Find out what's blooming at Gamble!
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February 2020

The camellias are back and they're blooming their hearts away. From the formal garden borders along the main driveway to the shady woodland areas around the Tea House and Wisteria Garden, our camellias are providing bright pops of color all over Gamble Garden. Don't miss the wall of camellias along the fence between the Carriage House and the Wisteria Garden! If you're feeling the winter blues, drop by Gamble to view these beautiful blooms and receive a happy reminder that spring is just around the corner.

What's In Bloom

Camellias In bloom at Gamble, L-R: Camellia Japonica 'Hagoromo' Feathered Robe, Camellia Japonica 'R.L. Wheeler', Camellia Japonica 'Moonlight Bay'

Wedding Photo Tips at Gamble

Dana Todd Photography, taken at Gamble Garden

Love is in the air, and Gamble's romantic atmosphere provides the perfect setting for young lovers to say their vows and start their married life together. Dana Todd Photography offers some suggestions for wedding photo poses and how to make the most of each one: 

"Getting Ready" photos
No matter where you are having the preparation done for your big day, one of our biggest advice is the beautiful window light when getting ready.   Make sure the day of your wedding that you direct your hair and makeup artist to the closest window light possible.  This also helps when you are getting into your dress, or for you grooms out there, getting into your suit or tux!  Sometimes the candid moments are for sure just taken where they are, but if you are able to have some control, at least start the day with beautiful window light vs crammed in a bathroom with horrible light!

The First Look
Say yes to the first look.  The entire day, you and your spouse to be will be pulled in so many different directions.  You'll barely have time to eat, let alone mingle with the guests, family, wedding party and have moments for you two. Adding time for your first look (10 minutes tops) not only allows you two to have a quick "OMG" moment, but also allows many other factors of the day to fall in smoothly.  

Dana Todd Photography, taken at Gamble Garden

Upcoming Classes and Events

See Gamble's complete list of classes and events online.

Garden Myths & Garden Science: How to know what really works
Thursday, February 20, 7:00pm-8:30pm
Free, registration required
Gardening advice is all over the internet; how does one weed out the myths from the facts? This class will teach you how to be an informed consumer of gardening advice and products. Candace Simpson, longtime volunteer with Santa Clara County's Master Gardener Program, will lead an informative talk about how some common garden advice stacks up against science-based gardening information.

Botanical Block Printing Workshop
Saturday, February 29, 9:30am-11:30am
$35 Members / $45 Non-members

Create unique botanical prints with inspiration from Gamble's flora! Instructor Charles Woodruff Coates will lead a tour of the gardens, teaching students how to draw from observations, transform their drawings into stamps, and create prints.

The March Shop at Gamble Garden
Wednesday, March 11 & Thursday, March 12, 11:00am - 3:00pm
Free Admission

Shop till you drop at Gamble’s lunchtime March pop-up shop on March 11 and 12, from 11am – 3pm both days. The pop up features one-of-a-kind items made by local artisans. Browse through a selection of handmade jewelry, art, household items, textiles, decor, and more.

The Doctor is in... the Kitchen!
Saturday, March 14, 10:00am - 11:30am
$30 Member / $40 Non-member

Learn the secret to raising a happier, healthier family. In ‘The New Family Table', Dr. Julia Nordgren, M.D –pediatrician, chef, and mother—shares how you can find success one delicious meal at a time. 

Easter Egg Hunt 2020
Sunday, April 5, 9:30am - 1:30pm
$30 Member / $40 Non-member
Save the date for Gamble's annual Easter Egg Hunt, a beloved tradition for the whole family. Hunt for eggs in our beautiful garden, meet friendly animals in the Petting Zoo, take photos with the Easter Bunny, and enjoy Arts & Crafts. Tickets available now, get yours before they sell out!

