Master Gardeners Make a Difference Through Free Harmony in The Garden Workshops

Aug 12, 2009

Attendees at Harmony Workshop

Planting drought resistant plants; increasing the efficiency of irrigation systems; irrigating based on plant water needs; reusing greenwaste; and, adopting integrated pest management practices are key elements of sustainable landscaping.   Adopting these sustainable landscaping principles improves plant health and reduces water waste, organic matter otherwise destined for landfills, and the use of pesticides.

 In May 2009, the University of California Cooperative Extension’s (UCCE) Master Gardener Program in San Bernardino County organized and conducted two Harmony in the Garden Workshops to demonstrate these sustainable landscape principles to the gardening public.  The two workshops provided similar information but were offered on different days at Loma Linda University East Campus in Loma Linda and Chino Basin Water Conservation District in Montclair, closer to Los Angeles. A capacity attendance of 105 area residents attended the workshops.

The main goal of the free workshops was to teach residents how to reduce their water consumption while making their garden more healthy, colorful and interesting.  The six hour workshops had six presenters, giveaways, and free lunches provided by Loma Linda University and Inland Empire Utilities Agency.

California is in a chronic drought and due to various water issues, the State is likely to remain in a water shortage for years to come.  Since 50% to 70% of a typical household’s water use is directed at maintaining a landscape, planting drought resistant climatically adapted plants and making irrigation systems as efficient as possible are key elements of growing healthier plants and saving water

Debby, Dave, Vickie
The speakers and topics included:

  • Janet Hartin (UCCE Environmental Horticulturist, San Bernardino and L.A. Counties):  Sustainable landscaping (reducing water waste, reducing and using greenwaste; Implementing Integrated pest management strategies, and the UCCE Master Gardener Program
  • Debby Figoni (Master Gardener): Composting and How to Transform One’s Yard into a Waterwise Garden
  • Dave Schroeder (Chino Basin Water Conservation District): CBWCD’s Demonstration Garden Tour and How to Use California-Friendly and Native Plants;
  • Anita Matlock (Master Gardener and Rainbird): Irrigation Options for Water Conservation and Use of ET-Based Controllers
  • Seth (Maloof Foundation):   Overview of the Maloof Garden and How to Use Native and Drought Tolerant Plants
  • John (Garrison Nursery) Recommended Native and Drought Resistant Plants and Design Concepts and Examples
  • Yvonne Savio (UCCE Los Angeles Common Ground Garden Program):  Recycling Otherwise Useless Items into Garden Tools and Art.

By Pamela M. Geisel
Author - UC Cooperative Extension Advisor, emeritus