A Message from our President, Anne Clemons

The CBG plant sale provides welcome relief in a year lacking public events due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Browsing the plant offerings and adopting just the right ones brings a smile to everyone. While at the sale, take a moment to enjoy the scarecrow display. You will be inspired to make one with your kids, grandkids, club or business.

Come take a seat to relax and enjoy the garden. October gives a hint of the colorful November that follows. Take a look at the spectacular flaming red Pistache along Clovis Ave. Pass the office to find the Crape Myrtle Allee, and on the way learn why a certain euonymus is called “burning bush”.

Thank you to all donors for contributing toward the garden’s upkeep during this tough time. Your support is greatly appreciated!

Tips for Central California Gardeners

By Elinor Teague

October is the best planting month here in the Central Valley. Warm daytime temperatures and longer, cooler nights allow plants to recover more quickly from transplant stress and establish root systems before
winter dormancy slows their growth. If you are buying drought tolerant and native California plants at the CBG plant sale on October 16th and 17th, here are a few tips for success.

Prepare the soil in your garden before you buy. Drought tolerant and native California plants must be planted in well-draining soil. If roots are kept too wet, these plants will soon develop root rots that can kill them. Sandy soil drains well (sometimes too well), but doesn’t hold nutrients; add compost to sandy soils. Clay soil does not drain well. Add sand or small gravel to clay soil. Most garden centers and nurseries stock cactus sand, although usually in small bags. Digging in amendments in large planting beds is hard work. It can be easier to dig shallow trenches and amend or replace the soil in those trenches.

Water the plants as soon as you get home and make sure the soil in planting spots is soaked before you plant.

When planting, leave enough room between plants for their full-grown size. Group plants by water needs to make automatic irrigation more efficient. You can always ask the CBG docents or the Fresno County Master Gardeners for advice on how to group your plants. Your new drought-tolerant and native plants will need more water in the first two to three years until their roots are well established. Use the finger test and water when the top inch of soil is dry for young plants and then only once a week when the plants
are mature (more often in July and August).

Drought-tolerant and native plants, even those that bloom for a long time, need less fertilization than other types of plants, like roses. A half cup per plant of a low-nitrogen fertilizer once or twice a season is usually enough. Plan on regular deadheading of flower stalks and regular trimming of scorched leaves to keep your drought-tolerant garden looking good all year.

Many of you may know Elinor Teague as the Fresno Bee garden columnist. Elinor has been a Master Gardener since 1995 and wrote a column for the Fresno Bee for 16 years. She is a strong supporter of our garden too!

Volunteer Showcase

Next time you visit the garden, do not forget to check out the Information Center and Marge’s Gift Shoppe in the portable unit near the entrance. Informational brochures including a map of the garden are available, as well as references for plant selection.

We also have free “scavenger hunt” pages for young children requiring them to place stickers next to the photo or written words of items seen as they explore the garden. The children love this activity that promotes keen observation skills and an appreciation of nature! As a reward, the children can select a sticker or tattoo from a basket with many options.

The Gift Shoppe offers a wide variety of garden-related items. Outside you will find a display of plants, pots, wind chimes, decorative plant stakes, painted rocks, and garden décor. Inside you can purchase a cold beverage and light snack to enjoy as you stroll through the garden, as well as garden books, seeds from the garden blooms, Clovis Botanical Garden souvenirs, plant stakes, lavender sachets, painted rocks, air plants, local honey, metal garden art, seasonable items and much more. New items arrive weekly!
Members receive a 10% discount, so bring your membership card!

Our wonderful volunteers who work in the Gift Shoppe serve as greeters, information providers and cashiers. It is quite a crew, working 3 ½ hour shifts when the garden is open on Wednesday through Sunday from 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM. The list includes the following: Carole Bence, Kitty Caillau, Kathy Cannon, Betty Converse, Barbara Davidson, Joanne Fiedler, Sloane Laird, Gail Pechal, Holly Perry, Rita Perry, Cindy Pharris, Sally Wright, Pat Wynne, and Andrea Reed (manager).

We love to welcome visitors, so stop by to say “hello!”

Top row left-to-right: Holly, Pat, Carole, Rita and Joanne
Bottom row left-to-right: Kathy, Betty, Kitty, Andrea, and Barbara

Amazon Smile

Attention Amazon users! Amazon will donate to the charity of your choice for each purchase at no cost to you! Just go to “Amazon Smile” list Clovis Botanical Garden as your charity, then shop on Amazon as you usually do! It could not be easier, so please sign-up today and shop early for the holidays!