Spring Tour 2020: Be Inspired
Tickets now available

Tickets are now available for Gamble's 2020 Spring Tour – Friday, April 24 and Saturday, April 25. Don't miss the chance to "Be Inspired" by gardens, goods, music, entertainment, and more. Events and activities include:

Silent Auction
Bid on carefully curated goods and one-of-a-kind experiences. Tables will be open from 10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. on Friday and Saturday.

Garden Tour
Tour five private gardens in Palo Alto, each selected to inspire and delight.  In keeping with this year's theme, "Be Inspired", all five gardens feature gorgeous landscaping, eye-catching focal points, and thoughtfully designed gathering places for friends and family. 

Over the Garden Fence
The Carriage House is the destination for this much-anticipated part of Spring Tour, offering gently-used garden furniture, antiques, home decor, china, and linens – all at great prices.

Shop at specially selected vendors selling wonderful home and garden merchandise.

Plant Sale
Hard-to-find species, unique plants, and edibles – many featured in the gardens on the tour – are available for purchase. Container gardens designed by our garden staff and volunteers may also be purchased.
Gamble Garden Spring Tour
Friday, April 24 & Saturday, April 25
Cost: $30 Members, $35 Non-members

February Gardening Tips
from the Garden Club of Palo Alto

During the winter months, the deciduous plants in your garden may be lying dormant, but that doesn't mean they don't need care. February is a good time to prune deciduous plants (camellias, gardenias, roses) and divide summer bloomers (agapanthus, daylilies, dahlias). This month, the Garden Club of Palo Alto's Vicki Sullivan offers care tips for some popular plants:

Strip the leaves and cut below those doglegs that are old pruning cuts. Clean up all leaves around the roses to prevent disease. After pruning, and when the soil has warmed up to at least 60 degrees, give roses an all-purpose fertilizer, and two weeks later encourage flower growth with a high-phosphate fertilizer, usually sold as “Rose and Flower Food.” At a rose pruning classes I once took, I learned that plants have trouble taking up fertilizer from cold soil.

Hydrangeas also need pruning, thinning of crossed and spindly branches. A Hydrangea can be moved during winter: prune it back, dig it up, replant in the new site IMMEDIATELY. Most of the Hydrangea root system is in the top few inches of soil, so don’t let topsoil dry out. Remember that mulch reduces temperature swings in the soil, so the soil stays warmer in winter and cooler in summer. Mulch also improves soil structure and stimulates root development.
Dahlia dividing is a bit of guesswork for me, so I try to identify the eyes, then split up a tuber and plant the most likely candidates in milk cartons cut open and laid on their sides. I lost Dahlias last Winter because I did not dig them up and store them in my garage. They got too much rain and rotted! Unlucky for me! So I bought new dahlias for this year, mainly because they are among my favorite flowers. I didn’t realize they are soooo picky, or I got lucky for the last 10 years, because they kept coming back.

Many thanks to Vicki Sullivan and the Palo Alto Garden Club for sharing these tips!

Visit Gamble's Rain Garden


Thank you to Grassroots Ecology for designing and installing the new signage for our rain garden. The garden was a partnership with Grassroots Ecology and all of our fantastic volunteers.

The garden is behind our historic Carriage House. The gutters on the building empty into a 265-gallon cistern. When the cistern overflows, runoff flows into the garden where it can drain into the ground and not become stormwater runoff. Water in the cistern is used to water neighboring gardens during the year. Please stop by and take a look next time you are at Gamble.

Rooted: Trees in Contemporary Art


The public will have the opportunity to examine the power, purpose, and beauty of trees during the Palo Alto Art Center’s Rooted: Trees in Contemporary Art exhibition from January 25-April 5, 2020. The free exhibition explores the work of more than 20 contemporary artists from around the world inspired by the majesty, beauty, and importance of the trees around us.
More info:
Gamble Garden website
The Gamble office is open Monday - Friday, 9:00am-2:00pm
Please visit our website at

Cover photo by Ana Picazo

Copyright © 2020 Gamble Garden, All rights reserved.

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