Malibu Garden Club Events
It's our annual summertime hiatus, when we tend to sumertime fun and sun ... and our gardens. We're also working on our upcoming garden club events starting in October. Watch for details of our 2015 - 2016 season to be posted here soon.
A Drought Tolerant Garden with Natives with Bob Sussman
For our June event, Bob Sussman gave pointers on how to plant with natives. His nursery, Matilija Nursery, has the largest inventory of California native plants and non-native irises in Ventura.
"Look, Ma, No Lawn" with Lili Singer
For our May event, Lili Singer, considered to be a pillar of Southern California horticulture, presents "Look, Ma, No Lawn." An ever-timely topic, Lili will explain how to take out your lawn and offer alternatives for the space, specifically low maintenance native plants that need no fertilizer and use a fraction of the water required for turf. A Los Angeles native and an award-winning horticulturist and garden writer, Lili Singer is Special Projects Director at the Theodore Payne Foundation for Wildflowers and Native Plants. More on the Theodore Payne Foundation website.
Growing the Best Possible Grapes with Jim Palmer from Malibu Vineyards
For our April event, wine grape grower, winemaker and award winning Jim Palmer from Malibu Vineyards discussed making award winning wines with the best grapes possible. Long time Malibu resident Jim Palmer began growing wine grapes in Western Malibu nine years ago and has been making wine during the past five years. His first commercial release, Malibu Vineyards 2003 Single Vineyard Syrah won a Silver Medal in the Limited Production Rhone Style Class at the L.A. County Fair 2005 Wines of the World Competition and a six-bottle wooden box case sold for $3,100. at the UCLA John Wayne Cancer Charity Fundraiser in May 2005.
One Gun Ranch and Biodynamic Gardening with Alice Bamford
For our March event, Alice Bamford from Malibu's One Gun Ranch discussed the ranch and Biodynamic Gardening. One Gun Ranch is ground zero for local sustainable agriculture, based on biodynamic principles that produce healthy, mouthwatering food.
One Gun Ranch is a biodynamic farm whose owners plant and harvest according to the moon, sun, and planets is producing healthy and delicious food grown in their home made compost, lovingly referred to as Super(ior) Soil.
Supplying local chef’s and like-minded grocers is only the beginning of One Gun’s mission to provide wholesome vegetables and herbs that are free of chemicals, additives, hormones and pesticides. Educational tours for children and adults will teach you how to garden in your backyard or balcony, using biodynamic methods. This beautiful and peaceful site is home to eleven dogs, five horses, a donkey and some alpacas…just to name a few.
One Gun is community driven with the goal of building sustainable “farm to fork” collaborations in Malibu and to develop an understanding of health and environmental stewardship.
Design Like A Pro — Demystifying the Art of Garden Design
For our February event, landscape architect, writer, educator Billy Goodnick educated and entertained us with Design Like A Pro — Demystifying the Art of Garden Design. Billy sold and signed his book "Yards" (see below) after his presentation. We also raffled off a copy.
Many garden encyclopedias entice buyers by boasting “thousand of plant listings!” But who has room in their garden for all of them? Like everyone else, gardeners like to get the most out of the money they spend. This lively presentation teaches attendees the fundamentals of smart garden design, so they can Purchase with Purpose™, and bring home the best plants for their garden.
At the insistence of his parents, Brooklyn born Billy Goodnick was transplanted to LA at age eight, studied music, and became an in-demand Hollywood studio drummer. "As fate would have it, I stumbled upon the exquisite art of bonsai," he reports. "I turned my life on a dime, dropped my drumsticks, and started a journey into the world of plants."
For 22 years, he was the City Landscape Architect for scenic Santa Barbara. His horticultural career also includes nursery sales, as well as garden maintenance and landscape construction. He continues to provide customized residential design coaching along the Central Coast and was the winner of 2005 Santa Barbara Beautiful Awards for both residential and park projects, and awards from both the California State Architects Office and the American Society of Landscape Architects. This diverse career path has contributed to the deep body of knowledge he now shares with gardeners across the country.
Billy is the author of "Yards: Turn Any Outdoor Space Into the Garden of Your Dreams." Fine Gardening Magazine featured his column "Design Workshop" and his national award-winning "Cool Green Gardens" blog. He has written a bi-weekly SoCal-centric posts for Edhat.com, and for 5 years, contributed to 805 Living Magazine, while freelancing for other publications such as Sunset Magazine. Billy co-hosted Garden Wise Guys, a regional sustainable landscaping TV show that aspired, he says "to the sophistication of the Three Stooges," and was a founding member of the Lawn Reform Coalition, a national group helping gardeners rethink the siren song of the "perfect" lawn. In recent years, he has added the title "college professor" to his credentials.
As an award-winning designer who worked his way up from swinging a pick to landscape architect, his presentations are enriched by years of professional design practice and animated by his earlier life as an entertainer. "That was too much fun," is a typical response to Billy’s presentations and workshops. So is, "I thought there’d be a two-drink cover charge for the entertainment…and I learned a lot."
