Community Outreach

The Livermore-Amador Valley Garden Club has a number of service projects in the Tri-Valley Area. We also support the Penny Pines program, which is a joint partnership of the National Garden Club (NGC) and the USDA Forest Service sustaining our national and urban forests through this reforestation/forest education program.

Sensory Garden

Friday, Jun 16, 2017 9:00 am to Noon

5353 Sunol Blvd., Pleasanton; Across from Raley's. Adjacent to the Pleasanton Senior Center on Sunol Blvd

We will do the usual weeding, trimming, deadheading chores at the work party while enjoying the blooms and activities of the pollinating creatures.

Note: if the day promises to be hot, we will start at 8:30. This will be the last work party for the LAVGC calendar year, but we will have a work party in the middle of summer, either the last week of July or first week in August.

Please bring your own gloves, kneeling pads and hand tools, such as hand pruners, trowels, cultivators, soil knives, etc. Please mark your name or initials on your personal tools. Larger tools and supplies will be provided. There are "jobs" to be done in the raised beds (involves standing) and in the ground-level beds (involves sitting and kneeling). Let Dan know if you prefer to work standing, sitting, or kneeling. Restrooms are available in the Pleasanton Senior Center building.

We invite all of the club members to participate. We will be happy to show less experienced members how to do the tasks. Even if you can't spend the full three hours working in the garden, any time that you can participate is welcomed, so please come early or come late. After the work party, for those interested, we will go to lunch at a near-by location.

Even if you cannot participate in the work party, you are invited to visit the garden on any day. You are also encouraged to get close, sniff and touch the plants, since many are fragrant or aromatic and have interesting textures.

For more information, please contact Daniel McCright. See the LAVGC Yearbook for Dan's contact information.


Daylilies (Hemerocallis)

Modern daylilies are hybrids of several species originating in East Asia. Daylilies are one of the most carefree and easy to grow plants in the garden world. They hardly need an introduction to our garden members. We have several varieties in different colors in the Sensory Garden, Depending on their origins, daylily varieties vary in height and shape and size of flowers. Some are deciduous and die back in winter while others retain their green foliage. After the first blooming periods, they respond to cutting back to coax another bloom period. Featured Plant: Daylilies (Hemerocallis)


Like the daylilies, the cannas we grow today are hybrids of several species originating in this case from South America. While tropical, the rhizomes are hardy and come back each spring after being frosted. Cannas like moist soil and we have such a location in the Sensory Garden where run-off water collects from the lawn sprinklers. Canna are robust plants, reaching 5-6 feet in height. Their blooms come in yellow, orange, and red shades. Many varieties have colorful foliage as well. Featured Plant: Cannas


Gaura produces blooms several months of the year. It grows like a weed in the Sensory Garden, and we have to constrain its profligate self-seeding. We place it in the same areas where bulbous plants bloom in early spring and die back in summer when the Gaura is at its peak growth. Gaura is quite drought tolerant but it also grows well with regular watering. It is native to Texas and withstands weather extremes. The variety with white blooms is the species (Gaura lindheimeri), but we also have some gaura with deep pink blooms. The latter does not appear to self-sow. Featured Plant: Gaura

Uruguay Fire Plant (Dicliptera sericea)

This plant is little-known, but is a great performer in the Sensory Garden. The gray-green foliage is very soft to the touch, and in summer it produces bright orange-red flowers, hence the name. We pair it with Lemon Verbena (Aloysia citrodora), which comes from neighboring Argentina. Its flowers are purplish but largely inconspicuous; the foliage has a strong lemon scent when touched. The leaves are used for herbal teas (tisanes) and for making a lemony liqueur (verveine). Featured Plant: Uruguay Fire Plant (Dicliptera sericea)

Crape Myrtle (Lagerstroemia)

These tree-like plants hardly need an introduction as they are widely planted in the Tri-Valley. They are glorious in August when in full bloom. Crape Myrtles come in white, shades of pink and red, and shades of lavender and purple. They can be trained as trees or left to grow more naturally as large multi-trunk shrubs. While native to southern China, they grow well in warm dry climates as well as warm humid ones. Closer to the Pacific coast they are more subject to mildew. but here they relish the warm dry days of our summer. In the Sensory Garden, we have a variety with deep pink flowers, and there are several other colors planted near-by in Centennial Park. Featured Plant: Crape Myrtle (Lagerstroemia)

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Livermore 1st Street Pots

No workparties are currently scheduled

Please contact Lydia Roberts for more information.

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Camp Arroyo

Friday, Aug 25, 2017 9:00 am to Noon

5535 Arroyo Road, Livermore, CA 94550

Camp Arroyo is a 138-acre park owned and maintained by the East Bay Regional Park District since 1995. It is used by the YMCA for outdoor education during the school year and by the Taylor Family Foundation during the summer for children with serious illnesses. Camp Arroyo is a pesticide free garden with an emphasis on vegetables. There are jobs for all levels of gardening skills. Come and join in the fun.

