Gardeners and Plant Lovers: 15 things to learn and do in SoCal this month


It’s February when plant-based classes and walks are in bloom across Southern California—both romantic and educational. However, you should act quickly if you want to register for these events, as the number of participants is limited.

Just a reminder that February is still a good time to start an orchard in your backyard or even a container when purchasing dwarf fruit trees intended for small spaces. Many local nurseries still have bare root fruit trees available – the best way to get your fruit bounty going.

It’s a good idea to buy from local nurseries to get a variety that will grow well in your area. That’s because apples, pears, and soft fruits like peaches and cherries require a certain number of chilling hours — hours when the temperature is between 32 and 45 degrees — to produce fruit. The California Rare Fruit Growers website lists nurseries that sell a wide variety of fruit trees, but it is not exhaustive so be sure to check listings at nurseries in your area.

Here’s our latest list of planting and gardening events in the LA area through early March. E-mail with gardening and plant-related events at least three weeks before they take place and we can add them to the calendar.

February 4th
Californian potted plants – a course on growing native plants in pots – taught by Flora Ito, Nursery Sales Manager at Theodore Payne Foundation Nursery, 10459 Tuxford St. in Sun Valley, from 9am to 10.15am. Participants must provide proof of full vaccination against COVID-19 or a negative COVID-19 PCR test taken within 72 hours of class. Masks are compulsory inside and outside. Register online, $25 or $20 for members.

February 5th
Celebrating citrus with Lucy Heyming, master gardener from Riverside County from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. at the Land Use Learning Center, 4500 Glenwood Drive in Riverside. Heyming will outline the citrus history of Riverside (home of the state’s first navel orange tree) and provide guidance on citrus care and news on Huanglongbing (HLB or citrus green disease). It is part of the Riverside-Corona Resource Conservation District’s free “Ask a UC Master Gardener” program, held the first Saturday of each month at the Center, a 3-acre demonstration garden of sustainable growing practices for native plant habitats, urban plantings and agriculture. Registration is not necessary.

February 6th
who eats my garden, a class at Cook’s Garden, 1033 Abbot Kinney Blvd. in Venice from 11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. the focus is on biological pest control and effective fertilization. The course begins with a lecture and ends with a hands-on experience on the farm’s production beds. Participants must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and present a vaccination card at the door.

February 8th
Secrets of a Healthy Vegetable Garden, a free workshop sponsored by the Orange County Organic Gardening Club and led by Julie Bawden-Davis, master gardener and author of “Southern California Vegetable Gardening,” at 7:30 p.m. at the Orange County Fairgrounds Silo Building, 88 Fair Drive in Costa Mesa will .

11-12 February
Plants & Romance at the San Diego Botanic Garden opens the California Gardenscapes for an evening stroll lit by twinkling lights, outdoor fire pits and live classical guitar music from 5:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. at 230 Quail Gardens Drive in Encinitas. Advance booking is required, and visitors can sample free chocolates in the conservatory (where masks are required). Admission is $22 ($18 for seniors, military and adult members, $14 for 3-17 year old members, $10 for 3-17 year old members and free for children under 3 years old). A $60 sweet and sparkly souvenir package featuring two Garden-branded champagne flutes, two glasses of sparkling wine or juice, a box of Chuao Chocolatier chocolates, and an air plant is also available if purchased by February 7th.

12-13 February
49. of the Southern California Camellia Society camellia show at the Huntington Library, Art Museum, and Botanical Gardens, 1151 Oxford Road, San Marino, from 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. on February 12 and from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on February 13. The general public can submit camellia flowers for judging from 7 a.m. to 10 a.m. February 12: 30 p.m. The show is free to visitors after a $29 admission to the Gardens ($24 for seniors 65 and older, active military and students with ID, $13 for ages 4-11. Members and children under 4 are admitted free .) Masks are compulsory indoors.

14th of February
Rough botany for adults at the LA Arboretum, an adults-only night walk “to discover the fascinating botany of love and lust,” as in The Botanical Origins of the Birth Control Pill or Why We Give Roses to Our Loved Ones, from 7:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. at 301 N. Baldwin Ave .in Arcadia. Participants must be at least 18 years old and register online. Participants should arrive 10 minutes early; Latecomers cannot join the group. Note that the same February 12 event is already sold out. Tickets are $25 ($20 for members).