Get Involved… Volunteer!

Volunteer experiences are fun and available for virtually every interest and experience level – docent, event planner, fundraiser, gardener, greeter and more! Contact us today to join a great team of nature lovers! We need volunteers more than ever to support efforts to maintain the garden after months of closure!

Upcoming Events

2020 Water-wise Plant Sale

  • Friday, October 16th from 12:00-4:00pm
  • Saturday, October 17th from 9:00am to 1:00 pm

Masks and physical distancing will be required and plants will be displayed further apart as well. Hand sanitizer will be available

Free Admission & 10% discount with your membership care!

Raffle Drawing: Saturday, October 17th at 12:30 pm. Tickets are only $1.00 each!

  • 1st Place: 4 Tickets to Disneyland – Jill Maaske
  • 2nd Place: Planted Birdfeeder – Meishuan Lai
  • 3rd Place: Water color painting  – Cynthia Baltierra

Scarecrow Garden

October 9th to November 13th

Since we are staying close to home these days, now is the perfect time to design your scarecrow to display in the annual Scarecrow Garden. This is a fun-filled event we can all share without being together in a large group. Help support the garden with your entry and make this year’s Scarecrow Garden the best ever!

For more information, including the flyer and the registration form, check out the event page.

Good News the Garden Is Open!

Flowers in Bloom

After months of closure due to COVID-19, the garden reopened on May 22nd, just in time to enjoy the end of Spring. The gift shop reopened a week later enabling shoppers with masks to enter one-at-a-time.

Although social distancing is encouraged throughout the garden, we are happy to welcome visitors again!

Summer events have all been cancelled, but we are optimistically planning activities for late in the Fall.

Please check back for events as the year progresses.

  • September/October Twilight Thursday Concert Series -CANCELLED
  • Mid-October to mid-November: Scarecrow Garden
  • October 16th & 17th : Fall Plant Sale

Garden Beautification

Although the garden was closed for most of the 2nd quarter, some volunteers continued to pull weeds and maintain the planting beds. Perry Coy and John Pape worked tirelessly to install an effective and automatic irrigation system in several areas including the Home Demonstration area, the Children’s Garden, the Front-Scape, the raised planter beds near the pavilion and more. It is an on-going challenge, that’s for sure. We are most appreciative to everyone for all their hard work! All other projects are on hold as we conserve our resources to keep the garden open.

The garden comes to life in the Spring. While most were sheltering-at-home, Mother Nature was at work creating an outstanding display of flowers and new foliage. Some examples are on the next page for your enjoyment – cactus, yucca, iris, daffodils and more. So many to choose from, and they are all drought tolerant too! Follow us on Face-Book to see even more

Volunteer Showcase

photos of three women who volunteer

Mandi Avila

We wish a fond farewell to Mandi Avila, a long-time, dedicated volunteer at the garden. Mandi is excited to be moving closer to family in Santa Maria, but we will truly miss her! On both Thursday and Saturday mornings, one could find Mandi weeding, trimming, raking, dragging wagons full of weeds and trimmings to the green pile, etc. – always with a cheerful smile. Mandi says she loves the serenity of the Garden and the many friends she made along the way. Thank you, Mandi, for your wonderful support to keep the Garden looking good and best wishes to you!

Valerie Lee

Valerie Lee has an extended history of garden volunteering. Prior to joining the CBG volunteer team in December 2018, Valerie was an essential member of the Chapman Estate team. The Chapman Estate is an extraordinarily beautiful venue in the Shell Beach area of Pismo Beach. Valerie gave tours, handled special events and was one of the main gardeners. What a gift for us at the Clovis Botanical Garden! Valerie’s volunteer work in Clovis includes planting, donating plants, donating painted rocks for gift shop sales and more. She is a welcome addition to our garden, as she contributes in so many positive ways, and is a remarkably interesting lady! We are very fortunate to get to know her. Thank you for everything, Valerie – we appreciate you!

New Addition to Newsletter! – “Tips for Central CA Gardeners” Elinor Teague:

Many of you may know Elinor Teague as the Fresno Bee garden columnist. Elinor has been a Master Gardener since 1995 and wrote a column for the Fresno Bee for 16 years. She is a strong supporter of our garden too! To our delight, Elinor has volunteered to submit gardening tips for our quarterly newsletters! See her latest tip.