make a left onto Vermont
Make a left on 182nd St.
Make a right onto Hoover Street. There is a stop sign on this corner.
Proceed to the end of the street.

NOTE: This is not an 'easy to find place.' Give yourself a few minutes to be lost and, above all, print these instructions! Have my phone number handy and I'll guide you in if need be... I believe it can easily be described as "behind Home Depot."

Good luck!


A Container Gardener's Bibliography

Container Gardening, Elving, Phyllis, Editor, ©1998, Sunset Publishing, A small book with some good ideas and at least it’s a look at the West Coast.

Potted Gardens, Cole, Rebecca, ©1997 Random House – I love her attitude about gardening and how she approaches the whole thing with a strong sense of whimsy and joy. Her gardening philosophy fits very well with my own.

Roof Gardens, Balconies and Terraces,
Stevens, David ©1997, Rizzoli International Publications, Another ‘east coast’ book, but again the ideas and creativity are worth consideration as a starting point.

Sunset Western Garden Guide 8th Edition, Brenzel, Kathleen Norris, Editor, ©2007, Sunset Publishing All of the recent editions have their merit, but each successive edition has more plants and updates the scientific undergirding of gardening, so I encourage you to invest in the most recent edition you can afford (used copies are usually easy to find, either locally or at Amazon.com, I have a few for sale!). This is the number one go-to book for horticulture in Southern California; no other book is as authoritative as this one for our area. We cannot take advice from most gardening books and apply it to what we do in Los Angeles because our climate and soils are nothing like the rest of the world – especially those on the east coast and England where most books about gardening originate.

The City Gardener’s Handbook, Yang, Linda, ©1995 Storey Publishing, Although written for the east coast, this book’s ideas and principals are so clear an valuable, it stands out as one of my favorite references.

The Complete Container, Joyce, David, ©1996 Reader’s Digest Again, another focus on the east coast, but the ideas and plant lists in this book are better than most. It has pretty definitive instructions and is full of good clean photos. A good book to have – especially if you only buy one.

The Terracotta Gardener
, Keeling, Jim, ©1990, Trafalgar Square Publishing, Not really a design book, but a historical perspective of terracotta used in English gardens and some background information on terracotta.

Container Gardening Course Syllabus

Instructor: David King
Email: greenteach@roadrunner.com
>Phone number redacted<

COURSE TITLE AND NUMBER: Container Gardening: Patios, Balconies, and Beyond BIOLGY X 498.3

There are no prerequisites for this course. We will meet from June 30 through July 26 for 6 meetings. PLEASE NOTE THAT THE FINAL MEETING IS THE SECOND FIELD TRIP and credit students will have an assignment due.

All class meetings, except for two field trips (noted below) take place on the UCLA campus in 325 Botany, 6:30 to 9:30 Monday evenings.

Course Purpose
At the conclusion of this course, students will be confident in planting a multiplicity of containers with a wide variety of plants that will thrive in our unique climate. Students will be introduced to design principles applicable to container gardeners and will learn their care and maintenance.

Course Objectives
Students will be able to meet the following objectives by knowing:
Types of pots used in container gardeners
The qualities of the components of potting soil and how to choose a good one
Color combinations and other basic design principles
Care of plants over their life span
Appreciation of light and water in container gardens
Students should also be able to report that they’ve been inspired to find their own individuality in container garden design and to experiment with colors, plants or containers that had been off their personal radar before this class. Students are expected to share their experiences and knowledge with the class which guarantees an enhanced learning experience for all of us.

This course is designed to be applicable for home gardeners whether they are in a house, a condo or a town home; as well as professionals that wish to incorporate container gardening as a part of their business’ offerings. Students should also find time to do some networking with fellow students.

Text for this course:
Sunset Western Garden Guide 8th Edition, Brenzel, Kathleen Norris, Editor, ©2007, Sunset Publishing There will be no specific assigned reading from this book, but it is the “bible” for gardeners in Southern California. In addition, the following texts are suggested for your reference shelf:
The City Gardener’s Handbook, Yang, Linda, ©2002, Storey Books, Published first as The City Gardener’s Handbook and then as The City and Town Gardener and now back again under the original title.

Potted Gardens, Cole, Rebecca, ©1997, Clarkson Potter/Publishers

The two field trips are Saturday mornings, 9 AM to noon, as indicated below.

Date Mtg TOPIC
06/30 1 Lecture: Introduction – roll, Extension policy, meeting time and place, attendance and tardiness, office hours, expectations, objectives. Tools; types of pots; light
07/07 2 Lecture: types of soil; considerations of soil type and pot type relative to plant type, color and design
07/12 3 Field Trip Pottery Manufacturing and Distributing, 18881 S. Hoover Street, Gardena, CA 90248 Phone: 310.323.7772
07/14 4 Lecture: Plant choices
07/21 5 Lecture: Maintenance and care; pest control; watering
07/26 6 Field Trip: Practical application of the class, The Learning Garden Patio; Credit project is due

Your grade will be predicated on class participation and a design project assigned at the first class meeting.

Office Hours
I have no set office hours, however, I am available by phone (the number above is my cell phone) and by email. I am willing to meet with students almost any day of the week at my office at The Learning Garden or a mutually convenient coffee bar. It is my most sincere desire that you learn and you will find me very approachable. After class is usually not a very good time because that’s when all students vie for answers and we are all tired after a long day. You can net a more thoughtful answer by contacting me another time.

Updates and Handouts
For this course I will utilize my personal blog page at http://lagarden.blogspot.com/ to post handouts and extra material for the class. There is an RSS feed through which each posting is automatically forwarded to your email so you can have access to handouts whenever they are posted. This approach is most handy when dealing with field trips because links to maps can be posted and any last minute updates are easily available. If this technology is new to you, another classmate or I will guide you through it. It is not difficult.