October 2011 Bulletin

October in the Conejo Valley Botanic Garden

The monthy bulletin of the Conejo Valley Botanic Garden, a 501(c)(3) non-profit, all-volunteer managed garden.

IN THIS ISSUE: Shrimp Plant, St. Catherine's Lace, Sedum and more.

Shrimp Plant

by Sandy Krutilek

An evergreen native shrub of Mexico, Guatemala and Honduras, the Shrimp Plant’s numerous reddish-brown leaflike bracts suggest the shape and color of shrimp.   It is popular in borders, tropical and subtropical gardens and as greenhouse ornamentals.  Easy to grow, the plant bears flowers nearly year round.  This plant will grow very well in drought conditions and full sun.  It can be found in the Kids’ Adventure Garden.

-Sandy Krutilek-


October Garden in Bloom

by Jean Reiley

You will find the Grape Scented Sage in full bloom in the Butterfly Garden.  It is located next to the iron arch and across from the greenhouse.  Purple in color with a white lip. The salvia grows to 6' tall and 4' wide.  Grows well in partial shade with little water.  Prune after flowering.

St. Catherine's Lace (eriogonum giganteum) is pretty in its spring bloom.  However, many of us feel that it is the most beautiful in the fall when its flowers have turned a cooper color. You can see St. Catherine's Lace in it’s fall color in the Butterfly Garden and where the Trail of Trees meet. You will also find in the Bird Habitat.  Prune after its fall color.   It likes full sun and takes little water.


Are Your Perennials Pooping Out

by Barbara Song

At the end of summer there seem to be faded blooms still trying to look their best on some of our dependable perennials. Alas, the flowers may have color, but they have diminished in size and quantity. There is time to refurbish. Look for new growth sprouting at the plant's base. Many will rebloom with some strategic pruning and shaping. This should be followed with a deep watering and even a touch of liquid fertilizer.

The remnants of summer that linger can be distressing. Days alternate between hot and cold so randomly. Can we really expect a typical fall season and look forward to normal temperatures and some rainfall? Fortunately, the nights are cooler allowing the ground to become more hospitable for planting and care taking. At the garden sales we will be providing native California plants that are ready to be planted, though there will need some mentoring as they settle in. Weather patterns may include windy days and drought.

We look forward to seeing you at the Sunday sales and will gladly assist you with your questions.

Your patronage supports the CVBG.
Many thanks,
Barbara Song, Volunteer


What’s In a Name?

by Diane Conejo

Anyone who knows me can easily tell what my favorite types of plants are because I have them everywhere. I am a big fan of Succulents.  Not Cactus, with those dangerous, pinching spines; but Succulents, the ones with the fleshy leaves.    They come in many varieties, are very forgiving if you don’t get around to watering all week and flower once or twice a year. The genus Sedum is native to many parts of the world.  There are many different species and forms of this succulent perennial plant; you can find those in the Sunset Plant Guide.

Most of the year, Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’ is a reliable herbaceous (lacking a woody stem) filler in the garden.   It has low water requirements and is relatively disease & pest resistant when planted in well-drained soil with a full sun or partial sun exposure.   The common name, Stonecrop, indicates that this is a plant that grows with ease even in stone-abundant soil. When segments break off the main plant, they will form roots in the air and be ready to take root (in soil) in a matter of days. (Very easy to propagate; which is another reason I love them!)

The species that is highlighted here is known for its lovely Fall blooms. The German word ‘Herbst-freude’ translates to ‘Joy of the Harvest’. It starts out with light pink flower clusters, and as they age, the color mellows.   If you’re watching, they become a coral hue with some ivory mixed in; then, a lovely coppery-rose shade.  At the late part of Autumn, they mature to a deep rust color before they leave for the Winter.  But, don’t fret, Sedum comes from the Latin ‘sedo’ which means, ‘to sit’.  It will be sitting there in your garden in the Springtime, ready for another succulent season!




At the Garden....

Sunday Plant Sales

Plant sales are held every Sunday at the CVBG from 10:30-2:30 in the area next to the Kids' Adventure Garden, located at 350 W. Gainsborough Rd.  California natives, hardy, water wise perennials, shrubs, trees and succulents, reasonably priced are available. CVBG volunteers will be happy to help you with selections and share their expertise. 

Birthday Parties

The birthday parties held at the KAG on Saturdays have become very popular.  So popular that Betty needs more volunteers to give her some help.  It is a lot of fun and not too much work.  Sometimes the kids come in costumes, depending on what the 'theme' of the party may be. The adults set up and take down the tables and chairs. There is a donation to use the garden. You help by keep your eyes on the kids as they get excited about having a party at the KAG.  Sometimes you even get a piece of birthday cake.   If you are willing to help by giving a few hours of your time, give Betty a call at 1-818-889-0560. 


The Conejo Valley Botanic Garden Needs You!


Want to Help Us Grow?

Do you love Conejo Valley Botanic Garden and would like to help, but just don't have the time to volunteer? Even though much of the work you see going on in the garden is done by volunteers, we still have expenses for planting, heavy pruning and new improvements. These projects are funded through grants and donations from the community.  If you would like to help us grow, tax deductible donations are always welcome and may be made out and sent to Conejo Valley Botanic Garden, PO Box 6614, Thousand Oaks, CA 91359. Thanks for all your support!




Assistant to the Volunteer Coordinator:  Help recruit new volunteers and match them with garden jobs they might enjoy.

Adopt A Garden: We have an ongoing need for volunteers to join the teams working in our theme gardens. Days and hours are flexible so give us a call.

Garden Nursery: There is no better way to lean about California native and water wise plants than to join the teams working in the propagation and sales nurseries.

The Kids Adventure Garden:  KAG is open from 11:00 to 3:00 each Sunday.  Docents welcome families to the garden, answer questions and ensure everyone is safe and has fun. You will train with an experienced Docent. You can sign up for one shift a month or as many as you want.  Email: conejogarden1623@hotmail.com