Tag Archives: garden

Real Garden Schools

Not many nonprofit organizations listget your hands dirty” as one of its core values.

For REAL School Gardens, that’s exactly what it’s all about. Since 2003, the organization has built more than 100 learning gardens at low-income elementary schools throughout Texas. It then implements a multiyear training program on how to best use the garden as a teaching tool, based on each school’s unique design.

According to the organization, schools with gardens have seen standardized test score pass rates increase by 12-15 percent.

When I first started reading to kids we often read stories about gardens or growing plants. When I asked them about BEES, they often yelled “I hate bees” or “I’m scared of bees”…. this lead me to talk more about gardens and add information about pollination. We also discuss how bees navigate, where honey comes from, what the Queen and Workers do! It is a great way to learn science. When they start their spring time gardens at school, I have noticed that they are more curious. Gardening opens minds, inspires kids and encourages curiosity. — the editor

The gardens also have a number of immeasurable outcomes, “from the teacher who can truly engage her students in a meaningful way, to the student who maybe doesn’t get some of the teaching when it’s in the classroom, but out here (in the garden), boom, a light bulb comes on — and they know what it means because they can see it, touch it and feel it,” said Lannie McClelen, senior project manager for REAL School Gardens.

Hakone Matsuri Festival – Sunday May 21

Hakone Gardens festival URL   | Visitor Information

Address: 21000 Big Basin Way, Saratoga, CA 95070
Phone: 408.741.4994

Hakone Matsuri Festival – May 21st, 2017

The Hakone Estate and Gardens are a cultural treasure, and located in Saratoga, CA.
Japanese cultural presentations include:  
  • Japanese music
  • Martial Arts
  • Japanese food
  • luxury Japanese wedding kimonos (uchikake gowns)
  • kids’ corner – which includes: Origami, Shuji (calligraphy) and Soroban (abacus)
  • Japanese tea ceremony
What’s new this year?  These beautiful luxury Japanese wedding kimonos (uchikake gowns) are available for purchase at a discounted price.  Price starts at $1,500 and up. (The estimate market value is $2,000 and up.)
Some confirmed performance: Tsugaru Shamisen, Aikido, Japanese Calligraphy, Shorinji Kenpo.
Japanese cultural activities for kids: Origami, Shuji(calligraphy), Soroban(abacus)
  • Date: Sunday May 21st, 2017
  • Time: 11am – 4pm
    Advance Admission ticket: only $5. Children aged 4 years old and younger, and Hakone members are free. Hakone members still need to get tickets. Tickets are $10 at the event.
  • Shuttle: 10am – 5pm (The first shuttle departs West Valley College at 10am. The last shuttle departs Hakone at 5pm.)
    The gardens are beautiful and the various events, food and demonstrations are not to be missed!
    Check the Hakone Facebook page for updates.

NOTE: You may not park or walk into the gardens on this festival day, you may take the shuttle from Parking Lot 5 at West Valley College.  Hakone will be closed for vehicle access and walk-in access for safety reasons.


A Garden of Inspiration – a lovely book

Contemplating beauty or hearing an inspiring thought as you read aloud, is part of what makes this book of quotes and thoughts so grand!  There are so many quotes in five chapters focusing on Joy in the Garden, Gifts, Beauty, Garden Wit and the changing seasons. You’ll love it and it is perfect for EARTH DAY, or if you are a one of the people (like me) that insists on EARTH YEAR… you will love it.  I have found a favorite quote or a new quote on every page.  Here are a few of the hundreds of quotes  (88 pages)  in this book:

There is peace in the garden. Peace and results.  — Ruth Stout

The earth is absolutely honest; it gives back what is put into it plus interest on the time, money and effort invested. Treat soil handsomely and it will give you a rich return.  — Patience Strong

Anything which grows is always more beautiful to look at than anything which is built. — Lin Yu Tang.

Beautiful Time of the Year

I read this description and almost jumped out of my seat, abandonned my writing project and skipped off to Filoli. Go ahead, and see If you’ll be planning your trip this weekend– (Filoli web site)

Azaleas and Rhododendrons are blooming throughout the Woodland and Walled Gardens. The corridor from the Chartres to the Wedding Place is a right of pink, carmine, coral, red, cream and white.
Our iconic Camperdown Elm, continues to put on its spring show. The clusters of chartreuse seeds heads have formed and are hanging from the branches like papery ornaments.

With the continued warm (technically) winter weather, many of the annuals are going gangbusters! The Sunken Garden is full of color with the blue pansies, blue and white columbine, yellow Siberian wallflower, pink catchfly, and mauve, rose, cream and white foxgloves. The ‘Jersey Jem’ violas are flowering away in the Chartres and Garage Beds. The columbine mix in the Bell Beds is just beginning to flower. And finally, our spring workhorse, the pale blue forget-me-nots, is spectacular as always!

Afternoon Teas are available but you must book early.  You make also book Nature Hikes through the office.

Please Note:  Easter Sunday, April 20 — Filoli is closed to visitors.  Filoli April Calendar.

Garden Happenings
Filoli’s Drought Response web page  




Filoli Roses

Loaves and Fishes Garden needs Volunteers!

The Loaves and Fishes garden at Goodwill is in need of volunteers to help with planting, weeding and watering.
Chuck Habib, Dave Romeri and Larry Vollman have been hard at work for the past month getting the garden into its present state and more work needs to be done. Plants and seeds need planting and as the garden produces, weeds follow along, so we need weed hoeing and furrow maintenance. We will teach you how!

