Temecula Valley Garden Club Programs for 2020/2021
September 8, 2020 - 

Rob Hicks, Santa Rosa Plateau Ecological Reserve Park interpreter will  speak on how the Santa Rosa Plateau is recovering after the fire.
Updates on the rebuilding, and trails that are open at this time.
Rob was our presenter a year ago.  See more below for 2019.

October 13th, 2020 -

The guest speaker is Kevin Alison from the Tree of Life Nursery in San Juan Capistrano. 
Kevin is the Native Plant Specialist at the nursery and
holds degrees in Environmental Horticulture, Natural Resource Management 
and a Masters in Conservation and Restoration Science. 
He is passionate about spreading his knowledge of native plants and gardening. 
When he isn’t growing plants for the nursery you can find him gardening at home 
with his wife, Clara, and their many dogs.
The Tree of Life website is:

Pictured below is our group and tour guide at Tree of Life Nursery a few years ago.
There are more pictures taken that day on our Shutterfly page.  You need to scroll down a long way.
The album was posted on May 12, 2017, along with several other albums. 

November 10, 2020

Program: “Secret Gardens of Balboa Park”     Speaker: Lucy Warren

Lucy has been involved in the horticulture community in San Diego for over 30 years. 
She is an author, Master Gardener, former editor of California Garden magazine
and is currently on the Board and Horticulture Chair for Friends of Balboa Park.

Lucy will present a virtual tour of Balboa Park gardens. 
The tour will begin with some history of the park and its gardens, 
proceed to some of the better known gardens in the central mesa area, 
and then onto some of the farther reaches of the park to gardens with which few people are familiar.

December 8, 2020

Program:  Epiphyllums and Holiday Cactus      Speaker:  Gretchen Ward

Gretchen Ward recently retired from a 35-year career with the National Park Service
as a program manager, archaeologist, and park ranger. 

She is a San Diego native and has been a lifelong gardener.
Gretchen recently graduated from the University of California Cooperative Extension (UCCE)
Master Gardener program, so is a newly minted San Diego County Master Gardener.

She has also been raising and working with epiphytic plants for most of her life
ever since her mother bought her first epiphyllum hybrids when she was just a kid.
Gretchen is about to assume the office of president of the San Diego Epiphyllum Society
and looks forward to an exciting new year of activities and events with the organization.
Her talk will cover care and growing of epiphytic cacti.

January 12, 2021

Program:  Anza Borrego Desert State Park     Speaker: Larry Hendrickson, Botanist

The park contains bajadas and desert washes; rock formations and colorful badlands, large arid 
landscapes, and mountains. The bajadas are predominantly creosote bush-bur sage with creosote 
bush and the palo verde-cactus shrub ecosystems with the palo verde tree, cacti, and ocotillo. 

In the washes, Colorado/Sonoran microphylla woodlands can be found. These woodlands include 
such plants as smoke tree, velvet mesquite, and catclaw.

The park has natural springs and oases, with the state's only native palm, the California Fan 
Palm. Seasonal wildflower displays can be seen in many plant community association 
throughout the park. The high-country to the north and east has closed-cone pine forests, 
manzanitas and oak woodlands.

February 9, 2021

Program:  Permaculture     Speaker: Diane Kennedy 

Permaculture is a term encompassing many plant-care practices based on natural patterns. It emphasizes low water use, harvesting rain, using no man-made chemicals, and repurposing and recycling. Diane Kennedy owns Finch Frolic Garden Permaculture in Fallbrook, a food forest through which she and her daughter give educational tours. She is also a permaculture landscape designer, consultant and teacher. Diane will be presenting a PowerPoint presentation on basic permaculture methods which will provide easy practices you can begin doing right away at your home. Diane blogs at

Go to News/Articles page for "Permaculture:  What is it?"
          ~article written by Brie Wypich, who did a follow up interview with Diane Kennedy

March 9, 2021

Program:  Japanese Friendship Garden     Speaker:  Docents Audrey and Bob

Docents Audrey and Bob will lead an informational tour through the gardens located in Balboa Park in San DiegoThe tour will include all the wonders and principles that go into creating a traditional Japanese garden.  The knowledgeable docents will begin the tour in the lovely upper garden, covering our prized koi pond and manicured plants the gardeners and volunteers spend hours perfecting.  Eventually, you will be guided down to our lower garden. This is a magical area plentiful in flowers, waterfalls and more koi.  The tour will include the first blossoms as we head into our Cherry Blossom Season.  We will finish the tour with a live Q/A, where you will be able to interact and ask Audrey and Bob questions about the garden.

