To promote water conservation in the California Central Valley landscape through excellent gardens, exhibits and programs that educate and inspire the public.
We are still waiting for the building permit to begin construction on the new Visitor Center. We are anxious to begin construction to say the least! The groundbreaking ceremony for the new Visitor Center to celebrate a new beginning with community supporters of the garden is the only upcoming event planned. The date is “to be determined,” so stay tuned for the big announcement.
Unless weather or construction activities make the garden unsafe for visitors, it will be open according to the usual schedule. General hours are 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM, Wednesday through Sunday (closed Mondays and Tuesdays). All special activities have been suspended until the center is complete, so we will all miss the Fall Plant Sale, Twilight Thursday Concerts, and the Scarecrow Garden this year.
3rd Quarter Garden & Event Update
Butterfly Garden: Despite high temperatures in July and August, the Thursday garden maintenance crew was busy at work during the cooler morning hours. They moved a compost/mulch combination to the Butterfly Garden, adding a new layer that looks great and will be a boon to the plants as well as a deterrent to the weeds. Other crews worked hard as well – trimming, clearing, weeding, and raking. Thank goodness cooler temperatures are on their way!
The Volunteer Appreciation Lunch on September 9th was well attended by approximately thirty volunteers. John Damrose was honored as Volunteer-of-the-Year and received the award presented by Board Member Rodger Pachelbel. John works with the Saturday Maintenance Crew attending to whatever jobs need to be done at the time. He is a genuine asset to the garden! Everyone enjoyed the food, entertainment by guitarist/singer, Peter Emerson (thanks to Pat Wynne who covered expenses), and an opportunity to visit with everyone again! Thank you to Anne Clemons and Carole Bence for the luncheon meal and festive decorations.
Welcome to our New Members!
- Alice Rios
- Roy Cotton
- Michelle Nguyen
Members of CBG receive a membership card, a monthly newsletter, a digital subscription to Better Homes & Gardens, and free admission to many public gardens in California and around the country through the American Horticulture Association Reciprocal Admissions Program. See all gardens around the nation and abroad that provide reciprocal admission at http://ahsgardening.org/rap.
VOLUNTEER NEWS! Maggie Burke attended our Volunteer Recruitment social in June and expressed an interest in helping to coordinate CBG volunteers. She is updating our database and will be contacting those on the list soon for current availability and job interests.
Garden Maintenance Volunteers needed! The cooler fall weather is wonderful for working in the garden, and CBG has LOTS of Volunteer Gardening Opportunities! Many trees, bushes and plants are changing colors and preparing for winter, along with ongoing, determined weeds. Want to learn more about which plants do the best, thrive locally, and use less water? Learn on the job! You are invited to join the Gardening Crews on Thursdays, Fridays and/or Saturdays in the morning from 9 to 11 AM. We weed and trim in the morning to keep the Garden looking its’ absolute best.
Interested? You must register on-line at CBG’s website: https://clovisbotanicalgarden.org You will be contacted to schedule your participation.
- Thursday Crew: Supervised by Ree Coy
- Friday Crew: (1st and 2nd Fridays of the month only): Supervised by Lorie Hutzler
- Saturday Crew: Supervised by Anne Clemons
3rd Quater Outreach Activities
The Clovis Botanical Garden and the Fresno County Master Gardener Program are taking steps to increase collaboration and revitalize a partnership between the two entities for the benefit of all community members.
Fresno Master Gardeners launch a new blog!
Fresno County residents now have access to a new blog, Fresno Gardening Green, which streams timely information written by local UC Master Gardeners about home food production, pest management, irrigation, sustainable landscapes, garden advice and ideas. The service is free and carries no advertising. Master Gardener & CBG volunteer Jeannette Warnert, (2022 Clovis Botanical Garden’s Volunteer-of-the-Year), will edit the blog.
To subscribe to the blog, add your email address to the field in the upper right-hand corner of the Fresno Garden Green, https://ucanr.edu/blogs/FresnoGardeningGreen/. The stories are also available through internet searches on the Fresno County MG website and in the program’s Facebook and Instagram feeds.
