The Coastal Gardener: Two weeks of gardening education

September 17, 2010|By Ron Vanderhoff
  • This classic 104 year old Greene & Greene home in Pasadena sports a beautiful, low maintenance and sustainable garden. It will be one of several gardens on tour during the Gardening Under Mediterranean Skies symposium.
This classic 104 year old Greene & Greene home in Pasadena… (Daily Pilot )

Learning is like rowing upstream: not to advance is to drop back.

Chinese proverb

If one wants to create a great garden and then sustain it, there are really only two options.

Option 1: Start planting whatever appeals to you. As things fail, replace them with a different plant, another one that appeals to you. Keep doing this earnestly. Eventually, perhaps at the end of a very long life, you will have a great garden.

Option 2: Learn how to grow and sustain a great garden, especially from other experts (including those who chose Option 1 and who are very, very old). This learning might be in person, working alongside them or more often through their writings and other communications.

For those of you who prefer Option 1, thank you; you keep our nurseries busy. But for those who prefer the second approach, the next two weekends will offer some of the best learning opportunities of the year.


Sept. 23 to 26 – Pasadena: Gardening Under Mediterranean Skies

This is the eighth version of this popular symposium dedicated to those wanting to garden in harmony with our Mediterranean climate. This year's event, appropriately subtitled Style & Whimsy in the Sustainable Garden, will focus on the lighthearted side of gardening in our wonderful and unique climate. The symposium will feature a remarkable variety of garden tours, lectures by some of the West's leading experts, workshops and panel discussions.

Co-sponsored by the Pacific Horticulture Society and the Mediterranean Garden Society, Sept. 23 offers all-day garden bus tours, a panel discussion and dinner. On each of the next three days, nine expert speakers will show how to increase the fun and style in your garden. As it should be, lunch each day will be alfresco, and each day will also include visits to three exceptional and beautiful private gardens (different each day) that demonstrate sustainable garden practices.

The symposium will be in the fascinating Pasadena area. Register for individual days or the entire symposium. For more information or to register go to and click Education/Events. Hurry: it's nearly sold out.

Sept. 25 – Huntington Beach: Eighth annual Master Gardener Gardening Seminar

For the past seven years the Master Gardeners of Orange County have presented what may be the best one-day educational gardening program in Orange County, and this year will be no different.

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