April 13, 2021

Program:  Success With Succulents      Speaker:  Debra Lee Baldwin

Widely known as the “Queen of Succulents,” Debra Lee Baldwin is the award winning garden photojournalist who launched global interest in succulents with the first edition of "Designing with Succulents" (now in its completely revised 2nd ed.). Her other bestsellers are "Succulent Container Gardens" and "Succulents Simplified".

Debra spreads the word about “plants that drink responsibly” via newsletters, articles, photos, videos, social media, public speaking, Zoom presentations, radio, podcasts, and TV. Her YouTube videos have over 6,000,000 views.

Debra delights in sharing news, ideas, tips, and destinations that celebrate gardening and the joy of succulents.

Debra lives and gardens in “the epicenter of all things succulent":  San Diego’s North County, home to more succulent specialty nurseries and wholesale growers than anywhere else in the world. 

Bonnie DiAngelo suggests viewing the Rojas Succulents Nursery Video tour led by Debra Lee Baldwin (on You Tube):


May 11, 2021

Exciting News!  Our May 11th meeting will be a garden tour of members’ gardens--in person!!

June 8, 2021

TVGC Gardener’s Masterpiece Gallery--Virtual Flower Show (via Zoom).

There will be three Divisions in the show. Horticulture, Design, and Botanical Arts. 
Members take photos of your best plants.  Directions will become available in April for submitting your photos.

Temecula Valley Garden Club Programs for 2019/2020

September 10, 2019:

Program:   “The History and Legacy of the Santa Rosa Plateau Ecological Reserve”   Speaker: Rob Hicks.  

You will learn all about this 7,500 acre reserve of relatively undisturbed oak woodland, chaparral, and native grassland.
The reserve, located right in our own backyard, off Clinton Keith Road in Murrieta, provides habitat for many native species, 
as well as a corridor for movement of deer and mountain lion.

Rob Hicks has been sharing natural and cultural history as an interpreter for nearly 30 years.
As an Interpretive Ranger with the National Park Service, he worked and presented programs
at Redwood, Everglades, and Great Basin 
National Parks.
Whether hiking through forests, slogging through 
swamps, or spelunking through caves,
Rob has always enjoyed helping 
people discover the fascinating and important stories of a place.

October 8, 2019: 
Pictured are 3 plants total.  Each plant has over 100# of beefsteak size tomatoes.
Program:  Dave, the Tomato Guy         Speaker:  Dave Freed 
Dave will teach us how to grow wonderful and bountiful tomatoes next spring using his amazing planters. He will make it easy for even the novice vegetable gardener!  Learn how to grow tomatoes easily. Hybrids and heirlooms as well as other garden vegetables. Even if you have never grown a garden or don’t have a green thumb, Dave will show you how. He will discuss how to choose plants, sunshine, soil, watering, self watering containers, temperatures, mulching and much much more.

November 12, 2019
Program: Techniques for Taking Better Pictures in the Garden            Speaker: Clayton Fogle
Clayton Fogle is a regular guest speaker and instructor of workshops all over the U.S. He holds a B.A. and M.Sc. Degree from Brooks Institute of Photography in Santa Barbara, California and a Certificate in Digital Multimedia from Technology Development Center. He will share some of his amazing photos and the tips and techniques anyone can use to take excellent pictures. Books etc. may be available for purchase.
We will also have a craft sale at the November meeting this year (instead of in December as we did last year).

December 10, 2019:
Program:  Holiday Entertainment and Potluck Luncheon, also Bake Sale
The December holiday program will put everyone in the mood for celebrating.

