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Lucky Baldwin Poker Tournament & Dinner coming June 10. Join us!

Save the date for a night to remember! We’ll revel across the expansive lawns of the Queen Anne Cottage, engage in clever conversations over dinner, and play daring games of chance, like in the heady 1890s when Baldwin Ranch was a must stop for the rich and famous. The fundraiser is for our historic structures.

Rain is coming! Catch it for your garden with water harvesting.

With another storm or two approaching this weekend, you’ll likely be taking cover inside. Why not learn about harvesting rain water for your garden?  Crescent Farm uses a variety of water harvesting techniques for its sustainable gardens.  A quick primer about the techniques used at Crescent Farm is a click away.

Celebrating an iconic tree: Art to be created from Baldwin eucalyptus

 

EucalypusTree Photo croppedA stately Tasmanian blue gum, planted some time in the late 19th century, is among the most magnificent trees at the Arboretum. Sadly, the tree must is being removed this month due to age and disease.

To celebrate its long life, art will be created from the historic tree. Reprising the Arboretum’s Forces of Nature exhibition that followed the devastating 2011 windstorm, artists and artisans will receive wood and then create works to be sold at an exhibition planned for December 2017. Proceeds will go toward the planting of new trees at the Arboretum.

The history of the tree encompasses over 130 years of cultural and environmental changes. The towering specimen was located next to the historic 1885 Queen Anne Cottage, a landmark structure best known as part of the set for Fantasy Island, a hit television series of the late 1970s. Elias J. “Lucky” Baldwin, the same man who built the Cottage so long ago, is also believed to have planted the tree, probably in the mid-1880s.

The tree’s demise can be traced to several factors. Recently, the drought has stressed the Arboretum’s Eucalyptus globulus trees allowing for an invasion by pests. Typically, blue gums require more moisture than they receive in Southern California. Pests such as tortoise beetles (leaf beetle family, Chrysomelidae), among others, introduced locally from Australia in the last 30 years have taken their toll. All over California, the stress of drought, beetles, termites and fungi have weakened gum trees.

 

Seed catalogs so dear to our gardening hearts

The joys of thumbing through seed catalogs are nicely captured by Willy Blackmore in his “Letter of Recommendation: Seed Catalogs” in The New York Times.  Have a read, it’ll bring a smile whether you’re a gardener or not.

What is Kinetic Tai Chi? Check it out Thursday.

Kinetic Tai Chi, created by Master Arnold Chien, is version of the martial art based on the theory of an ancient classic called I Ching coupled with contemporary physics of potential and kinetic energy. Join us Thursday, February 2, 9-10:30am. $35 members; $45 nonmembers.

The drought is not over for Southern California.

The U.S. Drought Monitor is reporting that more than 40% of California is out of the drought in the northern part of the state. It’s a different story for Southern California. USA Today reports the area that stretches from Los Angeles to Santa Barbara continues in “exceptional” drought because reservoirs and underground water supplies remain below normal, the newspaper reported.

 

 

 

The Biodiversity Heritage Library welcomes the Arboretum Library

The Biodiversity Heritage Library welcomes The Arboretum Library at the Los Angeles County Arboretum and Botanic Garden as its newest Affiliate. The BHL consortium, which has grown substantially over the past year, now consists of 17 Members and 16 Affiliates.

The Arboretum Library holds an extensive collection of books, magazines, government documents, pamphlets, and audio-visual materials covering a wide range of topics, including gardening and garden design, plant lore, medical botany, botanical art, ethnobotany, California native plant life, and Mediterranean-climate botany.

Attention Artists!

The Arboretum Library is holding an open call to artists who may be interested in exhibiting their work in our new art space. Learn about two art shows planned for 2017 from Librarian Susan Eubank at the open calls on Saturday, January 14 or January 28 from 1 to 4pm.

Five years ago Dec. 1…

On December 1, 2011 we awoke to massive destruction from the worst windstorm in recent history to strike the San Gabriel Valley.  We lost 235 trees and more than 700 required corrective pruning.  The Arboretum was closed from December 1 through Christmas day.  This three-week period saw intense cleanup involving as many as 16 public and private entities working in consort to clear the massive quantities of debris.  We opened on the 26th in a very limited way, allowing visitors onto only major roads; many areas were caution-taped off because they were not safe.  Cleanup continued well into 2012.  A positive result of the windstorm was a phenomenally successful exhibit, “Forces of Nature”, that paid homage to the trees lost in the windstorm.

James Henrich, the Arboretum’s Curator of Living Collections, reflected on the remarkable resiliency the plant kingdom demonstrates on a daily basis.  And finally, he said, “revel in the beauty of the Arboretum’s landscape today.”

 

Ongoing preservation of the Queen Anne Cottage

A recent comprehensive assessment of the Queen Anne Cottage was completed by Peyton Hall and his team at Historic Resources Group in Pasadena. Formally known as a Historic Structure Report, the assessment followed national preservation guidelines to provide the Arboretum with a planning tool to guide preservation management and ongoing care.  Click to read the report.

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