Billy turns on his stand-up comic timing and rock drummer’s attitude to keep audiences attentive and smiling. He is adept at working "live" at nurseries and event centers, dispensing core design principles with a fast-paced improv delivery. But he’s also engaging in traditional settings, armed with eye-catching and often humorous slides to accompany his talks.
For decades, Billy has delivered his mantra of "beautiful, useful, sustainable gardens" to homeowners, Master Gardeners, and students. He shows audiences how to Design Like a Pro, while infusing a message of planet-friendly principles. There is a lot of useful information wrapped in an upbeat, inventive delivery. This refreshing and unexpected approach has won him fans from his speaking gigs across the country. "Everyone can have a garden that’s beautiful, serves their needs, and treads lightly on the planet," he says, adding, "Sustainable landscape design is a serious subject, but that doesn’t mean we can’t have a bunch of fun along the way."
January 7 - The Roses of the Huntington Gardens
For our January event, the "King of the roses," Tom Carruth presented on The Roses of the Huntington Gardens. Tom talked about the The Huntington’s three-acre Rose Garden, which showcases more than 1,200 cultivars and some 4,000 individual shrubs. Established in 1908, the historic landscape is among the most beautiful areas of the grounds, frequently cited by visitors as a favorite Huntington attraction.
Tom Carruth is a plant 'freak' whose obsession blossomed as a child, despite growing up in the Texas panhandle. His passion became a profession after he received a Bachelors in Horticulture (1974) and a Masters in Plant Breeding (1976) from Texas A & M University.
Regardless of the advice given by his most inspiring professor, Dr. J. C. Raulston, Tom pursued his dream to become a rose breeder. Since 1975, he's worked in the rose industry in California with the late Bill Warriner of Jackson & Perkins Co. and Jack Christensen of the former Armstrong's Nursery. From 1987 until early 2012, he was in charge of the rose hybridizing effort as Director of Research & Marketing at Weeks Roses. He wore many hats at Weeks, writing all the descriptive copy for their catalog, overseeing the catalog design & printing and directing the photography, marketing & website.
The broad goal of Tom’s breeding was to make the rose a contender with all plants, rather than a fussy queen of the garden. His introductions stress disease resistance, fragrance, floriferousness, novelty & attractive habit. JULIA CHILD serves as a prime example, achieving a very rare world-wide introduction. The velvety deep purple EBB TIDE was the first of a real color breakthrough. Tom is the inventor of over 90 plant patents and he had also accumulated 11 AARS Award Winners in just 14 years.
Weeks’ AARS Award Winners to emerge from Tom’s hybridizing work include: the 2011 Winner, DICK CLARK, which he co-hybridized with assistant Christian Bédard, CINCO DE MAYO (2009), STRIKE IT RICH (2007); JULIA CHILD (2006); WILD BLUE YONDER (2006); ABOUT FACE (2005); MEMORIAL DAY (2004); HOT COCOA (2003); BETTY BOOP (1999); FOURTH OF JULY (1999) and SCENTIMENTAL (1997).
Tom has over 100 introductions to his credit with numerous national & international awards. Some of the ‘stars’ from Tom’s work includes…HOME RUN, PINK HOME RUN, EBB TIDE, CH-CHING!, MARILYN MONROE, MOONSTONE, GEORGE BURNS, NEPTUNE, CHIHULY, TOPSY TURVY, CANDY LAND, PURPLE SPLASH, RUBY RUBY, DIAMOND EYES, GOOD AS GOLD, NEIL DIAMOND & ANNA'S PROMISE.
Tom retired from Weeks Roses to take a new role as the E.L. & Ruth B. Shannon Curator of the Rose Collection at the Huntington Library, Art Collections and Botanical Gardens. Tom is overseeing the renovation of the rose garden with an eye on refocusing the rose collection to equal the beauty of the many other spectacular gardens at the Huntington.
December 3 - Garden Ornaments – Holiday Creations and Just Fun Stuff
For our December event, master gardener Yvonne Darlene Savio presented Garden Ornaments – Holiday Creations and Just Fun Stuff.
Gardeners are infinitely creative in using their gardens as source material for holiday decorations, and in decorating their gardens with just fun stuff. Yvonne shared many ideas found across the US, England, and Europe.
Ms. Savio grew up on a 3/4-acre hillside lot in Pasadena in Southern California, with year-round fruits and vegetables and flowers homegrown with lots of manure and compost and “making do” before it was called recycling or repurposing. She knows what “harvested at the perfect moment of ripeness” means and enjoys enabling others to enjoy the benefits of “growing your own.”
Ms. Savio has degrees in journalism, English literature, art and photography from California State University at Los Angeles and Sacramento; her horticulture degree is from American River College, Sacramento.
For 15 years, she worked in the Botany and Vegetable Crops Cooperative Extension Departments at the University of California, Davis. Since 1984, Ms. Savio has contributed weekly gardening columns, features, and photographs to California and national newspapers, magazines, journals, and newsletters. In 1994, Ms. Savio moved “back home” to Pasadena to revitalize the Master Gardener Volunteer Training Program for the University of California Cooperative Extension office in Los Angeles County. Master Gardener volunteers assist community and school gardens, senior gardens, and homeless and battered women’s shelters. Our Grow LA Victory Garden Initiative offers basic garden instruction to the general public at some 25 locations throughout Los Angeles County in both Spring and Fall.
