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, Mar 16, 2018 9:00 am to Noon

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

We will perform the usual maintenance chores of weeding, deadheading, pruning, etc. to keep the garden looking tidy for public viewing. Please bring your own hand tools (trowels, soil knives, hand pruners, and the like) plus gloves and kneeling pads for your comfort. We have tasks to perform in the raised beds if you prefer to stand or in the ground-level beds if you prefer to sit or kneel. Restrooms are available in the Senior Center Building. For those interested, after the work party, we will adjourn to a near-by restaurant for lunch.

Even if you cannot attend the work party, feel free to visit the garden on any day to relax and enjoy yourself. If you come on a calm sunny day, bees, butterflies, humming birds and other pollinators will be actively working their rounds for you added enjoyment.

Please signup at the monthly LAVGC meeting or RSVP Daniel McCright. See the LAVGC Yearbook for Dan's contact information.

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


Calendula (Calendula officinalis)

Another name for this plant is Pot Marigold because it is often planted in an herb or vegetable garden because the flowers are edible, Calendulas come from the Mediterranean region and while generally short-lived plants, they self-seed to become perennial. They bloom best in the cooler months and bear brightly colored yellow or orange flowers with either self-centers or dark-centers. They are very easy to grow. The plant has an herbal scent. Plants grow a foot to a foot and a half tall.

Featured Plant: Calendula (Calendula officinalis)

Re-blooming Bearded Iris (Iris germanica)

This iris is noted for blooming and re-blooming each year. It often blooms well ahead of most bearded irises in winter to early spring and then again in the fall. The flowers are dark purple and borne on stems somewhat shorter than most other varieties of bearded irises. The flowers are mildly fragrant. Plants grow quickly into clumps that are readily divided to produce more plants.

Featured Plant: Re-blooming Bearded Iris (Iris germanica)

Ice Plant (Drosanthemum floribundum)

This ice plant produces spectacular bright neon-pink blooms that cover the foliage. It is allowed to cascade over the walls of the raised beds in the Sensory Garden for a colorful effect. Like other ice plants, it has succulent leaves and can be propagated from stem cuttings. While its main bloom occurs in the spring months, it produces a few intermittent flowers later in the year. It is exceedingly easy to grow.

Featured Plant: Ice Plant (Drosanthemum floribundum)

California Poppy and Spanish Bluebell (Eschscholtzia californica and Hyacinthoides hispanicum)

This combination of plants with contrasting blue and gold colors occurs in many spots in the Sensory Garden. The California poppy is well-known as the state flower and the bluebell is indigenous to the Iberian peninsula. California poppies may behave as annuals or short-lived perennials, but they renew themselves prolifically by self-sowing. Spanish bluebells grow from bulbs that make large clumps after a few years. They are often still sold as Scilla, an older botanical name.

Featured Plant: California Poppy and Spanish Bluebell   (Eschscholtzia californica and Hyacinthoides hispanicum)

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Camp Arroyo

Friday, Mar 23, 2018 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.

Please join us at Camp Arroyo for a work party doing general gardening on Friday March 23, 2018 - 9-noon with the option to stay for a great camp lunch after our work time. There will be plenty for all to do, from weeding, and trimming, to planting. Hope to have you join us.

Please sign up at the monthly LAVGC meeting or RSVP to Kim Billingsley.

For more information, contact Kim Billingsley. See the LAVGC Yearbook for Kim's contact 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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Pictures from 2017 Sensory Garden work parties

Here are some photos taken at Sensory Garden work parties in the recent past. Work parties are fun for getting to know our members and the participants learn about horticultural practices as they perform the work of transplanting, weeding, dead heading, pruning, fertilizing, controlling pests and propagation of plants.

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Eden Garden - an organic project

February and March, 2018: Pop Up Work Parties, contact the Chair for information.

April, 2018: Most Fridays

April, 2018: Third Saturday

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

'Eden Garden - an organic project', located on the grounds of Crosswinds Church, has 2 simple goals: to provide fresh, organic food for those in need and to give people a hands on opportunity to learn about growing their own food.

Beginning in April, we have 2 work parties a month, most Fridays and the third Saturday.

Much work is going on in our existing and new garden areas during our dormant season as we continue to accomplish our 2 simple goals of providing a place where people can come together: to grow food for those in need and to learn about growing their own fruits and vegetables. We will be having Pop Up Work Parties during the months of February and March as our schedules and weather permit. April will see us start our summer garden and regular work parties on most Fridays and on the third Saturday of the month (a change from last year).

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. Conversely if you wish to no longer receive emails, please let Barbara know and we will remove you from the list.

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. Happy Gardening!

We are 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.

Pictures from the 2017 Eden Garden

  • 2017 HARVEST
  • Beans 161 lbs
  • Berries 4 lbs
  • Carrots 5 lbs
  • Cucumber 831 lbs
  • Eggplant 79 lbs
  • Fava beans 150 lbs
  • Garlic 145 lbs
  • Melon 31 lbs
  • Onions 50 lbs
  • Peppers 120 lbs
  • Persimmons 9 lbs
  • Pomegranite 60 lbs
  • Summer squash 412 lbs
  • Tomatoes 248 lbs
  • Winter squash 422 lbs
  • GRAND TOTAL 2,727 lbs
  • 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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Livermore 1st Street Pots

Wednesday, March 14, 2018 9:00 AM. Alden Lane Nursery, 981 Alden Lane, Livermore

Hello fellow gardeners. We have been notified that a month from now, on Wednesday March 14, we will need to meet at Alden Lane Nursery at 9 a.m. to replant and beautify the First Street Pots. The city plans to transport them to First Street two days later on Friday March 16.

Please signup at the meeting or RSVP to Mary Davis for more information.See the LAVGC Yearbook for additional contact information.

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Pleasanton Gardens

251 Kottinger Drive, Pleasanton

The Pleasanton Gardens project, which the LAVGC initiated in 1987, closed in 2016 due to construction of the new housing for seniors called Kottinger Gardens. The role of the garden club with the new residential development is in discussion.

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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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