2021 2nd Quarter Events and Activities: April, May and June

There have been many new additions to the garden this quarter. A beautiful arch was installed to welcome
guests into Elsabe’s Sensory Garden, along with an interpretive sign. New signs for future improvements are
posted (a Grass Display in 2022 and a First People’s Ethnobotany Display in 2024), and of course, planning for
our new Visitor Center is on-going.

Progress continues in the Children’s Garden. A shade structure has been installed, and CBG is currently
providing dedication/memory bricks which will be placed near the Scarecrow Water Feature, learning
stations, and throughout the Children’s Garden. The bricks are standard-sized building bricks that will be
inscribed with one name per brick for $40, available for purchase online or in the Gift Shoppe. These inscribed bricks
will be a lasting statement for any occasion: birthdays, in memory, graduations, congratulations, etc. Additional educational signs for the Children’s Garden are on order as well.

On June 3rd, we hosted our kickoff fundraiser for the Visitor Center with a small group due to COVID
restrictions. It was enormously successful thanks to our entertainers, Travis Brooks and Jeff Millard; our Chef
Aaron Nielsen; Architect Art Dyson who presented the structure; to our Board and members who assisted –
and to some very generous anonymous individuals whose donations will go a long way toward making the
Visitor Center a reality! THANK YOU to ALL! If you missed this event, don’t worry! Now that California has
“reopened,” we are planning another fundraiser in October open to all supporters. Stay tuned for details!

Welcome New Members

Welcome to: Ginger Braden, Brian Uyemura, Chuck and Linda Wilson

Membership dollars help the Garden grow in many ways. For those interested in joining, visit the membership page or stop by the Gift Shoppe Information Center.

The Clovis Botanical Garden is a registered non-profit group developed, managed, and operated by volunteers for the benefit of the community. Without the passion and dedication of volunteers giving freely of their time and talents, the Clovis Botanical Garden would not exist for the education and pleasure of the community. THANK YOU to all members and volunteers!

A Message from our President, Anne Clemons

With COVID cases decreasing across California, we are gradually returning to normal. One sign of normalcy
is the return of events in the Pavilion. Reservations are pouring in, and CBG is scheduling fundraisers, the
Annual Membership Meeting, and a Volunteer Appreciation Event.

We were finally able to hold the first Visitor Center fundraiser. It had been postponed in March 2020. The
fundraiser was a resounding success. There were several anonymous pledges and many donations. Thank
you to all participants and donors!

Thanks also to Jeff Millard for learning to play the Swirl in the Sensory Garden, to Travis Brooks for his guitar
artistry, and Chef Aaron Nielsen’s “Southern Hospitality” for the perfect appetizers. Travis and friends will
join us in the fall for the Thursday food trucks.

The next steps toward building involve many meetings with architect, builders, board members and Clovis
City Planning Department, as well as plans to draw, plans to update, and wish lists to consider.

Thank you to all. Your contributions and talents make dreams come true!

Designate the Garden as your charity and use Smile.Amazon.com when you shop to donate 0.5% of your eligible purchases, at no cost to you! To get started, go to Smile.Amazon.com and type in “Clovis Botanical Garden” as your charitable organization. Then, just start shopping! We only receive donations when you use your Smile.Amazon.com link directly, rather than Amazon.com, so be sure to bookmark this page so you can easily use it each time you shop. Thank You!

Tips for Central California Gardeners

Summer Care for Flowers of Drought-Tolerant Plants

By Elinor Teague

Native California plants and drought-tolerant plants can be more heat-tolerant than other varieties, but July’s really hot
day and nighttime temperatures will stress them as well. High summertime temperatures cause the buds of flowering
perennials and annual plants to quickly open and die. Deadheading spent flowers during our scorching summers,
prevents plants from setting seed. Plants which have “gone to seed” during the summer, will slow flower and foliage
production so that when growth resumes at normal speed, as temperatures cool in September, those plants will not
rebloom and re-leaf well. The flowers of many drought-tolerant and native plants provide pollen and nectar food for
pollinators – another reason to keep the plants blooming in summer.

Deadheading requires some basic knowledge of that individual plant and its’ flowering seasons, growth habits and stem formations. If you have questions about how best to deadhead the flowering plants in your garden, the docents and Master Gardeners who tend to the Clovis Botanical Garden will be glad to show the proper techniques. Bringing in a sample of your plant will be a great help in identifying it. Here are a few examples of different deadheading techniques for common native or drought-tolerant plants that do well in our climate.

  • Lavender: Lavender flower stems should be cut off at the junction where the long, straight stem meets the foliage. Some lavender varieties, including ‘Grosso’ as well as Spanish lavenders, will have a second bloom in the fall. Be careful when shearing spent flowers, since cutting into lavender wood will distort the natural shape of the plant and remove flowering wood.
  • Salvia: Salvias differ greatly in flowering habits. In general, most salvia stems should be cut back by one-third after flowering has finished. Some varieties flower at the tip, and only that dead tip should be removed. Dead stalks on some varieties like ‘Autumn’ sage should be cut off at their base. Removing dead stems at the base helps to regenerate new growth that will keep sages in bloom for months.
  • Succulents: Spent flower stalks on most succulent varieties are cut off at the base.
  • Nepeta or Catmint: Nepeta or catmint will produce side stems off the main stem if the spent flowering tips of the stem is removed. Flowering slows in July and August but will increase in the fall.

We Are Back in Business

We are working on scheduling some COVID safe events for the rest of the year. Due to COVID safety precautions some of our events have very limited availability.

Upcoming Events

Spring Into Your Garden Plant Sale

  • Friday, March 19th from 12:00 pm-4:00 pm
  • Saturday, March 20th from 9:00 am-1:00 pm

Earth Day Tour

Thursday, April 22nd at 10:00 am

Check out Clovis Botanical Gardens’ sustainable landscaping methods.

Due to COVID this event will be limited to 10 people. Tickets will be $5.00 per person. You can register for this event by filling out this form.

National Public Gardens Day

Saturday, May 15th at 10:00 am

Celebrate National Public Gardens Day by enjoying a tour of Clovis Botanical Garden.

Due to COVID this event will be limited to 10 people. Tickets will be $5.00 per person. You can register for this event by filling out this form.

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!