10 Reasons to Attend FIESTA NUEVA on May 6

Things are about to get really FESTIVE at The Gardens’ this spring! Our Annual Gala Fundraiser is scheduled for Sunday, May 6 from 2:00 to 5:00 p.m., and we’ve compiled a list of our 10 favorite things that make this event so special.
1) See the garden at its best. Every spring, around early May, the thousands of rose blooms in the Cowden Rose Garden go bonkers and put on quite a colorful show. Perfect viewing for a sunny Sunday afternoon stroll.

Joshua Isaacs Photography

2) All food, beverages and entertainment are included in the ticket price. Yep, that’s right. A series of food/beverage stations located around the garden will offer Latin American-inspired appetizers such as ceviche, Cuban sliders, corn and black bean tortilla cups, gaucho-style steak, and tostones, plus dessert, alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks, live music, dancing, and more.

3) Win a Cancun vacation! All attendees will be entered for a chance to win a vacation certificate for five days and four nights in Cancun, Mexico. The perfect prize for our Latin American-themed event — a south-of-the border vacaction! Hit the links at Laguna Suites Golf & Spa or enjoy cocktails along the coast at Ocean Spa Hotel. (Some restrictions and fees apply.)

4) Caramelized pineapple margaritas “to die for.” Tangy lime, caramelized pineapple and silver anejo tequila put this tasty Mexican cocktail over the top. It’s a special recipe created by catering sponsor, A Loveable Feast, and we can’t wait to try it.
5) Help us engage young children with nature and teach them about the environment. Did you know that The Gardens’ youth education program brings natural and environmental science classes to over 17,000 kids in Contra Costa County each year? Funding for these school programs, on subjects like pollination, geology, composting, seeds, native plants and more, comes in part from money raised at Fiesta and other fundraisers.

6) Your attendance at this event will also make a difference in the garden. Thousands of visitors wander our paths monthly, admiring the garden spaces and taking in the pretty scenery. But all that beauty doesn’t happen by itself. As a nonprofit organization, we not only depend on volunteers to help with pruning and weeding each week, we rely on annual fundraising to provide dollars for purchasing new plants, fixing irrigation issues, and developing new areas of the garden for public enjoyment.

7) Sunday afternoons are perfect for authentic Latin music. Pianist Marco Diaz returns to The Gardens for the second consecutive  year, this time with his larger ensemble, Vission Latina. The authentic salsa band will perform a mix of traditional Cuban classics and contemporary faves. In addition to playing regularly around the Bay Area, their music has been featured in a number of documentary films about Cuba. Perfect sounds to get your hips swaying and toes tapping.

8) Learn to salsa dance under the sun. Professional salsa dancers in costume will be on hand to show you some moves sure to kick the party up a notch.
9) It’s the perfect weekend afternoon getaway, right around the corner. Looking for an easy “stay-cation” experience? Need a break from the kids or grandkids? Escape (virtually) to iconic Latin American cities like Cabo San Lucas, Buenos Aires, San Juan and Havana. Relax in the garden while enjoying the sweet fragrance of fresh flower blossoms, tasty appetizers, margaritas, sounds of piano and conga drums, all without even getting on a plane.

10) Eat good, do good, feel good. At Fiesta Nueva, you’ll get all the amazing event features mentioned above, while also helping the community, and helping The Gardens reach our goals. We depend on your support.
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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.











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
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.