Ms. Savio maintains demonstration and trial gardens in Northern and Southern California, specializing in drought-tolerant and recycling techniques for growing vegetables, fruits, perennials, roses, and succulents. She documents the creative fun stuff of repurposed tools and garden art.
November 5 - Drought Stress and New Diseases in Trees and Shrubs in Southern California
Jerry Turney, Ph.D. spoke on Drought Stress and New Diseases in Trees and Shrubs in Southern California. Jerry is a Plant Pathologist with the Agricultural Commission of Los Angeles County.
Plants in Southern California are undergoing tremendous stress due to the current drought conditions and this situation has brought along new pests. Among them is the shot hole bore that works itself into tree barks and causes decline.
October 1 - Crafting The Container Garden
Hank Jenkins presented on the process of selecting the right vessel, composing with plants, and the aesthetic placement of a container composition within a space.
Hank Jenkins is the new face of horticulture. He is the author of the recently published Sunset Outdoor Design and Build Guide: Container Gardening: Fresh Ideas for Outdoor Living, as well as the creator of the stylishly beautiful plant brand and blog, The Plant Provocateur. He has a degree in landscape architecture, practiced as a landscape designer, been featured in print, television, as well as online, and is obsessed with plants. He is part of the new wave of ‘plants people’ that bring a new perspective to the garden lifestyle. Based in Los Angeles, he can currently be found at his Plant Provocateur Stand at the Silver Lake Farmer’s Market on Saturdays; excitedly preparing for the opening of the first ever Plant Provocateur store in Silver Lake slated for a November/December 2014 launch; promoting the beauty of plants; teaching inspired horticultural workshops; styling outdoor spaces; or growing anything and everything he can get his hands on and sharing it with the world.
June 4th - Old Fashion Ideas in a High Tech World
For our June event, America's Natural Master Gardener, Nick Federoff hosted an open forum discussion on homemade concoctions, elixirs and remedies for edible and ornamental plants. He also fielded gardening questions from attendees and introduces fast-track concepts to ward off insects and disease.
May 7th - A Stroll through the Chelsea Flower Show
For our May event, Birute Anne Vileisis, Ph.D. presented on the Chelsea Flower Show. The flower show is the most famous flower show in the U.K. and perhaps in the world attracting a worldwide audience of 157,000 visitors each year.
The Chelsea Flower Show is held for five days in the third week in May on the eleven-acre grounds of the Royal Hospital for military Pensioners in Chelsea, London.
A staggering number of 800 people spend just over three weeks building this premiere horticultural event putting together show gardens, nursery exhibits, floral displays, garden product stands, and educational exhibits.
Trained as an art historian, Birute Anne Vileisis earned her Ph.D. at Princeton University in early medieval art. She taught art history at the University of Virginia. Later, as a researcher at Dumbarton Oaks in D.C., she there became immersed in Beatrix Farrand’s garden. Dr. Vileisis was also an assistant to the Director at the Smithsonian Institution’s Museum of American Art. In the mid 1980’s she moved to California and obtained a Certificate in Horticulture from UCLA. Serving 20 years as a university administrator, Birute has retired is now an avid gardener and plant collector. Currently she is President of the Malibu Orchid Society and 1st VP and Program Chair of the Malibu Garden Club. In her free time she visits and photographs gardens in Southern California and throughout the world.
April 2nd - Growing Heirlooms Tomatoes on the California Coast
Peter Olpe presented on growing heirlooms tomatoes on the California coast." Peter, aka "The Tomato Whisperer," talked about the history, care, and culture of heirloom tomatoes, and addressed many common questions. What makes a tomato an heirloom? Why do home grown tomatoes taste so much better than store bought? When should you really plant tomatoes? Peter also discussed grafted tomatoes, the latest rage, and the advantages of growing them. After the formal presentation, there were Heirloom tomato plants for sale, with the focus on varieties that grow especially well in Coastal areas such as Malibu not to mention taste great.
March 5th - The Beauty of Begonias and How To Grow Them
For our April meeting, Al Palacio presented on "The Beauty of Begonias and How to Grow Them." Al's talk gave us a great overview of the entire fascinating family of Begonias, including Shrub, Thick-stemmed, Rhizomatous, Tuberous, Canes, and Terrarium Begonias. Al provided a hands-on demonstration on how to propagate Rhizomatous Begonias from leaf cuttings. After his presentation, he had a table of Begonias and other interesting plants for sale.
In February, Bruce Blavin presented on "Growing Exotic Fruits in Southern California."
Bruce Blavin has been a lifetime member of the California Rare Fruit Growers for 8 years and the Chairperson of the WLA Chapter for the past three years. His interest in gardening started around six years of age when he and his father planted 20 fruit trees in the 1960's Woodland Hills. CRFG is devoted to educating, encouraging and sharing experiences with its members and general public about growing rare fruit trees in Southern California. His personal collection of exotic fruit trees number more than 250 trees, and he conducts regular garden tours.