2017 Work days in the garden will continue to be the 4th Friday (most months!) but Kim is adding a community work day - usually on a Saturday maybe the occasional Sunday, this will include a quick (15-20 minute) garden lesson and then like our Friday work days a list of chores and set folks loose in the garden. The weekend work day will not include lunch but will include a snack. This group will not always be gardeners, so any Club members who would like to attend are super welcome - as in some cases it would be great to pair up less experienced gardeners with folks with more experience.

This will be the last work party prior to summer break. There will be a workparty on Aug 25. We will work first and then go up to the dining hall and have a wonderful camp lunch.

Please sign up at the monthly club meeting or contact Kim Billingsley for more information.


The address is 5535 Arroyo Road in Livermore. Once you are on Arroyo Road, continue past Wente Winery on the left. Camp Arroyo is a short distance from Wente and is located on the right hand side. The first gate is for the Taylor Family Foundation, you want the second gate and you will recognize it by the stone walls either side of the gate and of course, the sign!

Once inside Camp, you can park in the lot on the left and the garden will be across the road on the right.

If you're not sure where it is, ask to ride with someone.

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Eden Garden - an organic project

Every Friday, 8:30 am to 11:30 am.

Jun 24th (4th Saturday), 8:30 am to 11:30 am.

Jul 22th (4th Saturday), 8:30 am to 11:30 am.

Aug 26th (4th Saturday), 8:30 am to 11:30 am.

1660 Freisman Road, Livermore. Pleasanton if you are using GPS! Although it is actually in Livermore!

The Eden Garden, located on the grounds of Crosswinds Church, has 2 simple goals: to provide fresh, organic produce to those in need and to provide a place where people can learn to grow their own food.

Thank you to all who have helped out this spring. We have made tremendous progress getting all our summer crops in the ground and getting prepared for our new garden expansion. We will be gardening throughout the summer to provide produce to those in need. Our schedule will be Friday mornings, mainly to harvest but some garden maintenance too and on the fourth Saturday of the month. During the summer, we will start at 8:30am.

We are also working on the garden reconfiguration that includes the greenhouse, raised beds, irrigation and new fencing. If you would like to help with the financing needed for the expansion please visit our fund raising webpage: Eden Garden Expansion.

We are now also famous! A video has been made about the Eden Garden - an organic project. Here is a link to the video which not only features the Garden but an insight into the South Hayward Outreach Center where much of produce is delivered.

For planning purposes, it is really helpful to know if you will be joining us but please feel free to just show up. If you would like more information or want to join us, please signup at the monthly club meeting or contact Barbara Stott or Karen Abbuscato.

Thank you for your support of the Eden Garden - an organic project and helping us meet our goal of getting fresh, clean produce to those in need.

  • 2016 HARVEST
  • Beans 30.5 lbs
  • Berries 21 lbs
  • Cucumber 103.25 lbs
  • Garlic 45 lbs
  • Leeks 8 lbs
  • Melon 82 lbs
  • Onions 12 lbs
  • Peppers 57.5 lbs
  • Potatoes 59 lbs
  • Summer squash 416.5 lbs
  • Tomatoes 204.75 lbs
  • Winter squash 57.5 lbs
  • Other (Tomatillo) 26.5 lbs
  • GRAND TOTAL 1,123.5 lbs
  • 2015 HARVEST
  • Apricots 2
  • Blackberries 16 lbs
  • Cucumber 495 lbs
  • Eggplant 10 lbs
  • Garlic 25 lbs
  • Herbs 19 bunches
  • Leeks 22 lbs
  • Onions 60 lbs
  • Peppers 170 lbs
  • Persimmons 32 lbs
  • Potatoes 71 lbs
  • Summer squash 327 lbs
  • Tomatoes 476 lbs
  • Winter squash 366 lbs
  • GRAND TOTAL 2,072 lbs
  • 2014 HARVEST
  • Basil 3.5 lbs
  • Blackberries 1 lbs
  • Butternut squash 32 lbs
  • Cucumber 3 lbs
  • Eggplant 196 lbs
  • Garlic 66 lbs
  • Leeks 16 lbs
  • Onions 277 lbs
  • Peppers 205 lbs
  • Potatoes 55 lbs/li>
  • Summer squash 672 lbs
  • Tomatoes 317 lbs
  • Winter squash 153 lbs
  • GRAND TOTAL 1,996.5 lbs
  • 2013 HARVEST
  • Beans 78 lbs
  • Cantaloupe 7 lbs
  • Eggplant 16 lbs
  • Garlic 25 lbs
  • Kale 16 lbs
  • Onions 36 lbs
  • Peppers 90 lbs
  • Persimmons 7 lbs
  • Potatoes 159 lbs
  • Squash 328 lbs
  • Tomatoes 390 lbs
  • GRAND TOTAL 1,152 lbs


From Dublin, take 580 east towards Livermore. Get off at El Charro/Fallon Road and turn right on to El Charro. Turn left at the Outlet Mall and then left again at the end of the Outlet Mall block. Keep to the right and turn right at the end of the road (onto the frontage road). Drive past the golf driving range to the end of Freisman Road. Freisman dead ends at the property. Turn right on to the property. Once on the property take the first left. Follow the road around, across the bridge and you will see a large metal barn. The garden is behind the barn.

