As Master Gardeners, we are committed to educating the general public on sustainable horticulture and pest management practices based on traditional, current, and evolving research. One of the ways we do this is through our Learning Landscape demonstration garden located at the San Joaquin UC Master Gardener office.
We will be hosting our first fall Open Garden Day event on Saturday, October 22, from 9:00 a.m. to noon. The garden is located at 2101 E. Earhart Ave., Stockton, at the Robert J. Cabral Agricultural Center just off Arch-Airport Road. This event is free and registration is not required. Light refreshments will be provided. In the case of rain, this event will be cancelled.
The Open Garden Day will feature pruning, irrigation, and planting demonstrations. There will also be a vermicomposting (composting with worms) display as well as some kids’ activities for young garden enthusiasts. Master Gardeners will also be available to talk about the demonstration garden and to answer questions that home gardeners might have about their own gardens. We hope that attendees will be inspired and leave with ideas of things that can be incorporated into their own landscapes.
The Learning Landscape began in 2008 and continues to expand and change. Over the years, Master Gardeners have transformed the originally barren, rocky site into a lively, vibrant garden. A dedicated team of Master Gardeners maintain and improve the garden throughout the year. Plants are continuously changing as we learn what grows well here and what doesn’t (our battle with rabbits and voles is never-ending).
The goal of our Learning Landscape demonstration garden is to provide the public with research-based, sustainable gardening practices specific to San Joaquin County that are reflective of a variety of environments and gardening experiences. The garden has plants for different needs, including drought tolerance, color, sun or shade exposure, and height. There are ornamental and fruit trees, flowering shrubs, perennial flowers, California natives, vines, and groundcovers. The garden is home to many species of insects, and plants that attract beneficial insects are planted throughout the garden to eliminate the need for chemical pesticide sprays.
The garden also features many sustainable elements. There are water permeable walkways and decomposed granite paths that allow water to infiltrate into the soil. We use weather based irrigation systems that schedule watering as needed based on the current conditions. A drip irrigation system below the mulch allows for uniform watering throughout the garden with minimal loss of water to evaporation. Regular applications of mulch help to conserve water and suppress weeds; the mulch eventually decomposes into organic matter that is beneficial to the soil. Plants that are selected are low water users and are appropriate for the space provided. As a decorative touch, some re-purposed materials have even been turned into garden art.
The garden is composed of 6 distinct but interconnected gardens. Plant identification signs and educational signs tell the story of each garden section. The featured gardens are:
The All-Stars Garden: This section features plants from the UC Davis Arboretum All-Stars program.
The Foliage Garden: A garden with year-round interest that doesn’t depend on flowers.
The Edible Landscape: Demonstrates how to combine food-producing plants with regular landscape plants.
The Mediterranean Garden: Displays plants from the five regions of the world with climates similar to ours, and shows how to combine them for gardens adapted to our area’s climate.
The Pollinator Garden: This section is filled with flowering plants that provide pollen and nectar for pollinators and other beneficial insects. Something is always in bloom!
The California Native Garden: Highlights a variety of garden-worthy native plants adapted to our region.
We invite members of the public to visit the Learning Landscape, and encourage you to visit multiple times to see how the garden’s features change through the seasons. The garden is open 7 days a week, 24 hours a day. Service animals are allowed; pets are not.
For information on scheduling a private tour for your group or organization, call our helpline at (209) 953-6112. For information about other Master Gardener workshops and events, call our number or visit the UCCE Master Gardeners of San Joaquin County website at http://sjmastergardeners.ucanr.edu.