January 8th - Rose Care
For our January meeting, President of the San Fernando Valley Rose Society, President-Elect of the Beveral Hills Rose Society, Member of the International Rose Trials at Rose Hills in Whittier and noted rosarian, David Bassani, presented on "Growing Roses in Malibu: Rose Selection and Cultivation."
During the presentation, David mentioned that if you prune your roses high, you will get more flowers. If you prune your roses low, you will get bigger and fewer flowers. He also recommended selecting only disease resistant varieties and not to bother with roses that don't produce. He called getting rid of those non-production plants a "shovel pruning." Dig it out now with a shovel and replace it with a good and highly rated rose, whose rating can be found on the American Rose Society website. David only uses organic fertilizers and feeds three times a year: March, June, and September. He's also a big advocate of heavy mulching with the caveat of making sure that the mulch does not touch the trunk of the rose. He waters his roses only 3 times a week for five minutes with a bubbler emitter. Lastly he invited us all to the Rose show in the San Fernando Valley on April 12th at the Sepulveda Garden Center in Encino.
At the end of the meeting, David raffled off a rose named after Dick Clark.
Our December meeting was a festive event with special holiday topics. Karl Bauer presented on the care of Poinsettias and brought several varieties for sale at grower's wholesale prices. Bobbi Cattanese, founder of the Malibu company Scents of Purpose also spoke on how they make and sell their own artisanal aromatherapy candles that are 100% organic soy using natural essential oils, non-toxic wicks and eco-friendly packaging. They use blood orange oil, which is known to shrink cancer tumors, as one of their ingredients. Attendees took adventage of the opportunity to stock up for the holidays.
For our November meeting, Nels Christianson presented on The Drought Tolerant Garden: Gardening With Succulents, featuring varieties of succulents in local gardens as well as gardens beyond California.
October 2 - Rhododendrons
James E. Jaeger, Horticultural Consultant and Landscape Instructor at Santa Monica Emeritus College discussed the Vireya or Malesian Rhododendrons and elaborated on what they are, where they come from, and the cultural requirements of growing Rhododendrons in our coastal region.
June 5 - The Birds of Malibu Lagoon: Will they Return?
Jim Kenney spoke on a topic that is very timely for our community, The Birds of Malibu Lagoon: Will they Return? As the wildflowers are about to start blooming, we thought it would be a great idea to have our May speaker return as someone who can speak about them. Who better else than Photographer Jim Kenney. Since the introduction of digital photography, he has spent the last six years photographing birds of the Malibu Lagoon. His presentation gave an overview of plant communities in our nearby mountains, with emphasis not on just colorful wildflowers, but also on fire ecology, the relationship of horticultural plants to local natives, and a description of the almost completed Backbone Trail.
May 18 - 14th Annual Malibu Garden Tour
May 1 - Eating from Your Garden
Christy Wilhelmi, founder of Gardenerd.com and author of Gardening for Geeks, presented "Eating from Your Garden." The presentation covered a lot of things from the book, including biointensive planting methods, building a healthy ecosystem around your garden, and of course, recipes from the garden.
April 3 - How to Compost and Create a Living Soil
Curtis Thomsen from the Los Angeles Country Smart Gardening Program will be speaking on the "How to Compost and Create a Living Soil." He brought composting and worm casting bins and worms!
March 6 - Hybridizing and the Culture of Pacific Coast Irises
Bob Sussman from Matilija Native Plant Nursery spoke on the "Hybridizing and the Culture of Pacific Coast Irises."
February 6 - Creating Your Dream Garden!
Mary Ann Rush presented on a variety of garden types including the Moonglow Garden (the all white garden that glows on the night of the full moon), the Hummingbird Garden and Butterfly Garden.
Mary Ann has been a gardener since she was 5 years old. She actually wanted to be a landscaper, but growing up in Connecticut, she was encouraged to not choose a profession that required clearing snow for 4 months of the year as a way to supplement income!
Mary Ann always had a vegetable garden each summer and cared for the yards of each of her grandparent's homes earning money for Nursing College. She has 47 years of experience, passion, and plant expertise regarding gardening. She is a Master Gardener who took classes at Santa Monica College to learn Southern California gardening by touring local gardens with a landscape teacher
January 2 - Balconies and Courtyards of the French Quarter in New Orleans
New member Gregory Finsley presented on Balconies and Courtyards of the French Quarter in New Orleans.
Gregory was originally raised in Dallas, TX but moved to New Orleans 16 plus years ago to a place he still calls home like none other. He has an extensive background in landscaping and horticulture due to his mother, Rosa Finsley, and her expertise. He has applied that knowledge and a bit of skill when he moved to New Orleans in a different region, climate, and structure.
The French Quarter balconies he took to liking even more, along with the quaint courtyards that exist sometimes unnoticed but elegantly adorned. He has redesigned, installed, and maintained these residences for years especially after Katrina.
