Free Landscaping Classes

Presented by DHSCV at the 12th Annual Desert Garden Community Day on October 28, 2017


Pruning for Desert Landscapes

9:45 a.m. – 10:30 a.m. by Al Hollinger, Operations Manager at Vintage Associates

This class will be held under a tent outside on the patio, not indoors. The talk will review pruning goals and basic pruning concepts for desert trees and shrubs.

Hollinger is the Operations Manager for Vintage Landscape Inc. and has worked in the Coachella Valley for over 30 years managing and maintaining residential, commercial, and municipal landscapes. He has held a Calif. State Landscape Contractor C27 License
since 1985, and earned International Society of Arboriculture certified arborist certification in 1990. He previously taught arboriculture and landscape management part time at College of the Desert for 10 years and has been a speaker at various horticultural related seminars including those sponsored by The International Society of Arboriculture, Pesticide Applicators Professional Assoc., Coachella Water District, and others. In 1983 Hollinger received a Bachelor of Science Degree in Ornamental Horticulture from Calif. Polytechnic University, Pomona.

Flowering Opuntia Hybrids

9:45 a.m. – 10:30 a.m. by Tom Jesch, Waterwise Botanicals, Bonsali

The introduction of our brand new line of incredible flowering Opuntias, entirely unique to Waterwise Botanicals, and perfectly suited to the Coachella Valley landscape scene. To date there are some, and occasional, efforts at bringing Prickly Pear and Paddle cactus into the landscape setting, both residential and commercial. However, the varieties available usually get too big, and rarely have very much going on in the way of color. The Waterwise Botanicals line presents a kaleidoscope of flower colors, early enough in the spring season to enchant the snowbirds, and so large and abundant, that you can barely see the paddles underneath! Then, later in the summer, many of the varieties display red fruits that look like New Mexico artisan chili peppers. Finally, going back into the winter season, many of them develop beautiful colorations in the paddles- of wines, burgundies, and violets. All said, we combine low growing cushions of the iconic prickly pear for the sculptural element, along with a flower display that looks like the Coachella Valley version of the “rose parade!”

Tom can best be described as engaging, innovative and enthusiastic. He has a rare
ability to bring a subject to life for an audience. Tom’s interests are vast and he is
knowledgeable about a variety of topics including nature and science, water
features, fish, land management, landscape design and much, much more. Using his
gift for story telling with a twist of humor, he draws from his colorful background
to entertain and educate his audience.

Natives for Newcomers

10:45 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. by Tracy Merrigan, Vice President Desert Horticultural Society of the Coachella Valley, UCCE Master Gardener, Realtor

Natives for Newcomers, creating space for birds, butterflies and me.

Just because we live in a desert, it doesn’t mean our yards have to look dried out and muted. This is a class for newcomers to our valley and long-term residents alike. Flowering plants that can thrive in our local environment can be colorful in your garden, host our native wildlife and help conserve water. And flowers are not just for springtime, plants native to our and neighboring desert communities can provide interest and color throughout the year in your garden with some planning. Learn more about 10 favorite natives for my desert garden and how to create a habitat for yourself, your plants and our wildlife to enjoy.

Tracy Merrigan is Vice President of the Desert Horticultural Society of the Coachella Valley and is their director of Desert Garden Community Day. Tracy is a University of California CE Master Gardener. She is experienced in various gardening styles from New England perennial borders, to city courtyards, to coastal Mediterranean and now desert-adapted garden styles. Tracy is a Public Arts Commissioner for the city of Palm Springs where she is also a green realtor with HOM Sotheby’s International Realty.

The presentation includes slides, living samples, stories, exaggerations and humor! Includes care, culture and maintenance tips as well.

Native Plants: Who needs them?

11:45 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. by Madena Asbell, Nursery and Seed Bank Manager, Mojave Desert Land Trust, Joshua Tree

Native plants are the foundation of healthy, diverse ecosystems. Most animals, including humans, rely directly or indirectly on plants for their survival, whether it’s for food, shelter, or other resources. In this beautifully illustrated presentation, you will learn about the many desert dwellers that are supported by native plants, which plants they use, and what they use them for. Who needs native plants? We all do!

Madena Asbell is a horticulturist who has been working with native plants in Southern California for over 15 years. She has served as Director of Horticulture for the Theodore Payne Foundation for Wild Flowers and Native Plants, and is currently the Nursery and Seed Bank Manager for the Mojave Desert Land Trust in Joshua Tree.

Gardening in the Future

12:45 p.m. – 1:30 p.m. by Wendy Proud, Mountain States Nursery, Calif. Rep, Glendale, AZ

Join Wendy Proud of Mountain States Wholesale Nursery as she guides you through a selection of plants that are low water use, low maintenance and simply beautiful. Learn how desert adapted plants are the perfect solution and plants of the future. She’ll talk about the specifics of what each plant brings to your garden and how to use them in combination with other plants.

There will be many plants on display and all will be raffled off after her presentation.