Find out what's blooming at Gamble!
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September 2019

Fall is approaching, and the Gamble staff is hard at work preparing the gardens for the change in season: looking to see which plants may need replacing, and which areas could use a refresh. If you're looking to refresh your own garden, fall is great time to start. Prepare your vegetable beds for winter crops by weeding, tilling, and composting the area. Plant broccoli, cauliflower, radishes, beets, spinach, lettuce, peas, and chard or cover crops such as fava beans or fetch to enrich the soil. Don't forget to harvest your summer fruits and vegetables, and pick up dropped fruit.

If you love flowers, plant winter blooming annuals such as poppies, primroses, and forget-me-nots, as well as spring bulbs that do no need a cold period. Now is also the time to divide overgrown agapanthus, day lilies, and Shasta daisies. If you want your garden looking its best throughout the winter, check out drought tolerant options like flax (Phormium) and Conebush (Leucodendron), which sport a fabulous evergreen foliage in a variety of colorful hues throughout the winter. Happy gardening!

Gamble Garden Bloom Alert

In bloom at Gamble, L-R: Mimulus aurantiacus 'orange bush monkey-flower', Campsis radicans 'trumpetcreeper'Leucophyllum x 'Heavenly Cloud'

Photographing Wildlife at Gamble Garden

Photo by Ferd Bergholz

Gamble Garden has always been a haven for creatures great and small, but with the installation of our new Pollinator Garden, we are host to more wildlife than ever before. You'll see bees, butterflies, hummingbirds and other pollinators by the dozens, attracted by the nectar-rich flowers populating the garden. It's tempting to whip out your camera to snap a photo of these critters as they flit around, but if you don't plan ahead, you may end up with just a big, black blur. Photographer and nature lover Ferd Bergholz offers a useful tip for photographing wildlife:

I always make sure my camera is in 'Burst' mode. When you hold the shutter button down you get 3 to 7 pictures every second. The first picture in the series is not always the best. Sometimes it is the 3rd or 4th picture in the group that is the best Especially with hummingbirds. Their wings move so fast that one picture will have a wing over its face but the next one will be better.

Learn more tips from Ferd his upcoming Photography Walk, held at the UC Santa Cruz Arboretum & Botanic Garden on September 21.

Where to view Monarch Butterflies
in the Bay Area

Tourists aren’t the only creatures who flock to California in winter. Orange and black Monarch butterflies, also known scientifically as Danaus plexippus, flock to California’s coastal areas on their annual migration to Mexico’s Baja Peninsula. Monarchs arrive by the thousands in October and leave by February. Sadly, the number of U.S. Monarch butterflies has decreased 90% since 1990, but you can still see these majestic creatures as they overwinter along the California coast. Here are some places in the Bay Area where you can view Monarch butterflies and enjoy their magic:
  • Monarch Bay Golf Course and Marina, San Leandro
  • Coyote Hills Park Nectar Garden, Fremont
  • Ardenwood Historic Farm, Fremont
  • Monarch Grove, Natural Bridges State Beach, Santa Cruz
  • Monarch Sanctuary, Pacific Grove
For more information about these locations, visit the Gamble website at

To learn more about monarch butterflies, join us in October for our first ever Monarch Festival. We'll be celebrating monarch butterflies, and learning what we can do to keep them alive and well. Come to Gamble Garden on Saturday, October 12, and enjoy family-friendly activities all morning. Activities include hands-on arts and crafts, children's monarch parade, live monarch life cycle displays, educational talks and more. You'll even receive a free milkweed plant to take home and grow in your own garden!  The Gamble Garden Monarch Festival is a free event open to all ages. Registration is required.

Gamble Garden Monarch Festival
Saturday, October 12, 9:00am - 12:00pm

Register Now

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Upcoming Classes and Events

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

Restoration Fest
Date: Saturday October 5, 10:00am-2:00pm
Cost: Free

Gamble Garden will be joining communities around the Bay Area on October 5 for Bay Day, a celebration of the Bay Area, its people and wildlife. Stop by the Gamble Garden tent at RestorationFest, one of Bay Day's signature events. We'll have hands on activities and an exhibit promoting Gamble's sustainable garden and water harvesting efforts.
Saturday October 5, 7:30pm - 8:30pm 
Cost: $20 Members / $30 Non-members in advance, $35 per person day of event

Bring the entire family to A Starry Halloween, Gamble Garden’s Halloween extravaganza for an evening of stargazing in Palo Alto. Enjoy stargazing activities, crafts, pizza, and Halloween treats. Come in costume and get ready for a frightfully fun evening!

October Pop Up in the Garden
Date: Wednesday October 9, 11:00am-3:00pm
Thursday October 10, 11:00am-1:00pm
Cost: Free Admission

Shop till you drop at Pop Up In the Garden, Gamble's very own pop-up shop. This two-day event features the a curated selection of fine gift items from local artisans. Browse through a selection of handmade jewelry, art, household items, textiles, decor, and more. Bring a shopping buddy, and find the perfect present for yourself or your loved ones.

Decorate a Pumpkin with Succulents
Date: Thursday October 17, 7:30pm-8:30pm
Cost: $70 Members / $80 Non-members (materials fee included)

Back by popular demand, instructor Marci Hayden will teach students how to decorate pumpkins with live succulent plants. Go beyond the jack-o-lantern and craft a totally unique decoration that lasts through the holidays till the end of the year! Perfect for hostess gifts or the centerpiece of your fall table arrangement.

Decorate a Pumpkin with Succulents: For Kids!
Date: Saturday October 19, 9:30am - 10:30am
Cost: $25 Members / $30 Non-members (materials fee included)

Who says grownups get to have all the fun? Young crafters will enjoy crackers and cider as instructor Marci Hayden teaches how to decorate pumpkins with live succulent plants. Each child will receive an adorable mini-pumpkins to decorate with a variety of succulents. Recommended age is 10-16 years old.

Save the Date

Fooling Mother Nature: Forcing Bulbs for the Holidays

Saturday October 26, 9:30am-11:00am

This class will teach you a few tricks to getting gorgeous blooming bulbs, just in time for the holiday season. Join Gamble Garden Manager Ella Ancheta for a morning of forcing bulbs 101. You will leave with your own glass vase with bulbs. Registration is not yet open; click on the button below to be added to our mailing list for this class.
Learn More

Seats still available for
Gamble Holiday Luncheons

December 10-14, 12:00pm-2:00pm

Reservations for Gamble Garden's popular Holiday Luncheons will open to Non-members on October 1. Featuring a garden-fresh, holiday-themed menu prepared by Gamble volunteers, it's the perfect way to get together with friends over the holidays. A limited number of seats are available for Tuesday, December 10; other dates are sold out. Call (650) 329-1356 to reserve a table or to join the wait list. 
Learn More
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 © 2019 Gamble Garden, All rights reserved.

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