September 2011 Bulletin

September 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: Lemonade berry, Artemesia 'Powis Castle' and more.

Cabernet Sauvignon Grape Vine


Take an early morning walk to our Bird Habitat and see the arbor covered with the Cabernet Sauvignon grape vines. This variety of grapes has been referred to as the king of red wine. The Cabernet Sauvignon grapes produce some of the most prized wines in California, which rival the French Bordeaux wines.

It wasn’t until 1996 that the true origins of the grape were discovered.  DNA genetic fingerprinting research at UC Davis revealed Cabernet Sauvignon to be a cross between the Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc grapes, and was most likely a chance crossing that occurred in the 17th century.

Lemonade Berry

Lemonade Berry  (rhus integ

A California native, this large bush is recognized by it’s handsome dark glossy green leaves.  It can grow up to 10 feet tall and spreads up to 15 feet. The white-pink clusters of flowers put on quite a show in the spring, followed by small red colored berries

Native Americans made use of the lemonade berry. They drank a lemonade-like beverage made from the berries and made mush from the raw fruits.
-Sandy Krutilek-

What’s In a Name?

by Diane Conejo

Artemisia ‘Powis Castle’
Artemisia ‘Powis Castle’

Artemisia was reportedly named for the goddess, Artemis in Greek mythology.  Legend tells us she used this plant to great benefit as a huntress and honored it with her own name. Artemisia absinthium (Absinth Wormwood) was used to repel moths and fleas, and Artemisia arborescens (Tree Wormwood)  as  a  medicinal  tonic  to  pacify  digestive  problems. The  hybrid,  ‘Powis Castle’ came about by crossing the two previously mentioned Artemisia parents; it was first introduced at Powis Castle, Wales in 1972.   You can view a photo of it still being used as a border at this weblog about a visit to the Zanthan Gardens at Powis Castle.

It is highly fragrant and very drought-tolerant plant; and when partnered or used as a backdrop for showy perennials, it is irresistible. Because of it’s silvery foliage, and the mythical power that some believe inherent in this genus, it is often cultivated or used in “moon gardens”.   A moon garden makes use of plants with white or light-attracting foliage and flowers.  When the moon is full, these gardens are bewitchingly beautiful!

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.

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!

Karwinski’s Salvia (salvia karwinskii)
Karwinski’s Salvia (salvia karwinskii)

The Conejo Valley Botanic Garden Needs You!

The Garden is managed and maintained by community volunteers. Without your help, the garden cannot thrive. None of the volunteer positions at CVBG has a minimum number of volunteer hours attached.  If you can help for a few hours a month, great!  For more information on any of our volunteer opportunities, please go to our web site at and click “Volunteers.”


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.  Contact Jean Reiley at 805 374 8255.