Find out what's blooming at Gamble!
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January 2020

Happy New Year! 2020 is a special year for Gamble Garden, marking the thirty-fifth anniversary of our founding. On May 14, 1985, Gamble Garden came into existence as a non-profit organization dedicated to restoring and enhancing Miss Gamble's house and garden, and to providing the community with a resource for horticultural education, inspiration, and enjoyment. We invite you to visit Gamble in 2020 for a class, special event, photography session or a simple stroll. Come and see why Gamble has been delighting and inspiring the community for thirty-five years!

What's In Bloom

In bloom at Gamble, L-R: Boronia crenulata 'Shark Bay', Iris unguicularis 'Algerian Iris', Alstroemeria 'Peruvian lily'

Seizing photo opportunities at Gamble Garden

"The two most important requirements for major success are: first, being in the right place at the right time, and second, doing something about it."
-- Ray Kroc

photos by David Chang

With its grey, rainy skies, January may seem like a dreary month for taking photos at Gamble... unless one knows when and where to look. It's all a matter of being in the right place at the right time. Think of rain droplets on leaves, tiny green leaves peeking out of the soil, or rainbows in the sky. Gamble volunteer David Chang recently captured these stunning images of a rainbow shining over the Gamble Garden gazebo, just after a downpour. There truly would be no rainbows without rain, so don't let the weather discourage you. Grab that camera, head to Gamble, and wait for the right moment!

Upcoming Classes and Events

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

Chocolate Tasting Workshop
Thursday, February 6, 7:00pm-8:30pm
Cost: $35 Members / $45 Non-members
Welcome, chocolate lovers!  In this workshop, you will learn about the history of chocolate and how chocolate is produced. You will also learn how to distinguish between different styles and producers of chocolate around the world. You will refine your palate in a blind tasting of various single origin chocolates.

February Second Saturday: Nature Hunt, Crafts, & More
Saturday, February 8, 10:00am - 11:30am
Cost: Free
Gamble Garden welcomes you to spend a beautiful January morning with us!  Come early and attend the ribbon cutting ceremony for our new Watershed Garden at 9:00 am. Explore our unique three-acre garden on a guided garden tour for adults or nature hunt for families.  Enjoy hands-on activities. This month’s theme is “Tremendously Terrific Trees!”

Garden Myths & Garden Science: How to know what really works
Thursday, February 20, 7:00pm-8:30pm
Cost: Free
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
Cost: $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.

Garden Fresh Lunches at Gamble Garden

Get together with friends and family over lunch at Gamble Garden. Our Garden Fresh Luncheons are the perfect setting for your next birthday celebration, ladies lunch, lunch date, or book group. Luncheons begin at noon, followed by a complimentary docent-led tour through the garden. Garden Fresh Luncheons will be held on the following dates:
Select Second Wednesdays: March 11, April 8, May 13, June 10, September 9, October 14
Holiday Luncheons: daily from December 8 to December 12

Reservations are required for all luncheons, and cancellations are not allowed. Gamble Garden Members receive priority registration for Holiday Luncheons prior to November 1, 2019. Call 650-329-1356 to make your reservation today.

January Gardening Tips
from the Garden Club of Palo Alto

The New Year has arrived, and it's time for some new gardening resolutions! Below, the Garden Club of Palo Alto's Vicki Sullivan shares a January garden to-do list that will set your garden up for a great start to 2020:

Care for your camellias. January is prime camellia season, so be sure that the surface roots of your camellias (and azaleas and rhodies) are moist. Mulch all your acid-loving plants to help their soil retain moisture, and maintain their acidity by feeding them with acid fertilizer. After blooming, camellias, rhodies and azaleas develop green growth and new buds for next year. So feed them and prune them. Remove all faded blossoms to keep the soil disease free. Light pinching of tip growth right after blooming encourages compact growth.
Protect your winter veggies. The snow pea seeds I planted in 4-inch pots in September and installed in the wine barrels vacated by the tomatoes in November are now flowering. The bok choy, Swiss chard, and kale in the middle of the barrels are doing well, thanks to bridal veiling that encases each barrel, attached to the tomato cages with clothes pins. Squirrels don’t like getting their itty bitty paws stuck in the veiling. (Thanks to a great sale at Joanne’s Fabric).
Prune, then prune some more. January is prime pruning time for all dormant trees and deciduous plants. Cut roses ALL THE WAY Back. Get rid of doglegs on roses and hydrangeas. For climbing roses, I tie up only the main canes, coming from the base of the plant, and eventually they arc and grow horizontally. I remove at least one old cane a year to allow for new growth. I also remove suckers, easy to spot since they start below the bud union. I prune shoots off the arcing branches to encourage blooms. Basically, I thin out shrubs to let light in and remove the 3-D’s: dead, damaged, diseased, and crossing branches. A while ago I read that climbers on a wall should have the cane’s last 10 inches bent downward to increase blooming performance! I believe it works!

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

Donate a dress to The Princess Project 

Do you have cocktail dresses, evening dresses, or prom dresses that you no longer need? Clean out your closet and donate your gently used evening wear to The Princess Project. The Princess Project promotes self-confidence and individual beauty by providing free prom dresses and accessories to high school teens who cannot otherwise afford them.

Gamble will be collecting donations on behalf of The Princess Project at our February Second Saturday event on February 8, 2020, 10:00 am - 11:30 am. For dress donation guidelines, go to

Master Gardener Program Resumes February 2020

The Master Gardener Hotline and Weekly Plant Clinic will be taking a winter break. The program will resume on Friday, February 7, 2020. Thanks to the UC Master Garden Program for providing this free service to the community. Special thanks to Judith Cody & David Peterson for staffing the walk-in Plant Clinics at Gamble Garden on Second Saturday mornings in 2019! We look forward to benefiting from your expertise in the New Year.
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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