Watch “Symphony of the Soil” Free

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For a limited time you can watch Symphony of the Soil for free from their website.  Highly recommended. Also check out the UN International Year of Soils website.UN.Soils for more information and resources.


Smithsonian’s A Community of Gardens

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The Lafayette Community Garden and Outdoor Learning Center is proud to be featured on a Smithsonian Website called A Community of Gardens.  Check out the website and the other gardens on it.  And thanks to Susan Dannensfelser for working with the good folks at the Smithsonian.

SRO Outdoor Learning Season Opener

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Dudley Braun

The 2015 Outdoor Learning Programming kicked off the year on Sunday with more than 50 members and visitors.  The opening program from our own Dudley Braun offered the basics in constructing raised beds from Redwood.  The follow on program from perennial favorite, Lori Caldwell, offered tips on getting your garden ready for planting.  If you would like to attend one of our Outdoor Learning Events, check out the “Events List” just to the right of this post and check back often for new listings.

Lori Caldwell





Mow no Mo’! at Bringing Back the Natives Garden Tour

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Would you like to cut your water use—and your water bill—in half? If so, I hope you’ll join me at a Mow no Mo’! (“How to remove your lawn”) workshop this spring.  Workshops will be offered:

Saturday, March 21, Oakland

Sunday, April 19, Livermore

Saturday, May 30, Pleasant Hill

$30, 10:00–3:00; register at

You’ll learn how to remove your lawn (where a quarter to half of the water you use is applied), select native plants, and design a water-conserving, pesticide-free garden that attracts wildlife. Most importantly, you’ll have the hands-on experience of sheet-mulching a lawn, and you’ll depart confident that you can do this at home.  Not ready to take out the whole thing?  Then start small; maybe just reduce the size of your lawn by widening the garden beds.  

Here is what past participants said:

“This was a fabulous workshop and it was so useful to actually take part in the sheet mulching process. There is nothing better than the hands-on experience. Thank you so much, a really enjoyable day.”

“This was great. I have read many articles on sheet mulching, but until you experience the entire process up front and personal, you just don’t get it. Thank you.”

“The process of learning how to sheet mulch was great. We are confident that we can complete our project and do it well.”

“Hands-on is a great way to learn!”

Register now! 

At the same time, you can register for the Sunday, May 3, 2015 Bringing Back the Natives Garden Tour! This year’s tour will fill; register now to reserve your place.

Would you also be willing to put this post on your NextDoor group, post it on your Facebook page, or send it to friends who might be interested?  

Volunteers are needed to spend a morning or afternoon greeting tour participants and answering questions about natives.  Benefits to volunteers include invitations to Garden Soirees, in which tour gardens are open to hosts and volunteers; a pre-tour meeting with the owner and private tour of the garden you will be staffing; a guaranteed tour reservation for the half day you are free; a Bringing Back the Natives Garden Tour t-shirt, and, perhaps best of all, heartfelt thanks for helping to educate the general public about the many pleasures and benefits of gardening with California native plants.  Prior to signing up to volunteer, browse the gardens to choose the garden you would like to be assigned to. Click here for more information on volunteering.

2016 Tour -Applications for the 2016 Tour are now being accepted. You can download the application form from the Tour website.  Garden visits will be made in May and June.  (Please note that gardens must contain at least 60% or more native plants.)

Donations – This year, please join your fellow guests in supporting the Bringing Back the Natives Garden Tour. Given decreasing public agency support, we find it necessary to turn to Tour participants to help keep the tour going and to keep it free for those who cannot afford to pay. Please follow the instructions in the registration form to make your contribution, or you can donate here

Facebook – If you enjoy the Tour please “share” us on Facebook! This spring the Garden Tour’s Facebook page will run articles such as “What to do in your native plant garden each month;” and “What’s in bloom now?;” describe the spring workshops; feature specific gardens; show you before-and-after garden photos; and just generally provide a behind-the-scenes look at the Bringing Back the Natives Garden Tour. Don’t miss out!

We would appreciate your forwarding this e-mail on to friends, neighbors, family members, or colleagues you think might be interested.

I hope to see you at a workshop, and also that you enjoy this year’s Bringing Back the Natives Garden Tour!

Spring into Spring

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Spring into Spring March 2015Sign up for this and other events offered by the Lafayette Community Garden.

Garden Reopens with Two New Classes on March 15th

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It has been a wonderful break, but we’re all itching for the Lafayette Community Garden to reopen. Members will be kicking off the season on Saturday, March 14, 2015 and the garden gates will swing wide open on Sunday, March 15, 2015  to welcome the community to two new and exciting classes:

Building of the first beds in 2012

From 1:00 – 1:30PM, joinDudley Braun and the Construction Team from the Community Garden for our first class of the season: BUILDING RAISED BEDS.Dudley and crew have had three years of practice and have now perfected the art of building raised beds. They will show you what they have learned and send you home with a simple handout so you can build one of your own.

Following this informative session, you can then get your garden ready for a new season of growing at Prepping Your Edible Garden For Spring from 1:30PM to 3:00PM. Bay Friendly Landscape Professional, Master Composter and Garden Educator Lori Caldwell will teach you the basics of preparing a productive, healthy vegetable garden. Topics will include: healthy soil building, seeds versus starts, crop rotation, transitioning from a fall garden or starting from scratch, plant choice by season and non-toxic pest control. This is a great class for beginning and intermediate gardeners.

Sign up for these classes and put it on your calendar!