December 5 - Poinsettias
In December, we welcomed Karl Bauer from West Coast Nurseries in Oxnard, who talked about the background, history and care for Poinsettias. Bauer, a third generation owner of the family-owned West Coast Nurseries in Oxnard. Karl spoke on the history and background of Poinsettias and how they became the iconic holiday flower. He also talked about his hybridizing program, as well as current trends and fashions in Poinsettias. Karl shared great cultural tips on how to prolong the life of your plants, as well as sold several plants to members.
November 7 - Growing Orchids Outdoors
George Hatfield, Hatfield Nursery Oxnard
October 3 - Bromeliads for the Home and Garden
Jerry Robinson, co-owner of Rainforest Flora presented Bromeliads for the Home and Garden.
Rainforest offers the greatest variety, the largest number, and the highest quality of Tillandsia in North America and the World (selling over 10,000 of these plants per week!). RFI is also the oldest Tillandsia nursery in America. This business was begun with a passion for Tillandsias and it has expanded to encompass other Bromeliad genera and other plant genera and families as well.
Rainforest Flora, Inc. made a commitment in the early 1980's to try to become self sufficient in the production of Tillandsias. Since the plants take anywhere from six to twenty years to mature from seeds, this was no small undertaking.
About Tillandsia Air Plants:
Tillandsias are arguably the most interesting, exotic, and fun plants that exist. Air Plants are unique because they don't need soil to grow. They are easy to grow and make great gifts. What other plants can you think of that can grow and flourish without any soil for the roots (thereby allowing them to be grown in vertical spaces attached to anything...or nothing at all), have such a vast variety of shapes, colors, and sizes, AND be among the most carefree and care-forgiving of any plants on Earth?
August 1 - Bringing Birds into Your Garden: the Joys and the Benefits
Eric and Ann Brooks
July 11 - Lavender in the Drought Tolerant Landscape
Antonio Sanchez, Nopalito Nursery
June 6th - Bees
For our June event, landscape architect Frances Knight presented on bees, showing us how to create a positive habitat in our gardens for native birds and pollinators.
During the talk, Frances shared her views on our role as stewards of the Garden, showing the rest and rewards coming our way when we take up our life-affirming role in nature. She also discussed honeybees and bumblebees, and how we can enjoy the beautiful relationships that bees have with plants.
May 2nd - Wildflowers
For our May meeting, Photographer Jim Kenney presented on wildflowers.
Jim Kenney has been a nature photographer and speaker since 1974. His photography has been featured many times in the Palisadian-Post, as well as the Los Angeles Times and environmental magazines. He was the photographer for Milt McAuley's Wildflowers of the Santa Monica Mountains. Jim was also a contributing photographer to Nancy Dale's Flowering Plants of the Santa Monica Mountains, Coastal & Chaparral Regions of Southern California. Since the introduction of digital photography, he has spent the last six years photographing birds of the Malibu Lagoon. His presentation will give an overview of plant communities in our nearby mountains, with emphasis not on just colorful wildflowers, but also on fire ecology, the relationship of horticultural plants to local natives, and a description of the almost completed Backbone Trail. Jim has lived in Palisades since 1965, and has been on the Board of Directors of the Temescal Canyon Association for many years.
April 4th - A Day in the Garden of a Rare Fruit Grower in Southern California
Bruce Blavin, the current Chairman of the West Los Angeles California Rare fruit Growers Chapter, presented an introduction to the California Rare Fruit Growers (CRFG) organization and then gave a photo presentation of a day in his garden, showing a wide varieties of rare fruit trees that can be grown in the Southern California. He brought some fruit charts fruit currently grown from the garden.
Bruce started growing fruit trees when he was 8 or 9 years old in Woodland Hills, CA. He considers himself very fortunate to have had the opportunity to travel to many countries in the world. Using the CRFG’s website, Bruce gained the knowledge and courage to attempt to grow fruit from around the world.
After attending a few meetings he joined CRFG about 5 years ago, to further expand his knowledge of growing exotic fruits and to share his experiences with others. One of his greatest pleasures is travel and to enjoy local foods and especially exotic fruits. As he explored more nurseries, his interests expanded so that now he has a diverse collection of plants and he grows over 250 varieties of fruit trees from around the world. In addition, to the fruit trees there are about 2,500 different plants on the acre of land surrounding his home.
The West LA Chapter of CRFG conducts grafting demonstrations for the local high schools, teaching students how to graft apples. Each student grafts their own tree, which they keep.
Bruce holds a Biology degree from UCSD and is the owner of a property management company and a typing service. He and his wife have been married for 26 years and have 2 lovely daughters. The one constant in all of his experiences with gardeners has been how generous and friendly this group of people has been to him and his wife over the past 10 years. Bruce considers himself an advanced amateur in gardening and he hopes to bring his life long curiosity and knowledge of gardening to inspire others to do likewise.
March 7th - Tomatoes! with Laura Taylor
Garden and Tomato Master, Laura Taylor taught us the essentials of growing a bounty of delicious tomatoes and summer vegetables in our own gardens. Laura covered everything from soil preparation to pest control. She talked about how, where and what to plant, staking, mulching, proper watering, diseases and insects and when to harvest for the best tomato texture and flavor.