From Livermore, you can take 580 west and exit at El Charro/Fallon Road or you can access the property from Jack London Blvd (via Isabel/84). Turn right at the outlet mall. Keep to the right and turn right at the end of the road (onto the frontage road). Drive past the golf driving range to the end of Freisman Road. Freisman dead ends at the property. Turn right on to the property. Once on the property take the first left. Follow the road around, across the bridge and you will see a large metal barn. The garden is behind the barn.

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Pleasanton Gardens

251 Kottinger Drive, Pleasanton

No work parties currently scheduled

Pleasanton Gardens is a retirement community located at 251 Kottinger Drive, Pleasanton, just east of Second Street in the “old” section of Pleasanton.

Pleasanton Gardens will be under new management as of December 1, 2016.

You can also view the garden plot where the residents grow edible crops in the most intensive gardening way we have ever seen. Our club tilled the soil and installed the walkways a few years ago. Many residents grow unusual Asian vegetables not ordinarily seen. Fava beans are a big favorite at this season.

For more information, please contact Daniel McCright. See the LAVGC Yearbook for additional contact information.


Pleasanton Gardens Oct, 2010

In October 2010, the club roto-tilled, raked, amended and prepared the soil in an area in Pleasanton Gardens to make garden plots for the residents. They also laid out walkways between the plots.

Pleasanton Gardens Oct, 2010

Pleasanton Gardens Nov, 2015

Five years later in November 2015, the photos show intensely cultivated garden plots maintained by the residents. They grow a variety of crops through the year. They save and re-sow seeds of heirloom vegetables.

Pleasanton Gardens Nov, 2015

Pleasanton Gardens Nov, 2015

There are about 40 residential units at Pleasanton Gardens. Most of the residents maintain a small garden plot in front of their unit. Many have rose bushes in their plots. Each January, the Garden Club holds a work party to help the residents prune their roses and perform other garden-related tasks for them. Throughout the year, the residents proudly show off their colorful entry ways.

Pleasanton Gardens Nov, 2015

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Garden Angels

We have a group of members willing and eager to go out and help any garden club member that is not able to keep up their garden temporarily possibly because of illness, chemo, etc. We can deadhead, sweep, plant annuals, and generally tidy up the garden. Do you need this kind of help or know someone who does? If so, please use the signup sheet at the monthly club meeting or contact Peggy Despotakis.

Looking for Garden Angels. Periodically club members need some help in their gardens due to illness. If you would like to be on the Angel call list for a workparty, contact Peggy Despotakis.

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Penny Pines

The Penny Pines program, which is a joint partnership of the National Garden Club (NGC) and the USDA Forest Service sustaining our national and urban forests through this reforestation/forest education program.

Have you wondered what that cute green box that is passed around at the meeting and people are putting money inside is for? Each $68 that we collect is used to plant an acre of burned out national forest land. Since 1999, our club has donated money to help plant 109 acres of trees for a total donation of over $8,000.

In addition to donations made by the club, you can make private donations as Jeri Stark did this Christmas. She felt her children have everything they need and so she gave them each a certificate honoring them in the forests near Yosemite where they have spent many years at their grandparent's home. Giving back a bit for all the years of enjoyment for the many happy and fun filled days spent in the area. How it works:

  • LAVGC can honor current or past club members, a member's life partner, or child by contributing funds to the USDA Forest Service.
  • A club member may privately honor an individual by submitting a completed form along with a check for $68, payable to LAVGC.
  • At each monthly meeting, the club collects change that is set aside for a time when a plantation is to be purchased to honor a club member.
  • A PENNY PINES Certificate will be sent to inform the family of the location of the plantation.
  • Nomination to be approved or denied by the LAVGC Executive Board within 60 days of receipt.
  • The Executive Board may also direct purchase of a Penny Pines Plantation for other reasons.
  • To obtain a form from the LAVGC Members Only section, signin, click 'Forms', click the 'Penny Pines' form you want.
  • To obtain a form or for more information, please contact Jeri Stark. See the LAVGC Yearbook for Jeri's phone numbers.

Click to see the NGC Penny Pines information.

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