Hoover Dam history at Huntington

Michael Hiltzik, a Pulitzer-prize winning columnist with the Los Angeles Times and author of ‘Colossus: Hoover Dam and the Making of the American Century,’ will be speaking about the Depression-era dam project that made the desert bloom and Colorado River delta die. Date: tomorrow (August 17th) at the Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Garden. Time: 7.30pm. Admission: Free. Click here for details.

Hiltzik’s book, which was published last summer, is not a water book per se, though the sheer weight of water involved caused earthquakes in the Mojave. It’s not even a desert book. It’s a painstaking history of the politics that led to the dam being built, the heroics and tragedies in the construction, and how the West was won, or ruined, depending on your view point. The picture, above, from the book, captures a failed early schematic for the dam. For an earlier review of this very

End of days and weeks

As we enter Native Plant Week in California and approach Earth Day world-wide, this advocate of native plants and appreciator of the Earth will observe them exactly the same way that I observe World Water Day. I won’t. Chronological gimmicks don’t work. Worthwhile goings on in April packaged up by others as part of Native Plant week are in this blog part of the normal run of Dry Garden Events.

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April fully loaded

Lemonade entrepreneurs kept visitors hydrated at last year's Mar Vista Green Garden Showcase.

April 2011 may go down in the record books as the best month ever for tours, classes and plant sales held by Southern California’s gathering water and energy conservation movements. Click here for a full listing, then ready your date books. By all means check out the rest of the March calendar as well.

December fully loaded

Wreath-making at Tree of Life Nursery

December’s short days have a short calendar for dry garden events in Southern California, but the selection is as twinkling as anything the solstice season can offer. Editor’s picks include classes by Barbara Eisenstein, Carol Bornstein and Lili Singer at the Theodore Payne Foundation along with James Kenney at the California Native Plant Society. Enjoy!

November fully loaded

November dry garden events for Southern California are finally online here. Events include expert tutorials on native plant garden design in Santa Monica, Sun Valley and San Diego. (Run, don’t walk, to the Theodore Payne Foundation to book a place in Susanne Jett’s course — she designed Garden/garden for the City of Santa Monica.) There will be talks by Jessica Hall of LA Creek Freak on stream restoration, Ellen Mackey of the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California on stormwater diversion* and Lili Singer of the Theodore Payne Foundation on native plant horticulture. There are plenty of restoration projects and, for those less enamored by the wild and more rapt by exotica, a new CEO will be talking about the future of The Los Angeles County Arboretum and Botanic Garden. For native plant lovers, the Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden will be having its fall plant sale. Afflicted

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