February 1st - Ganna Walska Lotusland Garden
Well-known horticulturist Corey Welles will presented on the famous Ganna Walska Lotusland garden in Santa Barbara CA.
Lotusland encompasses 37+ acres of exotic and rare flora composed in 14 magnificent historic gardens. Under Welles guidance, Madame Ganna Walska's Lotusland estate contains gardens of exceptional design and artistic creativity with botanical and horticultural depth. The estate has a large rare cycad collection garden, containing some rare plant species no longer extant in their original native habitat. The gardens were created over four decades by Madame Ganna Walska , an opera singer, who owned the property as a private residence from 1941 until her death in 1984.
For the past 20 years, Welles has managed the plant domains at Lotusland, one of the nation’s premier exotic gardens, which has earned him numerous garden awards. He is recognized for being the leader in the field of sustainable horticulture.
Mr. Welles is a graduate of the Santa Barbara City College Environmental Horticulture Program with expertise in botany, zoology, ornithology, entomology and marine biology. As one of the leading sustainable horticultural experts, he consults such groups as U.C. Berkeley Botanic Garden, Descanso Gardens, The Huntington Garden, Santa Barbara City and other national and regional garden groups.
In demand as a public speaker, his engagements take him across the country to address important botanical symposia. He is a recognized expert on how to implement and customize sustainable systems for garden landscapes. A former triathlon champion in the Southern California area Welles is also an inspirational teacher on how to successfully partner with and embrace the environment.
January 4th - Rose Care
Thanks to Rose Garden Horticulturist Amanda Everett who presented the latest in roses, including the latest information on sustainable care and various pruning techniques.
Amanda grew up working for a family landscaping company, went to college for Biology at San Diego State University and focused primarily on plant taxonomy and ecology. Upon graduation she moved to LA in search of a job in the horticultural field and was hired by Descanso Gardens. She managed the rose garden at Descano for many years. During her time there she provided numerous lectures on rose horticulture, the history of roses and sustainable rose care.
Amanda currently lives in San Diego and works in the private sector providing rose care and horticultural maintenance to homeowners in both San Diego and Los Angeles.
December 7th - Make Your Own Holiday Wreath / White Elephant Gift Exchange
Thanks to Nopalito Nursery, who conducted a wreath-making class. The gorgeous 17" wreath was made out of California Native plants. The folks from Nopalito Nursery brought plant materials and each attendee made their own wreath and took it home with them.
November 2nd — Daylilies
The Malibu Garden Club was pleased to have William Wilk from the Los Angeles County Arboretum at our November meeting.
Bill is a retired university chemistry professor, but throughout his life botany has been his real interest. Currently he has about 600 registered daylily cultivars in his yard, and five years ago he started hybridizing new ones. He believes hybridizing daylilies is very rewarding and allows artistic and biological challenges to create new plants with spectacular blooms - ones never seen or grown before. The hemerocallis genus allows great variety each generation through normal hybridization - similar to the variety in the world of dog breading.
Bill says mature daylilies bloom up to three times per year and at least one daylily is in bloom in his garden any day of the year. His garden soil is heavy clay which daylilies and plumeria don’t like, but they do well in a mix of: commercial potting soil, sand, perlite, and fine redwood chips and grown in plastic pots. He controls water retention (by hand watering with a hose), fertilizer, and even daylight levels by moving the pots between full sun and partial shade.
He is a member of several clubs and organizations:
- AHS (American Hemerocallis Society), life member
- SCHAS (Southern California Hemerocallis and Amaryllis Society, Los Angeles area)
- Nor-Cal (Northern California Daylily Club)
- BADS (Bay Area Daylily Club - San Francisco)
- CSSA (Cactus and Succulent Society of American)
- Sunset Succulent Society (West Los Angeles)
- Southern California Horticultural Society
In addition he is a Garden Judge with the AHS. A Garden Judge does not judge gardens but individual daylily plants on a yearly basis. Daylilies are checked for good character: fast growing, good increaser, branching scapes, good color flower, good proportion of flower to plant, and so on. Individual plants among a list of hundreds can be awarded: Award of Merit (twelve winners), or Honorable Mention (many winners), or Stout Silver Medal Winner (only one winner) each year. The Stout Silver Medal Award has been given each year since 1950, and the Daylily Garden at the L.A. County Arboretum has an example of each - many are truly great daylilies that still please growers.
The Daylily Garden at the Los Angeles County Arboretum is a registered AHS Display Garden and Historical Garden and is the only registered daylily garden in our area. The best time to see daylily blooms is middle May to middle June which is the height of daylily bloom.
Bill also brought daylily seedlings for everyone to take home!
October 5th — Monrovia Growers New Plant Introductions with Nicholas Staddon
The Malibu Garden Club was pleased to have Nicholas Staddon from Monrovia Growers at our October meeting on Wednesday, October 5th at 7:00 pm Point Dume Club - 29500 W Heathercliff Road, Malibu. We got a look behind the scene's at Monrovia Nursery, learning how new plants are discovered, trialed, propagated and brought to market. We also got a first hand look at the recycling methods used in today's modern nursery. Nicholas guided us through the trends world wide and in the United States, finishing his presentation with an array of stunning plants, new & not so new, suited for your garden. Nicholas also provided some Monrovia "Swag" for a raffle after the presentation.
