Desert Garden Community Day 2017

Desert Garden Community Day

What: 12th annual Desert Garden Community Day

When: 8:30 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 28

Where: UCR Palm Desert, 75080 Frank Sinatra Drive, Palm Desert

Details: Gardening experts cover topics from irrigation to what to plant in the desert to vermiculture and butterfly gardens; seminars, exhibits, demonstrations, sales, kid’s activities, food, movie

Cost: FREE

Hosts: Desert Horticultural Society of the Coachella Valley, UCR Palm Desert, UC Cooperative Extension, UCCE Master Gardeners

Information: Tracy Merrigan, (310) 428-9500 or contact us

Hometown Habitat Screening

Hometown Habitat, Stories of Bringing Nature Home

A 90-minute environmental, education documentary focused
on showing how and why native plants are critical
to the survival and vitality of local ecosystems.

Hometown Habitat features renowned entomologist Dr. Douglas Tallamy, whose research, books and lectures on the use of non-native plants in landscaping, sound the alarm about habitat and species loss. Tallamy provides the narrative thread that challenges the notion that humans are here and nature is someplace else. “It doesn’t have to, and shouldn’t be that way.” Inspiring stories of community commitment to conservation landscaping illustrate Tallamy’s vision by showing how humans and nature can co-exist with mutual benefits.

The message: All of us have the power to support habitat for wildlife and bring natural beauty to our patch of the earth.

The goal: Build a new army of habitat heroes!

Garden Day Program

Full Schedule for 2017 Garden Day

We’re super excited about this year’s line-up of FREE classes and instructors! We have several different tracks, so you can be super focused on your favorite gardening topic, or you can mix-and-match among the groups to attend whatever looks most interesting to you.

Please note: this is event a joint effort among The Desert Horticultural Society of Coachella Valley, UC Cooperative Extension Master Gardeners, and UC Riverside Palm Desert. To learn more about other group’s events, please contact them directly.

Program Overview

8:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. Doors open, join us to explore local vendors who can help you put your ideas in place

9:00 a.m. – 9:30 a.m. Keynote Address: Peggy Mauk of UC Riverside

9:45 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. Classes, open to all (see Classroom Tracks below for more info)

9:45 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. Kids Program open to all, but recommended for elementary school students

1:45 p.m. – 2:00 p.m. DHSCV Scholarship Presentation

2:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. Film Screening: Hometown Habitat with discussion afterward led by UC Professor Cameron Barrows

Classroom Tracks


Landscaping (DHSCV)

9:45 a.m. – 10:30 a.m. On the Patio Pruning for Desert Landscapes: Al Hollinger, Vintage Associates

9:45 a.m. – 10:30 a.m. Opuntia Hybrids: Tom Jesch of Waterwise Botanicals

10:45 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. Natives for Newcomers: Tracy Merrigan, Vice President of DHSCV

11:45 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. Native Plants, Who Needs Them?: Madena Asbell of Mojave Desert Land Trust

12:45 p.m. – 1:30 p.m. Gardening in the Future: Wendy Proud of Mountain States Wholesale Nursery

Read more about these classes


Landscaping (UCCE)

9:45 a.m. – 10:30 a.m. Top Ten Ways to Save Water in Your Landscape: Janet Hartin

10:45 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. Diseases Impacting Desert Trees: Akif Eskalen

11:45 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. Palm Selection & Care: Don Hodel

12:45 p.m. – 1:30 p.m. South American Palm Weevil Outbreak: Mark Hoddle


Food & Vegetable Gardening (Master Gardeners)

9:45 a.m. – 10:30 a.m. Sustainable Vegetable Gardening: Angela Fasano of CVWD

10:45 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. No program

11:45 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. Growing Fruit Trees in Small Spaces: Susan Krings

12:45 p.m. – 1:30 p.m. Raised Bed Vegetable Gardening: Bob Adamson

Read more about these classes


UCR & DHSCV Sponsors in the Auditorium

9:45 a.m. – 10:30 a.m. Not all weeds are equal; effects of weeds on desert biodiversity: Cameron Barrows, University of California Riverside, Center for Conservation Biology

Second only to habitat loss, invasive weeds are one of the main factors causing the worldwide loss of natural biodiversity. Starting with tamarisk, I present a rogue’s gallery of weeds that plague our desert habitats, including Russian thistle, Sahara mustard, and invasive grasses. In some cases, we can “live with” or accept a particular weed invasion because the impacts are negligible (or even positive); in other cases, the losses to biodiversity are abundant and clear, and so require immediate action.

10:45 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. Southwest Boulder & Stone Presentation

11:45 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. No program

12:45 p.m. – 1:30 p.m. CV Water Counts Panel: Water Guzzlers or Water Gurus? A Discussion About Sustainable Water Use Technology in Water-Dependent Industries (Free Gift for Attendees)

1:45 p.m. – 2:00 p.m. DHSCV Scholarship Presentation

2:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. Film Screening: Hometown Habitat with discussion afterward led by UC Professor Cameron Barrows


Health & Wellness in the Garden (DHSCV)

9:45 a.m. – 10:30 a.m. Native Bee Pollinators, the Forgotten Treasure of Native Bees: Melissa Bacall & Ruthe Meyer

10:45 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. Meet Our Garden Royalty, Monarch & Queen Butterflies: Wallace and Maureen Austin

11:45 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. Use of Desert Native Plants, Yesterday & Today: Robin Kobaly of The SummerTree Institute

12:45 p.m. – 1:30 p.m. Native Plants Used by Southern California Native Americans: Jasmin Gonzalez of the Malki Museum

Read more about these classes


Vermiculture – Worms & Composting!

9:45 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. Vermiculture Presentation & Hands-on Workshop: George Podolsky

Read more about this class


Kids Educational Program

This track is open to all, but it is recommended for elementary-school aged children

9:45 a.m. – 10:45 a.m. Butterflies: Maureen Austin

11:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. Make a Bee Motel: Melissa Bacall; Planting & Papermaking: Ana Beatty

11:45 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. Potting Plants for Pollinators (Take One Home!): Ana Beatty

Vendors & Sponsors for 2017 Garden Day

Vendor Booths Open at 8:30 a.m.

  • The Desert Horticultural Society of Coachella Valley
  • UCCE Master Gardeners
  • UC Riverside, Palm Desert Campus
  • Friends of the Desert Mountains
  • Mojave Desert Land Trust
  • Coachella Valley Water District (CVWD)
  • Desert Water Agency (DWA)
  • Indio Water Authority (IWA)
  • Mission Springs Water District (MSWD)
  • CV Water Counts
  • Southwest Boulder & Stone
  • Malki Museum (Native American Museum)