By SARAH SHMERLING | Editor-in-Chief
The Pacific Palisades Garden Club hosted June Bloom, a virtual garden tour, on Sunday, June 27, highlighting five spaces in Pacific Palisades, Santa Monica and Brentwood, including four private residences and one elementary school.
Moderating the tour was Libby Motika, a former editor of the Palisadian-Post, who read descriptions of each of the five gardens.
The first space was on Pine Street in the Sunset Park area of Santa Monica.
“This garden exhibits a tapestry of texture, color and aroma,” Motika described. “Mounds of plantings accessed by a river-rock path draw the visitor through the garden like a paper boat on a stream.”
Featured in the garden are Pride of Madeira, salvia, scabiosa, lavender, heliotrope and pansies.
The next garden was in the Palisades on Monaco Drive in the Riviera neighborhood, with a space that “illustrates that creativity and inspiration can produce a sophisticated, interesting, water-efficient landscape.”
Key features include olive trees and a paloverde, as well as sprays of Mexican feather grass intermixed with snow-in-summer, and a dry rock stream that meanders from an old magnolia to the street.
The third stop on the virtual tour was the edible garden at Seven Arrows Elementary School, which has been part of the campus’ outdoor classroom since it opened in 1999. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the edible garden was recreated in 2020 at the school’s Haverford campus, located in the area between Pacific Palisades Woman’s Club and Aldersgate.
“Seven Arrows students plant, harvest, cook and eat the ‘fruits’ of their labor and share them with their local community,” Motika described. “Participating in this experience helps each student to create an important relationship with plants, food, water, their fellow students, school staff and their local community.”
Another stop in the Palisades was on San Remo, also situated in the Riviera, which was a large garden comprised of four different areas, each adhering as much as possible to “manageable upkeep.” This space featured jacaranda and azaleas, a narrow swimming pool framed on one end by two redbud, and seating and dining areas, with 40-year-old sycamores, camellias, ferns, bamboo, succulents and lush clivia.
The tour concluded on Carmelina in Brentwood with a home that lies on a corner lot, with plantings that include jasmine on the curb level, princess flower, azaleas, roses, agapanthus and acanthus.
“The ‘front door’ to the garden opens to a space laid out for entertaining,” Motika shared. “Each of the circular planters, rimmed with broken concrete, is filled with an abundance of plants, including a selection of roses, heliotrope, irises and lavender. A large sycamore anchors the farthest circle. The perimeter is marked by a mature loropetalum.”
Following the conclusion of the tour, there was a Q&A portion for homeowners and those representing the highlighted gardens.
The first question was for Margarita Pagliai, the head of Seven Arrows Elementary School, which was how does the school select what herbs will be grown in the garden?
Pagliai responded that they plant “what does well in Pacific Palisades.”
“We love to show kids success and hope for the future,” she added, “so I choose every plant that’s going to do very well.”
The herbs also make it into recipes that are eventually eaten by the students, so Pagliai shared that she also keeps in mind what seasonings the children will eat.
After several more questions, June Bloom ended with PPGC President Mary Schulz thanking everyone involved with putting together the virtual tour.
For those interested in viewing the tour, an on-demand version is now available for $15 through August 1 at pacpalgardenclub.org/virtual-garden-tour. The garden club’s YouTube channel also offers a selection of past meetings for viewing.
The Pacific Palisades Garden Club is now accepting new members. If a person joins on or before September 1, their new membership will include a link to view the virtual garden tour.
The club will resume its regular first Monday of the month meetings on Zoom beginning October 4 at 7 p.m. Anyone interested in being added to the email list can reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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