Day: October 3, 2016

You’re invited to our Open House and Harvest Celebration for the 2016 Season

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Lafayette Community Garden and Outdoor Learning Center hosts its 5th annual harvest celebration on Sunday, October 16, 2016

Join us at the Garden for delicious snacks and drinks, scarecrow making, garden crafts and local music. The Open House and Harvest Celebration is free, so invite you friends and come down for a good time! It’s on Sunday, October 16 from 11AM to 3PM.

RSVP today!

The Doctor is In

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Do you have a plant that looks a little under the weather? Bring it to the garden from 10-11am today and have the UC Master Gardeners take a look. This service is free!

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!

Go Gaia! The Three Rs! Our Break Down Experiment. Directions.

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Our Secret Garden has gotten off to a great start. On Monday, June 30, we discussed ways to keep Mother Earth healthy and made recycled newspaper trees. We also went on a hunt for litter and leaves around the garden. We, then, dumped everything into a bucket of compost and worms to find out what will break down over the next four weeks.


Today, July 3, our theme was “following directions.” We learned that different plants needed to be planted in different places, based on the sun and shade. And we found out that sunflowers in particular follow the sun throughout the day.

Local yoga instructor Alison Leitheiser lead us in some garden yoga. Our little gardeners were excellent listeners and followed directions very well. Let’s hope the sunflowers that we planted today also get to follow the directions of the sun.

Happy Fourth!

See you Monday, July 7, when we talk about being great neighbors and community helpers.

Bye Bye Tank!

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It seems like only yesterday when our water tank was delivered. This tank helped us through the first two years while our more permanent, sustainable water was sorted out. But now we have more space for growing!

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All Hail Doc Hale!

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Wow, check out Sophie Braccini’s great article in the new issue of Lamorinda Weekly.

Longtime wildlife biologist, naturalist, and ethnobiologist James ‘Doc’ Hale understands the Lafayette area, its natural beauty, the wildlife that lives there, and the history of the Native Americans who once built villages along its creek and tributaries. He will discuss these Native Americans, and the edible plants they used for sustenance and medication, on July 13 at the Lafayette Community Garden and Outdoor Learning Center.

“The phrase that’s carved in our garden’s gate is Rachel Carson’s ‘In Nature Nothing Exists Alone,'” says Lafayette Community Garden’s Beth Ferree. “Gardening is only one of the components of what we are about; the other two are education and preservation.” Hale’s class is part of the garden’s mission to promote a better appreciation and use of our land.

Read more here.

Jim Hale