January 14, 2020:
Program:  Olive Cultivation and EVOO Nutrition        Speaker: Jenna Fenton
Jenna Fenton is a third year student at Cal Poly Pomona and the recipient of the Temecula Valley Garden Club scholarship for 2019.  She grew up helping in her family’s olive grove, the Olive Plantation, since the age of 10 when she helped her father plant 1000 olive trees on the family property.  She will share experiences and expertise on olive cultivation along with the nutritional benefits of extra virgin olive oil.  She will bring items from the Olive Plantation for purchase.

February 11, 2020
Program:  Composting        Speaker: James Rowland
James Rowland from the County of Riverside Waste Resources Department will present information on composting. 
Members will receive an overview of the composting process, information on how different methods of composting work, and the benefits of each method. Members will also learn what materials can be used for composting so that it is successful and productive.

March 10, 2020
Program: Spiny Succulents       Speaker:  Jeff Moore
Jeff has owned and operated Solana Succulents in Solana Beach since 1992. He has written books and given talks on the subject for the past 5 years. He has spent most of his adult life negotiating the landscape of spiny succulents, will take us on a tour of these remarkable plants in cultivation. We will learn about cacti, euphorbias, fourquierias, alluaudias, and a host of other dry climate and often spiny architectural wonders. Jeff’s books along with plants will be available for purchase.  
"This book is a follow up yin to the yang of the last book on soft succulents. It covers cacti, euphorbias, pachypodiums, alluaudias, terrestrial bromeliads, and a few other succulent adjacent xerophytes, most but not all spiny. I obviously can’t cover all of each family or genus in one book, but try to show you cultivated examples of the most prominent. Most of the images were taken in California or Arizona, with a few habitat images to introduce the sections. The book its aimed at the new enthusiast, but as always I try to make it visually engaging enough to appeal to the veteran as well, with any cultural tips or observations that I can provide. 

April 14, 2020: Cancelled 
Program: Growing Edibles in Small Spaces & Containers      Speaker: Laura Simpson
Laura Simpson and her husband, Jim are both UCCE Master Gardeners of Riverside County. This family with 5 children knows how to make use of every inch of space for growing! They live in a tract home in French Valley with an 8000 square foot lot and manage to grow 100 varieties of edible plants. Including exotic and rare fruits. Laura will share her best tips for growing food in small spaces.  She is also a Master Food Preserver.

May 12, 2020Cancelled
Program:  Edible Flowers - A Culinary History      Speaker: Jean T. Weiss
More delicious things from the garden! Jean is a long-time UCCE Master Gardener who began studying herbs over thirty years ago and expanded to edible flowers. Her presentation will include a history of edible flowers, illustrations of delicious recipes, and samples of lavender lemonade for all! Her full-color cookbook will be available for purchase ($9.00 cash or check only).

June 9, 2020:

Program:  Recognition of TVGC outgoing officers and Installation of TVGC incoming officers.  End of year potluck buffet luncheon.
“ The Year in Review” video presentation created by Bob Boyd.

Temecula Valley Garden Club Programs for 2018/2019

September 11, 2018

Program:  Skyhunters Raptor Rehabilitation Center

Speaker:  Nancy Conney

Nancy Conney has devoted the past 25 years to the care and preservation of raptors who have become ill, injured or orphaned. She spent 10 years with Project Wildlife before forming Skyhunters Raptor Rehabilitation and Education in 1996. Skyhunters, a 501 (c)3 non-profit organization, operates with a volunteer staff and is funded primarily through donations and its Community Outreach programs.

October 9, 2018

Program:  The Tree Whisperer

Speaker:  Gary Walker

Gary Walker, aka, the Tree Whisperer, has been passionately involved with Nature, and in particular trees, all his life.  A personal friend and student of Dr. Alex Shigo, the world's preeminent arborist, Gary has been featured in both print and digital media and had his own radio show on trees and gardens. His web site is: 

November 13, 2018

Program:  Protea Growers

Speaker:  Mel Resendiz 

In early 1977, Ismael ("Mel") Resendiz and his brothers Porfirio, Raul and Ramon immigrated to California and began their careers in the floral industry.  Since much of their background had been in farming in various parts of Mexico, it was natural for the brothers to pursue farming opportunities.  Mel took a temporary position working as a farmhand at Zorro Protea Farms in the hills east of Rancho Santa Fe and soon realized his passion for flowers and plants - particularly South African and Australian varieties.