The Master Gardeners are volunteers who are trained by University of California scientists on research-based gardening and landscaping techniques. They share the information with the gardening public.
The Fresno Gardening Green features a monthly column from legendary gardening writer Elinor Teague, who wrote a column for the Fresno Bee over an 18-year period. Elinor also writes for our CBG quarterly report, so you are familiar with her work. The stream also includes a regular “plant-of-the-month” feature, stories on research from the UC Statewide Integrated Pest Management Program and frequently updated stories on such topics as water conservation, soil building, plant care, and resources available from the Master Garden program.
Ideas for Newsletter Additions?
Do you have photos or information you would like to share in our quarterly newsletter? Contact Board Secretary and Newsletter Editor, Carole Bence at [email protected].
We have created a lovely place in the new ornamental grass area for a green metal bench like others strategically placed throughout the garden. This bench requires a $2,500 donation and includes a bronze metal plaque with lettering and wording of your choice. It is a wonderful way to honor someone special in your life. Send inquiries to Clovis Botanical Garden’s email:
The new Ornamental Grasses Display is a wonderful addition to the garden!
Tips For The Central Valley Gardener: Know Your Soil Type!
by Elinor Teaque
Every drought-tolerant and California native plant requires well-draining soil. Clay soils tend to be slow draining and sandy soils tend to drain very quickly. The soils in Central Valley gardens are often either clay or sandy, which is a problem in many gardens. A quick squeeze test can help determine which type of soil is in your garden. Soak the soil, grab a handful, and squeeze. If the soil sticks together as a firm clump, it is clay. If it breaks apart immediately and the particles fall through your fingers easily, it is sandy. If the clump can be broken apart with your fingers but still holds a shape, it is probably sandy loam, the ideal soil. Remember to test for soil types in several spots in your garden.
It may take several years for regular additions of large amounts of compost or humus to create well-draining soil that also holds water and nutrients well. In areas where you plan to plant succulents, cacti, or truly drought-tolerant plants, additional sand can be added to speed up drainage and prevent root rots. Design your irrigation system to group plants by their water needs.
During the long, hot Central Valley summers, the soil dries out very quickly. Often the top of the soil will bake into a crusty layer preventing water from permeating deep into the root zones. This fall, take a trowel or a small garden form into your garden and scrape the soil surface over your plant’s root zones. Any crusting will be obvious. Then use a wiggle hoe or a trowel to break up the crusted soil around plants.
Most drought-tolerant and native plants do not require fertilization. However, scratching in a cup or two of compost as you break-up the crusted surface, will add micro-nutrients and beneficial fungi that will also improve soil textures, as well as water drainage and retention.
Garden Visitors Over The Years
Did you know that the Gift Shop Greeters count the number of garden visitors using a hand-held digital counter? The history of garden attendance since 2008 is interesting and shows how the numbers have increased over the past 16 years. In 2008, the garden records indicate we had 1,059 visitors. In 2022, 24,011 visitors explored the garden representing an increase of over 2,000% since 2008! Still, many within our community are not aware that the Clovis Botanical Garden is the “hidden gem” of our city! We anticipate even more people will visit the garden once the new Visitors Center is completed.
A Message From President, Anne Clemons
The late Kenneth Hart was a remarkable gentleman and longtime companion of Board Member, Patricia (Pat) Wynne. He had many passions and was a dedicated supporter of Clovis Botanical Garden.
Pat Wynne and Dr. Bradley Hart (Ken’s nephew) presented a very generous check to the Board in September, bequeathed by Ken. The agave garden around the new Visitor Center will be named the “Kenneth L. Hart Agave Garden” in his honor. The donation was sincerely appreciated and will leave a wonderful legacy for Ken. He will be deeply missed by many.
Thank you to The Clovis Community Foundation for sponsoring the Terrace, Margil Vanderhoff for the Education Center, and Marge Largent for creating the Gift Shop.
Sponsor and naming for the Visitor Center building will be announced at the ribbon cutting.