All posts by Rebecca Flanegan

Teddy Bear Tea Tickets Now On Sale!

Get ready for the 21st Annual Teddy Bear Tea, coming to The Gardens on December 3rd and 4th! Our popular, holiday-themed fundraiser is a huge hit with children ages three to nine and sells out every year.

For this memorable family event, our Camellia Room (did you know that tea is made from Camellia leaves?) is decorated in festive holiday decor, and serves as the perfect setting for fancy tea service in delicate, rose-painted porcelain cups. With seasonal music playing in the background, children visit the “Boutique” which features stuffed bears, jewelry and the ever-popular “ribbon halos” for sale before heading downstairs to take special commemorative photos. A selection of teatime finger foods to please both children and adults is served, followed by a raffle of special prizes. There’s also time for storytelling and crafts, and every child receives a special goody bag to take home.

This event, organized through the efforts of a team of dedicated volunteers, has been a very special tradition shared by hundreds and hundreds of families over the last 20+ years, and raises funds to support our youth education programs.

So, bring out the grannies and aunties, gather the mommy & me playgroup, collect all the kiddies and come share in the fun at The Gardens this holiday season!

Tickets to Teddy Bear Tea Now On Sale!
REGISTER ONLINE

 

Harvest Festival at The Gardens on Oct. 9th!

Come spend a day out with the family at The Gardens at Heather Farm for our annual Harvest Festival, where you can wander through our pumpkin patch, pick a pumpkin to take home, snap photos of the kids, dance to live music on the lawn, savor a great lunch and festive treats, and learn more about what makes The Gardens tick!

10170695_568530936578675_7024132024476880414_nPumpkins of various types and sizes will be available for sale in the garden. After gathering your pumpkin harvest, grab lunch courtesy of Taste of the World Market, a popular new food truck company specializing in bringing gourmet cuisines from around the world to our local communities.

11717480_1170087493008847_7033787346397081346_oEnjoy live music by award-winning, local acoustic Americana band, American Nomad as they bring their eclectic mix of bluegrass, folk, country and blues to fill The Gardens and keep those toes a-tappin’ throughout the day.

Kids of all ages will enjoy planting activities, games and fun crafts about how to start a garden led by our youth education staff.

Also featured: Bounce house, face-painting, healthy farmstand snacks, mini-photo sessions with a professional photographer (Kept in Time Photography), apple cider, apple doughnuts, and more!

Sunday, October 9 from 11am to 3pm
@ 1540 Marchbanks Drive, Walnut Creek

Admission fee of $6.00 per person to be collected at the door. Pumpkins, food, beverages and professional mini-photo sessions are available for purchase in addition to the entry fee. Free parking.

Proceeds benefit The Gardens’ youth education programs.

Leading a “Garden Revolution” from Your Own Backyard

Larry Weaner’s Revolutionary Landscapes: A Lecture and Book-Signing on September 29 @ The Gardens

Co-Presented by The Garden Conservancy and The Gardens at Heather Farm

This fall, The Gardens at Heather Farm is partnering with The Garden Conservancy (www.gardenconservancy.org) to bring celebrated landscape designer, author and horticultural icon, Larry Weaner, to Walnut Creek to share his insights on how to change your garden — and the environment — for the better. On Thursday, September 29th, the program will feature a lecture by Mr. Weaner, followed by a special reception and signing of his new book Garden Revolution (May 2016, Timber Press).

A successful garden is rewarding, stimulating, and environmentally friendly. Unfortunately, traditional gardening practices don’t often deliver on that promise. Not only are these outdated methods resource- and time-consuming, they result in gardens that are weedy, labor-intensive, and at odds with wildlife and local ecosystems. For decades, Larry Weaner has been at the forefront of ecological landscape design. By understanding the ecological processes of change in our native landscapes and incorporating them into our designs, we can create beautiful, dynamic landscapes that require less labor and are more aesthetically rewarding and environmentally sound. Larry Weaner’s ideas apply in any climate and will change the way you think about what a garden should do and be. Forget about nonstop weeding, fertilizing, and watering. It’s time for a garden revolution.

Garden RevolutionFamous for his meadows, Larry Weaner is a leading figure in North American landscape design. He is the founder of the educational program series New Directions in the American Landscape, and his firm Larry Weaner Landscape Associates is known for combining ecological restoration with traditions of fine garden design. He has received the top three design awards from the Association of Professional Landscape Designers. Learn more at http://lweanerassociates.com/.

Larry Weaner’s Revolutionary Landscapes
Thursday, September 29, 2016, 7:00 p.m.
@ The Gardens at Heather Farm, 1540 Marchbanks Drive, Walnut Creek, 94598
Lecture at 7pm, book-signing and reception at 8pm

$25 General Public / $20 Members of The Gardens at Heather Farm

Register for the Larry Weaner Event Online Now!
Click Here

Help Us Build a New Greenhouse & Community Garden!

The Gardens Needs You!

Join us in our new Capital Campaign to raise funds for building a greenhouse and community garden at The Gardens at Heather Farm.

Large greenhouse, plant nursery, garden centre
Turning Crisis into Opportunity

Our 40 year-old greenhouse facilities are at the historical core of our organization. The greenhouse was built in order to produce plant material used to build The Gardens in the early 1980’s, and continues to be used by our volunteers to produce thousands of organically grown seedlings, herbs and flowers to plant in the Gardens and to sell to the public.  Proceeds from the plant sales help fund the operations of The Gardens.

Recently, the City has requested that we move our greenhouse facilities out of the City corporation yard as they need the space. This is giving us the opportunity to plan the construction of new state-of-the-art greenhouse facilities on unused Gardens’ property, allowing us to be more productive and efficient in our efforts to care for our six and a half acres of gardens.

