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 15, 2018 9:00 am to Noon

August day TBD. Contact Dan McCright for more information

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

We will perform the usual chores of weeding, deadheading, trimming, etc. as needed to maintain the garden in a presentable condition.

Please bring your own hand tools, work gloves, and kneeling pads. Larger tools and supplies will be provided. Restrooms are located in the Senior Center Building. If the day is hot, we will start a half-hour earlier. After the work party, for those interested, we will adjourn for lunch at a near-by eatery.

We have jobs in the raised beds (requires standing) and in the ground-level beds (requires sitting or kneeling), so let Dan know your preferences.

The garden is in full bloom and photos of the featured plants for the month are shown below. Even if you cannot attend the work party, please feel free to visit the Sensory Garden any day and enjoy yourself. While the June work party is the last one for the "LAVGC Season", we will hold another work party in early August during the summer break. Details will be given at the June meeting.

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.


We nominate three featured Sensory Garden plants for the month of June. All three produce prolific flowers and are easy to grow.

Daylily (Hemerocallis)

Daylilies are among the easiest perennial plants to grow and they are welcomed in gardens because of this trait. They are available in many colors, heights, and flower forms. They have been developed from several species of Hemerocallis, all native to eastern Asia. The botanical name means flower for a day, because each blossom lasts only a day but they are produced in quantity. They are rarely bothered by insects or diseases. They grow readily into clumps that can be divided to propagate new plants every five years or so. They make good landscape plants because of their arching form and ease of culture. They vary in height from about 2 feet to 5 feet, according to variety. We have found that if the foliage is cut back after the first flush of bloom in early summer, they will respond to new growth and a second flush of flowers. Daylilies respond well to regular watering, but the plants can survive with considerable neglect.

Featured Plant: Daylily (Hemerocallis)


The species of lantana that we grow in the Sensory Garden is Lantana montevidensis. We have planted it along the edge of a raised bed to allow its natural spreading growth pattern to cascade over the wall. Lantanas attract butterflies. The leaves have a pungent aroma that some people admire. Lantanas love the heat and bloom for a very long time. They are frost sensitive, but this species is the hardiest in this area. Even if frosted, they come back with the return of warm weather, They are not bothered by snails, insects or diseases. They are native to South America. Lantanas are water-thrifty plants and will bloom well with just occasional summer watering.

Featured Plant: Lantana


This Yarrow is the variety Moonshine that is a hybrid of Mediterranean species. Its origin is a good indicator that it should thrive in our Mediterranean climate. It produces bright yellow flowers over a long period, and it can be encouraged to produce a second lush of bloom if the dead flowers and foliage are cut back. The foliage is finely cut and resembles fern fronds. The foliage of Moonshine is a gray-green color, suggesting low water needs. Other species and varieties of Yarrow come in other flower and foliage colors This particular variety can be propagated by divisions of the clump.

Featured Plant: Yarrow


Most gardeners regard Carex as an ornamental grass, although botanically they are sedges (closely related to true grasses). They are grown for their outstanding foliage, which in our case is a bright chartreuse green. We believe this is the variety Carex elata 'Aurea'. It forms a showy large clump. We have planted it in one of the raised beds where it gets regularly watered by the drip irrigation; we have aso planted it in a ground-level bed where it receives water from lawn irrigation. Carex, like most sedges can tolerate constantly wet soils. Beyond watering, their needs are simple; They are not bothered by pests or diseases.

Featured Plant: Carex

Clove Pinks (Dianthus plumarius)

The outstanding attributes of this dianthus are the bright flower color and the fragrance of cloves. We have planted it along the edges of a raised bed so that its aroma can be enjoyed by visitors to the Sensory Garden.. It blooms heavily in early summer with sporadic production of flowers later on. Pinks are native to Europe and the common name refers to the pinked edges of the flower, although the color of this particular variety is also bright pink. They like good drainage and naturally grow along old walls, indicating a preference for limy soils. Pinks can be propagated from cuttings or by seeds. The leaves are usually grayish or bluish green and are attractive when the plant is out of bloom.

Featured Plant: Clove Pinks (Dianthus plumarius)

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Camp Arroyo

Workparties will continue during the summer

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 sign up at the monthly LAVGC meeting or RSVP to Kim Billingsley if you would like to be on the notification list.

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 and 2018 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

Summer, 2018: most Fridays, 8:30 am - 11:30 pm.

Summer, 2018: 3rd Saturdays, 8:30 am - 11:30 pm.

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.

A huge thank you to all who have helped out this spring! We made tremendous progress getting all our summer crops in the ground and working on the new garden area. 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 third Saturday of the month. Please note we will not be working on the Friday morning prior to the third Saturday work parties. To beat the heat during the summer, we will start at 8:30am.

Come for an hour or three, no experience required, just a willingness to help out. We will break for a snack. We are also willing to answer any garden questions we can.

Eden Garden is located near the barn on the Crosswinds Church property in Livermore, on the frontage road just beyond the Outlet Mall. Volunteers come from the garden club, Crosswinds Church, and the community.

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, Karen Abbuscato or Beth Clark. 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

No workparties are currently scheduled

Please contact 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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