Free Desert Horticultural Society Classes

Presented by The Desert Horticultural Society of the Coachella Valley at the 13th Annual Desert Garden Community Day on October 27, 2018


8:30 a.m. – 9:30 a.m.

Bats: Friend of Plants, Foe of Bugs

by Dani Ortiz, Bureau of Land Management

Bats are a keystone species that keep natural ecosystems in balance and are vital to our economy. They pollinate over 500 species of plants that we enjoy and consume each day, such as bananas, avocados, vanilla and agave plants from which we get tequila! Additionally, bats also protect our food crops from pesky insects and are important seed dispersers. The photo is a pallid bat eating a grasshopper, taken by Dani Ortiz.

Dangers Lurking in the Garden: Toxic and Dangerous Plants

by Larry Fechter, Master Gardener

There are dangers lurking in our yards and natural environment. This presentation explores the risks we gardeners face as we expose ourselves to natural poisons, irritants, thorns, and allergens. Learn what the major risks are and how to protect ourselves!

Larry was a professor of environmental toxicology at Johns Hopkins University, the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, and at the VA Medical Center in Loma Linda. He completed the UCCE Master Gardener program in 2013.

9:45 a.m. – 10:45 a.m.

Steve Martino Book

Desert Gardens of Steve Martino: Snakes, Cactus & Tequila

by Steve Martino & Caren Yglesias

Book Signing & Sale

For more than thirty years, Steve Martino’s pioneering designs combine dramatic and colorful man-made elements with native plants in gardens that are part of the regional ecology. Starting with the interplay of light and shadow, Martino’s designs make inviting gardens while solving common site problems such as lack of privacy or shade. These projects are examples of gardens that are better able to thrive in arid climates and provide places of beauty and enjoyment.

Steve Martino, FASLA. Phoenix Based Landscape Architect Steve Martino, FASLA, has earned an international reputation for his pioneering design work with native plant material and his development of a desert derived aesthetic and style. The juxtaposition of strong man-made elements with natural ecological processes is a recurring theme that links his projects. Steve’s projects have been recognized with numerous design awards and his work has been widely published.

11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

The Greater Roadrunner: Almost Human

by Jim Cornett

Successful Succulents AND Fabulous Flowers!

by Troy Bankord

As a matter of fact, you CAN have it all when it comes to Combining Flowers & Succulents! That’s right.  Troy Bankord – of Troy Bankord Design – has been designing amazingly connective indoor & outdoor sanctuaries for over 30 years. Known especially for his dramatic pots and plantings juxtapositions, join Troy as he shares his special tried and true techniques to successful succulent gardening and the tricks of the trade to mixing succulents and other plant species effectively and cohesively.

Surrounded by the Ancients

by Robin Kobaly

12:15 p.m. – 1:15 p.m.

Aloes and Agaves in Cultivation

by Jeff Moore of Solana Succulents

Book Signing & Sale (see book at Amazon)

Jeff will discuss the similarities and differences between aloes and agaves, and then show images and talk about some of most popular and a few of the more rare and exotics of each genera. Also included will be some of their relatives, including gasterias, haworthias, yuccas, beaucarneas, hesperaloes, and more. He will take questions during and/or after the talk.

Bio: Jeff has owned and operated Solana Succulents in Solana Beach for 26 years. It is a small retail nursery with both common and rare succulents. He has also been writing succulent books and speaking to plant societies for the past 5 years. Married with two recently grown sons.

Painting with Plants, Creating a Desert Courtyard from the Inside Out

by Tracy Merrigan, President of DHSCV, Master Gardener

1:30 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.

Choosing the Right Plants Makes Desert Gardening Easy

by Wendy Proud, Mountain States Wholesale Nursery

Game of Thorns: An Exhibition

by David Bryant of Rancho Santa Ana Botanical Garden

Join David Bryant, Director of Visitor Experience at Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden, for a presentation on Game of Thorns, a nationally publicized exhibition that ran from November 2017 – August 2018 and is expected to travel to other institutions. The exhibition explores the art and armament of botanical warfare, showcasing the living fortresses that wage battle in the landscapes of California deserts and other Golden State habitats. From the serrated spears of Joshua trees to the nightmarish glochids of beavertail cactus, the exhibition highlights plants and their weaponry – augmented by scanning electron microscope imagery. Learn about the creation of this exhibition and the stories behind the amazing plants that inspired it.

Game of Thorns

Ollas: An Ancient form of Irrigation used in Our Gardens Today

by Thurman Howard, Master Gardener

An olla is unglazed pottery used for centuries as a method of retaining moisture, in the ground and releasing it slowly as needed.  Like a tail on a kite, this form of irrigation keeps a uniform balance of moisture, oxygen, and living organisms.

When I was first introduced to the Olla, I had many questions. How does it work? What is the science Can it be used for all irrigation?

This was the start of my journey, that took me back 4,000 years to China, and then to Egypt when it fed the Roman empire.

How and why did they use this method?  There was a purpose, it came to me as I understood the local tribals here in the Coachella Valley.

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