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We are Building a Community Garden!

Recently the Park, Recreation and Open Space Commission unanimously approved the construction of a large community garden behind the new greenhouse facilities!

Our new community garden project will encourage individuals and families to get active in growing, sharing, and eating local foods. We envision our community having abundant, healthy food with a culture and economy respectful of local resources.

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Small Steps, Big Impact

Please help us with your donations and support! We hope to realize our goal to better serve our community by keeping our public garden beautiful, and providing space for our community to grow their own food and garden together.

Help Us Build a Greenhouse & Community Garden!
Donate Now

 

Celebrate National Public Gardens Day With Us on May 6!

It’s a day dedicated to garden lovers like you! On Friday, May 6, we’re joining up with American Public Gardens Association to celebrate National Public Gardens Day by welcoming the community and sharing a variety of free activities throughout the day.

Like our fellow public gardens all around the world, The Gardens offers a place to learn about and enjoy an inspiring variety of flowers, trees and wildlife. On National Public Gardens Day, it’s another chance for us to say “Thank You” to all those who take an interest in what we do, who respect and admire the natural beauty that is all around us, and perhaps inspire you to get even more involved in supporting our gardens.

Bring a picnic lunch, learn more about The Gardens’ organization and celebrate the wonderful world of gardening on National Public Gardens Day!

On Friday, May 6, between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m., visitors to The Gardens will enjoy the following free activities:

  • 10:00-11:00 a.m. Celebrate spring! Popular local designer, Najat Nicola leads a floral arranging demonstration featuring roses and other items cut fresh from The Gardens.
  • 11:30 a.m. & 1:30 p.m. Guided garden tours led by GHF Garden Manager, Brian Larsen.
  • 11:30 a.m. Dedication of new Japanese Maple donated to The Gardens by Walnut Creek Garden Club.
  • 11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Crafts and activities for kids
  • Expert gardening advice from GHF Garden Manager, Brian Larsen
  • Chance to win prizes including fresh floral arrangements, potted plants, membership to The Gardens, free classes & more
  • Complimentary refreshments

Come celebrate National Public Garden Day with us on May 6!

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Free Class for Adults & Kids on April 9: Learn About Walnut Creek’s Waterways

They don’t call it Walnut Creek for nothing! From nourishing plants and residents to protecting wildlife to shaping the land, water systems in our area have made a huge impact on happenings here for over a century.

On Saturday, April 9 at 10 a.m., we kick of our free family educational series “Getting to Know Our Local Creeks, Ponds & Waterways” with a lecture for adults on the geography and history of Walnut Creek’s watershed, and kid-oriented activities about where water goes when it rains.

In the adult portion of the program, instructor Mike Carlson, Asst. Public Works Director, Contra Costa Flood Control & Water Conservation District, take you back to the 19th century and move forward into modern day, discussing the water around us and how we have changed this creek system. We will discuss past and current challenges related to maintaining our local watershed, flood control, the impacts of El Nino and long range plans for the future.

For the young attendees, our Youth Education team will lead a “mapping our watershed” activity, as well as teach kids to make a model of an aquifer to help them better understand what happens to water as it soaks into the ground.

This program is presented in partnership with the City of Walnut Creek’s Clean Water Program. Photo courtesy of the Walnut Creek Historical Society.

Please Register in Advance for this Free Class
Register Now

 

Stock Your Garden with Plants! Our Spring Sale is April 9.

The rains have been softening and nourishing the ground, and the temperatures are slowly on the rise, which means it’s the perfect time to start filling up your garden with new plants! On Saturday, April 9 from 8am to 12pm, join us for another lovely morning at The Gardens and walk away with some fantastic plants, great deals, and perhaps a little more knowledge about the art of gardening!

If you’ve checked the local garden retailer ads, however, you might be a little nervous about paying so much for sprucing up your yards — but never fear! Our plants cultivated by our in-house propagation team are being sold for much less than regular retail price. Gallon pots are only $6.50; everything smaller is only $4.50!

Featuring over 300 unique plant species and varieties available including:

California Natives
Shrubs
Groundcovers
Perennials
Grasses
Ferns
Annuals
Drought-tolerant Varieties

Garden Manager, Brian Larsen and a crew of garden volunteers will be on hand to share tips and answer questions.

All proceeds benefit the ongoing maintenance of our free public garden and our education programs for children and adults.

ADMISSION IS FREE — RAIN OR SHINE!

Get to Know Our Local Creeks, Ponds & Waterways!

Just Announced: This spring, The Gardens invites you and your kids to join us for a fun and informative series of FREE classes about our local watershed and preserving our environmental resources. Featuring six expert instructors and our own teaching staff, the series, “Getting to Know Our Local Creeks, Ponds and Waterways,” invites both adults and children to participate, with topics of interest to grown-ups, as well as interactive, hands-on activities specifically designed to engage younger audiences. In addition to classes held at The Gardens, the program also features several local field trips to be enjoyed by all ages.

Adults will learn about the challenges of maintaining our local watershed and how best to manage floods during “El Nino” weather, and kids will investigate where water goes when it rains. The whole family will enjoy discovering the plants and wildlife that live in our nearby creeks and ponds, taking a family hike along the trails of a nature preserve, and learning about warm-weather vegetable gardening and the path our food takes on its journey from field to table. Adults will pick up tips on how to avoid contaminating sensitive water ecosystems with pesticides, while kids can learn how to make garden-friendly pest control potions and bring beneficial bugs to your backyard.

All classes in this series are FREE, but registration is required for all participants.

Check Out the Full Series of Free Classes
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