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, Jan 19, 2018 9:00 am to Noon

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

After the break in December we restart the monthly work parties. We will weed, prune, deadhead, and otherwise tidy up the garden to make it presentable to the public. Please bring your personal hand tools (trowels, soil knives, pruners, etc.), gloves, kneeling pads and the like. Larger tools and supplies will be furnished. We have jobs to do in the raised beds (work standing up) and ground-level beds (requires sitting or kneeling). Let Daniel know your preferences. If December rains materialize, we should have a crop of seedlings, some of which are weeds and other self-sown seedlings of more desirable plants.

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.

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.

FEATURED PLANTS for JANUARY

Feverfew (Tanacetum parthenium)

This plant has had botanical name changes in the past several years, as the large Chrysanthemum genus, in which it was originally placed, has been divided into several genera. It can be considered as a short-lived perennial or an extended annual as an individual plant lives 1-3 years, but it self sows abundantly to make a permanent appearance. The leaves have a peppery aroma and is said to attract beneficial insects. As the common name feverfew implies, the plant was used as a medicinal herb. It grows 1-2 feet tall and the variety in the Sensory Garden bears single small white daisies. It blooms for an extended period and peaks in the cooler months. Its habit of growth makes it ideal as a filler plant in flower beds.

Featured Plant: Feverfew (Tanacetum parthenium)

White Buckwheat (Eriogonum parvifolium)

This plant is a California native and naturally prefers wet winters and dry summers. It is also called sea cliff buckwheat. The plant grows to about 2 feet in height and likes sandy soil. It blooms over a several month period and is attractive to many butterflies. In the Sensory Garden, it is placed to receive no summer watering.

Featured Plant: White Buckwheat (Eriogonum parvifolium)

Red Buckwheat (Eriogonum grande rubescens)

This plant is also a California native that prefers wet winters and dry summers. It s location in the Sensory Garden receives no irrigation in summer. It grows about 12-18 inches, It has gray green leaves that form small mounds. It bears rosy red flowers over an extended period, heaviest in the late spring but making a show even in winter.

Featured Plant: Red Buckwheat (Eriogonum grande rubescens)

Grevillea lanigera 'Coastal Gem'

Grevilleas are native to Australia and originate in areas that are very low in the element phosphorus. They have the ability to concentrate this element in their roots, so that an excess of phosphate fertilizer applied to the soil can kill the plant in an overdose. We are careful not to fertilize this plant. It has interesting attractive blue green foliage and the flowers are curiously formed, rose red and white in color. This is a plant ideal for close-up viewing. It likes dry summers and is placed in a location that receives no summer irrigation. Too much kindness is fatal to this plant. The flowering peak is in winter, but there is lingering bloom through much of the year.

Featured Plant: Grevillea lanigera 'Coastal Gem'

Toyon (Heteromeles arbutifolia)

The other common name is California Holly and hence Hollywood. As a native plant it is used to wet winters and dry summers. It can grow 8 to 15 feet tall when mature. In winter it bears clusters of berries that resemble holly. In spring it produces clusters of showy white flowers, and all year round it is covered with dark green leathery-like foliage, making it an ideal landscape plant. It develops a deep root system and does not take well to containers so it often looks miserable in the nursery. We started with a small plant a couple of years ago and now have some berries to view. It has the potential of becoming a focal point in the Sensory Garden as it matures.

Featured Plant: Toyon (Heteromeles arbutifolia)

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Camp Arroyo

Friday, Jan 26, 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. There are jobs for all levels of gardening skills. Come and join in the fun.

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

Directions

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 recent 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

No workparties are currently scheduled

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.

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.

Pictures from the 2017 Eden Garden

  • 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

Directions

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

No workparties are currently scheduled

Please contact Lydia Roberts for more information.

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Pleasanton Gardens

251 Kottinger Drive, Pleasanton

The Pleasanton Gardens project, which the LAVGC initiated in 1987, is not active for the 2016-17 year while the present Pleasanton Gardens residential units are being demolished and rebuilt. When the construction is completed, the new housing for seniors will be 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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