Nicholas was born in Ipswich, England, which is filled with estates and country homes containing unusual plants, so he grew up with an appreciation of them. One of his early jobs was working as a steward on private yachts. One client, an American, owned Treeland, an independent nursery in Albuquerque, N.M. In 1984, Staddon accepted his offer to join the nursery staff as a sales-man. Learning about the nursery business brought him contact with Monrovia, which offered him a job in sales. Finding new plants is challenging. Each year, Staddon and his staff evaluate hundreds of new plant varieties. Plants are observed for at least three years. Only a few make the grade, an estimated one of every 50. Those that make the grade are propagated by tissue culture, grafting or growing from seed. Young plants are put in containers and remain in Monrovia's growing grounds for three to six years before they're de-livered to retail nurseries. If plants don't pass muster, they and their offspring are destroyed.
The Malibu Garden Club was pleased to have Master Consulting Rosarian Dan Bifano at our September meeting. With his A-List of clients (for a rosarian), he's been on the Oprah show many times, where she refers to him as "Dan the Rose Man!" He brought to life Oprah's Legend Rose. You can read about him in Barbara Streisand's own book! He is the man who helped Barbra Streisand choose the rose that bears her name. Dan is a Master Rosarian and has grown roses for over 50 years. He is also a Horticultural and Arrangement Judge for the American Rose Society and judges nationally and internationally. He has been designing professionally for about 20 years in Santa Barbara, Malibu and Bel Air.
The Malibu Garden Club is excited to have Laura Taylor at our August meeting. Laura spoke about tomatoes. We found out how the season was progressing and then indulged in some tomato recipes, including Tomato/Cucumber Salsa, a traditional Tuscan Panzanella (bread and tomato salad) and her Signature Gazpacho. Of course, everyone took recipes home with them!
June 1st - California Natives Gardening
Kathleen Bullard, Manhatten Beach Botanic Garden
May 21st - 13th Annual Garden Tour
May 4th - Water Gardens, Ponds & Fountains
The Malibu Garden Club proudly presented "Mr. Fish," Bob Morris of Mr. Fish Aquarium & Pond Service. Mr. Fish presented on how you can produce a successful water feature in your yard, covering construction and maintenance to fish and plants.
We were pleased to have Owen Dell, an award-winning, internationally admired landscape architect, author and educator, and the principal of Owen Dell & Associates in Santa Barbara, specializing in sustainable landscape architectural services. Owen presented Sustainable Landscaping for Dummies, A Visionary Look at the Future of Gardens. He shared his vision of how environmentally and socially conscious landscaping can make a huge contribution to a brighter future. This dynamic, eye-opening talk forever changed the way we understand our relationship to the landscape.
A big thanks to Scott Daigre of TOMATOMANIA!, for giving us an inspiring, engaging, educational and funny presentation on tomatoes. We heard from several of you that you ran out and bought different types of tomato seeds! Thanks Scott!
February - 21st Century Cutting Edge Garden Design
The Malibu Garden Club was pleased to have Alice Joyce speak about 21st Century Cutting Edge Garden Design. Alice is a well-known author of "1001 Gardens You Must See Before You Die" and writes for Gardens Illustrated, London, Garden Design and The American Gardener, and is a regular contributor to the San Francisco Chronicle.
Attendees participated in a panel discussion led by Aaron Landworth & Laura Knauss, experts with each over 30 years in the Landscape Industry, both own their own businesses.
Gift wrap and paper expert Wanda Wen showed us what it meant to give thoughtfully wrapped presents. With expert tips, techniques and creative vision, she described how to use natural, uncommon and everyday materials to perfectly dress any gift.
You would not believe what you can do with gourds! But luckily we will have Susan Sullivan at our meeting to explain.
Imagine having over 258 fruit trees in your own backyard? Arnold Bernstein does because it’s his backyard! Arnold was an incredible host for a tour put on for our paid members.
Master pumpkin carver Gene Granata join us. Gene's incredible talent has given him over 20+ years of carving experience, appearances on many television shows, magazine features and customers worldwide. And now he will be sharing it with us!
A very special night of learning all about olive trees and indulging in an olive oil tasting. Robert Jaye, owner, from the Malibu Olive Company educated us on the proper way to taste olive oils.
June 2 — Viticulture & Enology or Grape Growing & Wine Making - A Local Tour
Today’s shed is no longer hiding in a far corner of the backyard. Instead, it occupies a starring role in the landscape. Gardeners are transforming this once-humble structure into a backyard sanctuary – a retreat, just steps from the back door. Sheds have become as individual as their inhabitants, but the best of them fulfill three needs: function, recreation and inspiration.
May 15 — Annual Malibu Garden Tour
Annual Garden Tour & presentation / recognition of student recipients of our annual scholarships.
