Garden Happenings

We have had some rain! More showers could start Saturday, and continue for at least three days. Our plants are thriving with this overdue moisture, which might reach normal seasonal levels.

On Tuesday, March 20th, the 2012 Vernal Equinox marked the beginning of spring in the Northern Hemisphere. Equinoxes occur when the sun shines directly on the equator and day and night lengths are nearly equal. True spring weather should follow—but the weather offers no certainties.

San Francisco Flower and Garden Show

Saturday, 10:00 to 7:00 and Sunday, 10:00 to 6:00. Again, this is the largest garden-related annual event in the western U.S., and an unparalleled opportunity to learn about gardening, attend seminars by experts, buy plants, garden tools and accessories, and examine extraordinary display gardens by some of northern California’s most creative designers.

The San Mateo Event Center is a short road trip from Monterey, and admission is just $20. For details, visit

California Naturalist Program

The California Naturalist Program launches on April 7th, a new certification program of the University of California, Santa Cruz Arboretum to promote stewardship of California’s natural communities. Expert specialists will generate understanding and appreciation of our interdependence with nature and the need to conserve the natural environment.

The program will meet twice weekly for ten weeks from April 7th to June 16th, on Thursday evenings at the Arboretum and on weekend field trips to natural areas. The $300 fee equals $15 for each of the twenty sessions, a bargain if your schedule permits and loving nature is among your priorities.

Contacts: Arboretum (831) 427-2998, Arboretum Director Brett Hall (, or the program’s web page (

California Native Plant Week

The Second Annual California Native Plant Week happens April 15th through April 22nd. The California Native Plant Society inspired this occasion, and California Assembly Concurrent Resolution 173 made it official in August 2010. ACR 173 proclaims the third week of April as a period to recognize the many benefits of native plant gardening and landscaping: including reducing residential water use from 60 to 90% over conventional gardening.

Pacific Grove Museum’s 49th Annual Wildflower Show

With the Monterey Bay Chapter, California Native Plant Society. 100:00 a.m., Friday, April 16th through 5:00 p.m., Sunday, April 18th. “… the largest [show] in the Northern and Western Hemispheres featuring over 600 species and varieties of Central Coast wildflowers.” $3 requested donation.

UCSC Arboretum’s Spring Plant Sale

With the Santa Cruz Chapter, California Native Plant Society. Opens to CNPS and Arboretum members from 10:00–12:00 on Saturday, April 21st and continues from 12:00 to 4:00 for everyone. No surprise: you can join the CNPS or the Arboretum on sale day and enjoy your membership all year.

Visit my very new website,, for descriptions of plants offered at the Arboretum/CNPS Plant Sale and more.


The CNPS will have several thousand colorful native and drought tolerant plants for sale, and will feature a selection of Ribes, the genus of currants and gooseberries, which is one of the best of California’s spring bloomers for gardens.

The Arboretum will offer selected specimens of plants from Australia and South Africa, as well as California natives, all of which well suited to grow nicely in the Monterey Bay area. Featured plants include Grevillea ‘Mason’s Hybrid’, Erica speciosa, Boronia heterophylla, Leucospermum ‘Spider’, and Berberis pinnata ssp insularis ‘Shnilemoon’, any of which could a great addition to your garden.

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