"Resendiz Brothers Protea Growers LLC was etablished in 1999 with a passion for growing exotic flowers and a commitment to providing customers with the highest quality products and service. With decades of farming experience in California's ideal Mediterranean climate, we delight in growing spectacular flowers for customers who demand unique and creative floral options. What began as a business focused on proteas has grown into a "boutique" - type flower farm offering a vast selection of the most distinctive American Grown flowers. In addition to proteas, we now cultivate more than 350 varieties of flowers and foliages, and our selection continues to grow!"

There are links to several videos here:

December 11, 2018

Program:  Holiday Entertainment and Potluck Luncheon, also Craft and Bake Sale


January 8, 2019

Program:  Curator of Horticulture San Diego Zoo Safari Park

Speaker:  Linda Post

Not only is the San Diego Zoo Safari Park one of the top wildlife breeding and conservation facilities in the world, it is also a world-renowned botanical garden. The Safari Park’s horticulture department cares for 1,750,000 plant specimens spanning 1,800 acres.  San Diego Zoo Global is working to conserve not only endangered animals, but endangered plants as well.

February 12, 2019

Program:  Time to Start Preparing for Our Flower Show

Speaker:  Presented by the Flower Show Committee

March 12, 2019

Program:  Monarch  Butterflies

Speaker:  Susie Vanderlip

Love Monarch Butterflies? So does Susie Vanderlip, Monarch Butterfly Citizen Scientist! She will share with us “Everything You Ever Wanted to Know about Monarch Butterflies!”. You will be entertained by her enthusiasm and her beautiful photos, intriguing video and amusing anecdotes about Monarch life cycle AND how to attract them to YOUR garden this spring and summer!

April 9, 2019

Program:  Beekeeping      Speaker:  Chris Cullen
(This is a last minute change.  Our scheduled speaker listed below needed to cancel.)

Program:  Landscape Designer

Speaker:  Linda McDonald

This is Linda's plan ....                                                      for this property

Linda McDonald has lived in Temecula for over 30 years now, and is a past member of both the TV Garden Club and Temecula Rose Society, now a Landscape Designer after receiving her certificate in Landscape Architecture ten years ago from Mira Costa College. Although somewhat of an expert on drought tolerant plants, her expertise encompasses many types of plants from roses and herbs to edibles and ornamentals.  I am “big” on organic gardening, bringing in beneficial insects, planting “butterfly” gardens and believe in gardening WITH nature. Everything Linda will mention is adapted to our climate zone.

May 14, 2019

Program:  Fire Resistant Landscaping and Preparedness

Speaker:  Rebecca Levers

Rebecca Levers - Becky, a UCCE Riverside Master Gardener and California Native Plant Society member will share her knowledge of fire-resistant landscaping and how to keep your home safe during our prolonged fire season here in California. Steps to prepare your family, pets and home for evacuation will also be discussed.

June 11, 2019

Program:  Recognition of TVGC outgoing officers and Installation of TVGC incoming officers.  End of year buffet luncheon.
“ The Year in Review” video presentation created by Bob Boyd.

2017/18 Year

September 2017


Program:  Penny Pines U.S. Forest Service

Speaker:  Jason Sieg

Where do our Penny Pines donations go?  U.S. Forest Service Agent will present information on this worthy cause.

Our club members continue to generously support the Penny Pines Reforestation Program to maintain existing tree stands and improve wildlife habitat or replant burned or otherwise damaged forests in the Cleveland National Forest and other areas.  This is done through monthly donations and gifts to honor special people and in memory of loved ones.  We have received awards from CGCI for our generous donations and the number of plantations purchased in a calendar year.  