May 5 — Chic Succulents
Debra Lee Baldwin informed and inspired us to design with these remarkable plants. Her book Designing with Succulents has come to symbolize the new garden style associated with Southern California living. Her latest book Succulent Container Gardens packs beautiful photos of creations by top designers from across the country to inspire in new creative ways.
April 7 — Good Bugs, Bad Bugs
Ms. Heather Teodoro, L.A. Vector Control Dept. Spring has sprung and so have the pests.
March 3 — Gardening Within Your Watering Means
Nan Sterman, author of California Gardener's Guide explained our water situation, presented lovely examples of water wise gardens, covered 30-40 examples of water-wise plants, and ended with tips for success in growing those plants.
February 3 — Chocolate Theobroma cacao — CHOCOLATE — The Plant (of course!)
The History, The Delicious indulgence, A tasting of fine Artisan Chocolates from around the world.
January 6 — City of Malibu Biologist Dave Crawford
Learn about the new 2010 state and local landscape and irrigation regulations that will affect all of us. Also learn about native plants and invasive species.
December 2 — Everything Is Coming Up Roses
This meeting was presented by David Bassani from Certified Rosarian Bassani Greenscapes, Inc. Join us to learn about the selection, installation, maintenance (water, food, insect-disease control), and shaping of roses, along with a pruning demo.
November 4 — Sustainable Gardening on the Farm
Presented by Phil McGrath from McGrath Family Farms. Tips on growing your own food , Samples from the Farm , What's good to grow now, seasonal gardening info, recipes & more.
October 7 — Our exciting first meeting of our calendar year
We have been planning all summer. New ideas and events for our Malibu Garden Club. Join us at 7:00 to schmooze, our program starts at 7:30. Point Dume Club on Heathercliff. Bring your membership dues of $25. We offer so much for your dues. Monthly meetings, field trips, garden parties as well as scholarships to deserving students in the gardening arena. Bring fun stuff for the sharing table. Bring something and take something home.
June 3 — My Secret Garden
Susan Taylor - Paradise Gardens Landscape was founded in 1990 by Los Angeles landscape designer Susan Taylor. A native of California and graduate of UCLA’s Horticulture Program, Susan is equally drawn to and inspired by the beauty and diversity of California’s natural terrain. Susan’s landscape designs can be as lush and bucolic as Napa Valley, or as rugged and grassy as California’s famous deserts. Always, her main concern is the people who will use and enjoy these gardens and how they integrate with the architecture of their homes and their lives. Paradise Gardens has been featured in Sunset Magazine,Valley Magazine and In Style Home Magazine.
May 16 — Serra Canyon Ranch Nursery Serra Retreat
The new owners , Rosemary & John Williams, along with plant enthusiast & fellow club member Kevin Hatch, will be hosting a Special Open House / Reception/ Tour/ Special Sale exclusively for the Malibu Garden Club & our Guests. Also on hand that day will be club member - Debbie Pierson, creating & selling her distinctive succulent wreaths ... and Charlotte, a local pottery artist - creating , firing & offering her wares for sale ... A percentage of the sales benefiting our club!
May 6 — Ode to Flight Season
Singing with your Flowers Frances Night — Bees & their relationship with plants, nature and our Gardens. How to plant a Bee friendly garden. Nourishing our relationship with nature. The event starts at 7:00pm; the speaker starts at 7:30pm.
April 1 — Ivy's Garden Ivy Ried - Pacific Palisades.
"Creating your own healing garden sanctuary". A private sanctuary in your own home using elements of your five senses.
March 4 — A-Z Native Plant Gardening
Elizabeth Schwartz - Theodore Payne Foundation. Lecture and Powerpoint presentation. Elizabeth is a walking encyclopedia on native plants. Bring your questions.
February 4 — Fire Safe Cottage Gardens
Dave Egbert - The Coastal Gardner
January 7 — Organic Gardening
Andy Lopez - The Invisible Gardner
December 3 — Italian Gardens
Don Marquardt, ASLA, MA - Powerpoint presentation on the history and creations of Italian Gardens
November 5 — Plant and Landscape Panel Discussion
Presented by Aaron Landworth, Laura Knauss and Yvette Bocz. Back by popular demand! These are experts and each owns their own businesses. Bring your questions and garden challenges. One of our favorite events of the year.
October 1 — Why Plant Native Plants
Lisa Novick from the Theordore Payne Foundation. Lisa is the Outreach and Volunteer Coordinator for the Theodore Payne Foundation for Wild Flowers and Native Plants.
July — Summer Club Luncheon
June — Petite Gardens for All
May — Annual Malibu Garden Tour
The Tour is always spectacular and the major fundraiser for Malibu Garden Club.
April 2 — Maintaining a Garden All Year
Jackie Oster - Campion Walker Designs
March — Evolution of the Modern Garden
Don Marquardt, ASLA - Has taught Landscape Architecture Professional Certificate Courses at UCLA Extension
February — Development of the Huntington Desert Garden
Development of the Huntington Desert Garden from an Estate Garden in 1907 to the Botanic Garden & Display it is Today Gary Lyons - Curator of the Desert Garden at the Huntington Botanical Garden
January — Birds & Bees in the Garden