15-19 February
The Theodore Payne Foundation Winter Plant Sale at the Foundation Nursery, 10459 Tuxford St. in Sun Valley, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. The sale includes native seeds, books and other merchandise, as well as one of the largest selections of native plants in the region. Members receive a 15% discount and non-members receive a 10% discount on all plants, seeds and basic equipment. Masks are compulsory on the premises. Admission is free, but buyers must register in advance for specific dates and times. Each reservation is for one vehicle with up to four passengers (who do not need to make separate reservations).

19th of February
Apple Grafting Workshop with Master Grafter Arnold Bernstein at Ganna Walska Lotusland on Cold Spring Road in Montecito from 9am to 11:30am. The course explains how to graft a desirable branch or bud onto a compatible new tree to produce fruit from the parent tree, a process that will produce most of the fruit we consume. In this hands-on workshop, participants will graft and take home a semi-dwarf producing apple tree suitable for the coastal climate. All materials are provided. Masks are compulsory for the workshop. Register online. $125 ($95 for Lotusland members). The course will be canceled in the event of heavy rain.

19-20 February
Pacific Camellia Society 16 show at Descanso Gardens, 1418 Descanso Drive, La Cañada Flintridge, February 19 from 1:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. and February 20 from 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. February 19. The show is free to visitors after $15 admission to the Gardens ($11 for seniors 65 and older and students with ID, $5 for children ages 5-12. Members and children under 5 are admitted free). Masks are compulsory indoors.

20. February
How to grow a cocktail-inspired garden, a class managed by the South Coast Botanic Garden, 26300 Crenshaw Blvd. is offered. in Rolling Hills Estates, will be taught by Terry Huang, Director of the Garden of Living Collections, Learning and Engagement. Participants will learn the trick to growing and harvesting the special herbs, spices and edible flowers used to create delicious cocktails and mocktails. They also partake in a seasonal cocktail happy hour, with drinks handcrafted by the garden’s mixologist. The class is $50 ($40 for members) and includes general admission to the garden and two craft cocktails/mocktails.

Excursion to Crystal Cove State Park, sponsored by the Orange County Chapter of the California Native Plant Society, a 4.5 mile walk led by Lana Nguyen, a California State Parks biologist, through one of the major coastal watersheds of the San Joaquin Hills. Participants will learn about the native plants in the sage bush and grassland areas on the Canyon coast, beginning at 8:00 AM at the Lower Moro Canyon Daytime Parking Lot. The three to four hour hike has gradual elevation changes and one steep hill. The walk is free and open to the first 20 to register. There is a $15 state park entrance fee for parking. Participants should wear walking shoes, a hat, and sunscreen, and bring water, a camera, and a wildflower book or notepad.

February 25 – March 6
Tomatomania! at Roger’s Gardens, 2301 San Joaquin Hills Road in Corona del Mar, daily from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. This is Tomatomania’s first event of the 2022 tomato growing season and features more than 100 pepper varieties and 250 varieties of heirloom and hybrid tomato plants – including the ‘Bronze Torch’ Tomato of the Year, a grape-style brick red fruit with dark green and gold stripes. Tomato plants can be pre-ordered online from February 4th to 20th.

February 26th
Nature Immersion Walk at Taft Gardens in Ojai, led by Elena Rios, a certified nature and forest therapy guide, from 8:45am to 11:00am. The 2-mile walk begins with a welcome and introductory circle and takes participants beyond the cultivated parts of the garden into the 200-acre Taft Gardens Nature Preserve and ends with a ceremony where tea made from native plants from the area is shared will. This is a slow, moderately incline walk over rocky terrain, with no benches or chairs, so participants are welcome to bring their own lightweight camping stools or yoga mats if they don’t want to sit on the ground. Tickets are $35 and advance registration is required.

26-27 February
Southern California Camellia Council 62nd Spring Camellia Show at Descanso Gardens, 1418 Descanso Drive, La Cañada Flintridge, on February 26 from 1:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. and on February 27 from 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. This show is a joint event of the four area camellia societies in Kern and San Diego Counties, as well as the Pacific Camellia Society and the Southern California Camellia Society. The general public can enter camellia flowers for judging on February 26 from 7:00 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. The show is free to visitors after $15 admission to the Gardens ($11 for seniors 65+ and students with ID, $5 for children ages 5-12. Members and children under 5 are admitted free). Masks are compulsory indoors. Gardeners and Plant Lovers: 15 things to learn and do in SoCal this month

Russell Falcon

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