Plantations are important for watershed protection, soil stabilization, shade for recreation areas, and scenic beauty. For more details, go to 

U.S. Forest Service:



October 2017

Program:  Specialty Coffee:  A New Crop for Temecula Valley

Speaker:  Linda Mullins 

Linda Mullins is the owner of the first Temecula Coffee Farm.  They planted 800 coffee plants in October 2015 and hope to have their first crop of beans in the summer of 2018.  Linda will tell their journey to that first cup of coffee.


November 2017 

Program:  Pacific Crest Trail

Speaker:  Al O’Neal

Al O’Neal will present commentary and photos of his 2,658 mile route through some of the most beautiful natural landscapes of the American West along the Pacific Crest Trail.  Al’s journey was featured in the Korean Documentary, “Journey on Foot.”


December 2017


Program:  Holiday Entertainment and Luncheon

Member Pot Luck Luncheon and a celebration of the holiday spirit.


January 2018 

Program:  Temecula Berry Company

Speaker:  Farmer Mike Graesser

Mike is the son of Ray and Kathy Graesser, who began farming here in Temecula in 1977.  Ray and Kathy planted a 30 acre avocado grove on the west side of town and then started the blueberry farm in the late 1990’s.  Mike will present the Berry Company’s journey to success. 


February 2018

Program:  Flower Show Chairman

Speaker:  Susan Puma

Susan Puma will provide information on entering items into our flower show and the Flower Show and Plant Sale schedule.


March 2018

Program:  Creating a Backyard Wildlife Habitat   

Speaker:  Ann Platzer 

Ann is a Riverside County Master Gardener and will present a checklist of how to create a wildlife habitat in your own backyard.


April 2018 


Program:  Keys Creek Lavender Farm

Speaker:  Tristan 

Tristan will provide a presentation on the Keys Creek Lavender Farm. 


May 2018



Program:  Mountain Meadow Mushroom Farms, Inc.

Speaker:  David Barnes

David Barnes is a General Manager at Mountain Meadow Mushroom Farms, Inc. he will provide insight on how mushrooms are grown for commercial production. 


June 2018

Program:  Recognition of TVGC outgoing officers and Installation of TVGC incoming officers.  End of year buffet luncheon.


2016/17 Year
September 2016 Program: Certified Earth Friendly Garden 
Speaker: Dawn Standke 
Dawn Standke, a Master Gardener from San Diego Speakers Bureau, will present the checklist needed to have your garden Certified as Earth Friendly. She will provide the checklist and if you meet the criteria, she can certify your garden. She will sell signs you may put in your yard to let the community know you are certified. 
October 2016 Program: Butterfly Habitats 
Speaker: Pat Flannagan 
Pat Flannagan from Butterfly Farms in Vista, California, will provide information on butterflies and their habitats. 
November 2016 Program: Plants for Soap 
Speaker: Jeremy Pearson 
Jeremy Pearson, owner of The Land of Milk and Honey, will provide information on growing plants and keeping bees to make soap products he sells at the area Farmer’s Markets. He will be selling some of his creams and soaps before and after the meeting.
December 2016 Program: Holiday Entertainment and Luncheon 
Children's Choir and Member Pot Luck Luncheon and a celebration of the holiday spirit. 
January 2017 Program: Backyard Barn Owls 
Speaker: Bert Kersey 
Bert and Sharon Kersey from Backyard Barn Owls will provide information on owls and their habitat. They will bring an owl nesting box and a video to sell before and after the meeting. 
February 2017 Program: Flower Show Chairman 
Speaker: Debra Jones 
Debra Jones will provide information on entering items into our flower show and the Flower Show and Plant Sale schedule.
March 2017 Program:  Grapes, Vines, Drought, and the Ecosystem
Speaker: Greg Pennyroyal, Wilson Creek Winery 
Greg will provide information on growing grapes during drought, pests affecting vines and the ecosystem created.  