We work in the garden three or four weekday mornings, typically from 8am to 1pm. However, if you can work for as little as one hour, that would be fine. Saturday mornings we work from 8am to 1pm. Again, we need whatever time you can give us.

What to bring:
Bring gloves, a hat, sunscreen and water and come out and help us provide Loaves and Fishes with fresh produce! Expect to get dusty so wear appropriate clothing. Please give us a call and we can set up a time that works for you. If you can help, please contact one of the numbers listed below:

Chuck Habib (408) 313-7784
Dave Romeri (408) 593-4345
Larry Vollman (408) 904-8676

Please do not contact Kimberly the Loaves & Fishes volunteer coordinator regarding the Goodwill garden project. 
If you would like to donate to the garden we are also in need of:
* Twenty treated 8 ft tree poles constructed from fir wood and treated for ground contact use.
* Four dozen 2 ft fir garden stakes.
* Four hundred pole bean seeds.
* Two hundred red cabbage seeds.
* Two hundred kale seeds.
* Two hundred beet seeds.
* Two hundred carrot seeds.
* Two hundred radish seeds.
* Two hundred radicchio seeds.
* Two hundred swiss chard seeds.
* Two Meyer lemon trees.
* Two Valencia navel orange trees.
* Two Washington navel orange trees.
* Two heavy duty storage racks; includes 4 large 36″ W x 16″D steel shelves that holds up to 200 lbs. per shelf.
Thank you in advance, we look forward to working with you and growing the garden!
Loaves & Fishes Family Kitchen
777 North First Street, Suite 420 | San Jose, CA 95112 US

Not to Miss EVENTS!

Water liliesThe 28th Annual “Spring Show” is heading to the Alameda County Fair Grounds on April 5 – 7, 2013.

You can visit any participating Togo’s and pick-up free tickets.

** This is THE TIME to see gardens, wildflowers, take hikes, discover more!

And just so you know, the Sunset Magazine Celebration is JUNE 1-2, on Willow St. in Menlo Park. This is a weekend long party of food, wine, music, gardens, travel and more.

Native Plant Gardening Talks + more

Ca Native Plant SocietyTake a look at the following free talks –
thanks ~~Arvind Kumar~~
  • Dec 12 in Milpitas
  • Dec 13 in Cupertino !! very popular seed + cutting exchange  !!
  • Dec 18 in San Jose

Join in the fun, friendship and knowledge ~ Details below:
Maintaining Your Native Garden, a lecture and reading by Helen Popper
Wednesday, December 12, 7:00 PM,
Milpitas Library, 160 N Main Street, Milpitas, (408) 262-1171 x3616
This lecture is our twelfth and final in our 12-part
Designing Your Native Plant Garden series and we are
delighted to have it focus on a book about maintaining your
native garden. The book California Native Gardening: A
Month by Month Guide begins in October, when much of
California leaves the dry season behind and prepares for its
own green “spring.” In it, Helen Popper provides detailed,
calendar-based information for both beginning and
experienced native gardeners.
Hear about each month’s gardening tasks, including
repeated tasks and those specific to each season. See
different planting and design ideas, and learn about core
gardening techniques, such as pruning, mulching, and
propagating. Helen Popper is a long-time member of our
Chapter and one of the first members of the Gardening with
Natives group.
Seed Exchange and Propagation Lecture, with Jean Struthers and Patricia Evans
Thu., Dec. 13, 7:00 PM,
Cupertino Community Hall, 10350 Torre Avenue, Cupertino, (408) 446-1677
One of our most popular events, the Exchange arrives just
in time to sow seeds, take advantage of the upcoming rain,
and ensure plenty of blooms for spring. This year we have
two presenters who will give you plenty of tips on the how,
when, why, what, and where of seed starting.
Jean Struthers leads the crew of volunteers who propagate
plants for our semi-annual plant sales, while Patricia
Evans has taught “Garden Design for Homeowners” in the
Palo Alto Adult Education program and also propagates
many plants for the CNPS sales.
Bring native plant seeds and cuttings from your garden to
show, tell and share. Also bring empty envelopes for seeds
and plastic bags for cuttings and be prepared to take some
new starts home to your own garden. The offerings range
from easy-to-grow to hard-to-find. Feel free to come even
if you don’t have any to share—there is always plenty for
Native Plants in a California Garden, a talk by Patrick Pizzo
Tuesday, Dec. 18, 6:00 PM,
Vineland Branch Library, 1450 Blossom Hill Road, San Jose, (408) 808-3000
What is unique about California native plants? Do they
make good garden subjects? Where can I see native plants
in a garden setting? What are some of the best-of-the-best
drought resistant plants? What kind of care will they need?
Where can I find or buy native plants?
Beginning and intermediate level gardeners will find
answers to all these questions and more at this talk and
slideshow by Patrick Pizzo, retired SJSU professor and the
founder of the Capitancillos Drive native plant streetscape
in San Jose. Handouts and plant lists will be available.
Native plants in garden

Succulent Gardens

The quality, abundance and diversity of the plants in the growing grounds at the Succulent Gardens  is astonishing. These plants are on display at various events such as the SF Flower and Garden show and Sunset Magazine Open house. They have a demo garden. 2133 Elkhorn Rd. Castroville, CA. I hope that one day they will have “overnight” parties just like the Monterey Bay Aquaium does. Imagine falling asleep and being surrounded by the most beautiful succulents in all sizes and colors. Wow.