April 2017 Program: Pumice Products for Soil 
Speaker: Lexi Petelski 
Lexi Petelski, Co-Owner of General Pumice Products, will talk about pumice and how it improves growability of soils, saves water, acts as an aeration system, retains moisture and holds nutrients at the root zone of plants. Their products are available for purchase online at 
May 2017 Program: Growing and Using Lavender 
Speaker: Jack and Carrie Bauer 
Jack and Carrie from Sycamore Lavender Farm will provide information on how to grow and use lavender in the Temecula Valley.
June 2017 Program: Recognition of TVGC outgoing officers and Installation of TVGC incoming officers. End of year buffet luncheon.

2015/16 Year 
September 8, 2015   Jacob's House, a Home Away from Home -Linda Mejia Jacob's House is an independent hospital hospitality house in Temecula that provides temporary housing for family members who live outside the community and who have a loved one hospitalized nearby, suffering a traumatic medical life event or crisis. Linda will share her own and other stories that ultimately inspired her commitment to this valuable community resource. Our club has committed to providing assistance for development of the water-wise garden project at Jacob's House. 
October 13, 2015   Under the Spell of Succulents -Jeff Moore Looking to save water? Hoping to create beauty? Wanting ease of cultivation? Look no more…the incredible world of succulents is about to be presented to you. Jeff Moore, owner of Solana Succulents and author of "Under the Spell of Succulents", will take you on a journey, sharing his love and knowledge of these diverse and fascinating plants. Jeff will have his book available to sell and sign for you as well as plants from his Solana Beach nursery. 
November 10, 2015   Soil - It's a Living Organism -Gisele Schoniger So many of our yards here in Temecula Valley have been scraped, compressed and otherwise compromised. Gisele Schoniger, Organic Gardening educator for Kellogg's Garden Products, will speak on how the use of compost and organic matter and mulching will help to maximize and conserve water use along with a wealth of other very practical ways to improve on our gardening practices to bring our soil back to life! She will also bring various samples for us to try in our own gardens. 
December 8, 2015   Holiday Entertainment and Luncheon Pot Luck Luncheon and a celebration of the holiday spirit
January 12, 2016   Table Settings and Flower Arrangements 101 -Debra Jones Debra, our Flower Show Chairwoman, will present basics of design. We all committed to participation in our flower show when we voted to have one this year. Debra will take away the hesitation we sometimes feel when we attempt something new and help us channel our talents into beautiful entries for our gift to the community. 
February 9, 2016  Herbs - a Culinary Adventure -Jean Weiss Herbs may have ancient roots but they are not a thing of the past. As more people travel the world, enjoy ethnic and regional foods and watch TV cooking shows, a huge resurgence of interest in diverse culinary herbs has occurred. Jean Weiss, reference librarian for the University of California at Riverside, a long time volunteer at UCR Botanic Gardens and lifetime Master Gardener, will share her knowledge and love of the beauty and power of herbs. 
March 8, 2016   Cacti and Succulents - Staging for Success -Debra Jones and Linda Powell Debra Jones will share some tips to help you prepare your plants for the upcoming April Flower Show. Attractive containers, proper grooming, and healthy plants all contribute to a winning combination. Linda Powell will show some of the interesting tools of the trade to groom and present to the best advantage. 
April 12, 2016   Fairy Gardens - a Little World of Enchantment -Vanessa Andrade Magic toadstools... Pixie dust... Elves and Fairies hiding in the woodland glen... Such is the enchanted world of Fairy Gardens. Vanessa Andrade, owner of Garden Moonlight, will help you create your own special, secret garden filled with magic! Let your imagination run wild!!! 
May 10, 2016   Create a Butterfly Friendly Container Garden -Susan Cline Plants can serve multiple purposes in your garden. They can give us beauty as well as provide a home and nourishment to birds, bees and butterflies… and many are water efficient as well!!! TVGC member Susan Cline is a UCCE Master Gardener with a special interest in butterfly friendly landscapes. She will create a container garden that not only is butterfly friendly, but will explain the basics of host and nectar plants. Also on this day will the presentation of our annual scholarship to a deserving student. 
June 14, 2016  Recognition of TVGC outgoing officers and installation of TVGC incoming officers, as well as the End-of-year luncheon buffet