Pumpkins aglow at Descanso Gardens and, in O.C., mystery garden pests unmasked

Through Oct. 27
“Carved,” Descanso Gardens’ new nod to Halloween, features more than 1,000 professionally carved, glowing pumpkins along a one-mile walk through the garden’s Camellia Forest and Oak Grove. The event is designed to be family friendly, with special jack-o’-lanterns — some 100-pounds-plus — carved to look like superheroes and famous movie monsters. The event also includes pumpkin carving demonstrations and seasonal snacks. Tickets include general admission to the gardens; $25 for members, $30 for nonmembers. descansogardens.org

Oct. 26
14th Desert Garden Community Day sponsored by the Desert Horticultural Society of the Coachella Valley offers free classes, clinics and information booths about growing native desert plants, and a plant sale for those who want to stock up. Kids’ activities are offered too, 8:30 am. to 2 p.m. at UC Riverside Palm Desert, 75080 Frank Sinatra Drive, Palm Desert. deserthorticulturalsociety.org

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California Native Plant Society Membership Day includes a buckwheat giveaway at the Tree of Life Nursery, 33201 Ortega Highway, San Juan Capistrano, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., while supplies last. This is the last of four giveaways planned in October to distribute about 1,500 4-inch Dana Point California buckwheat plants grown by the Tree of Life Nursery. The free plants are available to Orange County homeowners. CNPS members get 10% off all native plants purchased on Membership Day. buckwheatbringsbutterflies.com

The Witches Garden: Herbalist Juliet Totten discusses the history of folk medicine, plants that have been used to heal and protect through the ages and how to plant a “witch’s herb garden” of your own, at Fig Earth Supply, 3577 N. Figueroa Ave. in Mount Washington. 11 a.m. to noon. figearthsupply.com

Nov. 2
Fig Earth Supply explains how to grow a vegetable from seed, including instructions in how to decipher a seed packet. Attendees get a free seed tray. Admission is free at 3577 N. Figueroa Ave., Mount Washington. 11 a.m. to noon,. figearthsupply.com

Nov, 5
The Pacific Rose Society welcomes longtime rose hybridizer Tom Carruth, who introduced at least 125 roses through his breeding work at Weeks Roses, including 11 All-American Rose Society winners such as Julia Child and Scentimental, and is now the E.L. and Ruth B. Shannon Curator of the Rose Collection at the Huntington Library, Art Museum and Botanical Gardens. In the Lecture Room of the L.A. Arboretum, 301 N. Baldwin Ave., Arcadia. Enter via the main gate. Potluck dinner at 7 p.m., program begins at 8 p.m. Free. pacificrosesociety.org

Nov. 8
Sherman Library & Gardens Lunch & Lecture series presents “The Art of Gardening at Chanticleer,” a public “pleasure garden” in what was once the suburban Philadelphia home of the Rosengarten family. Bill Thomas, Chanticleer executive director and head gardener, will discuss the plant choices, unusual containers and imaginative furniture at what the Washington Post called “one of the most interesting and edgy public gardens in America,” 11:30 a.m. at 2647 E. Coast Highway, Corona del Mar. $25 for members, $35 nonmembers. Lecture only: Members free, nonmembers pay $5. slgardens.org

Nov. 10
“Dudleya: Succulent Diversity in Our Own Backyard” is the topic of November’s meeting of the South Coast Cactus & Succulent Society. Speakers John Martinez and Nils Schirrmacher will share their photos of the 11 species and six subspecies in the Santa Monica and San Bernardino mountains. 1 p.m. at the South Coast Botanic Garden, 26300 Crenshaw Blvd., Rolling Hills Estates. southcoastcss.org

Nov. 12
What’s eating your garden plants? The Orange County Organic Gardening Club is offering answers from Laura Krueger Prelesnik, a vector ecologist and board-certified entomologist with the Orange County Mosquito and Vector Control District, at its November meeting at the Orange County Fairgrounds, 88 Fair Drive, Costa Mesa. Krueger Prelesnik will discuss her efforts to control mosquitoes, rats, fire ants, flies and other garden pests, and identify mystery pests in your garden. Bring a sealed jar with an insect and/or leaves that have been damaged for identification. (Bugs can eat through plastic bags.) 7 p.m. Free. facebook.com

“Butterflies, Birds and Bees, Botanical Bedfellows” is the topic of the West Valley Garden Club’s monthly meeting at Orcutt Ranch Horticulture Center Park, 23600 Roscoe Blvd., West Hills. Speaker Sandy Massau, conservationist, author and editor, begins her talk at 11 a.m. At 9:30 a.m., Jennifer Lee-Thorp will focus her floral design workshop on preparing for the holidays. westvalleygardenclub.org

Nov. 13
“The New American Garden” is this month’s topic at the monthly meeting of the Claremont Garden Club at the Napier Building, 660 Avery Road in the Pilgrim Place neighborhood of Claremont. Agriculture scientist Nicholas Staddon, director of new plant introductions at Monrovia Growers, will talk about the Chelsea Flower Show, gardening trends in the U.S. and abroad, climate-related changes in gardening and regionally appropriate plants. Refreshments at 6:30 p.m.; program 7-8:30 p.m. Free. claremontgardenclub.org

Nov. 17-Jan. 5
Descanso Gardens’ Enchanted Forest of Light is a gentle one-mile walk through the gardens highlighting some of the most popular locations with large-scale light displays. New this year is a “magical ‘stained-glass’” creation at Mulberry Pond by contemporary sculptor Tom Fruin. This year’s exhibit also features updated versions of the popular “Celestial Shadows” display of spinning polyhedrons, the “Lightwave Lake” light show and Jen Lewin’s flowing interactive landscape of meandering pathways called “Aqueous.” Students from California School of the Arts will perform Dec. 6-7 and 13-14. Member-only nights Dec. 20-23 and 26-28. General admission tickets start at $30, members pay $5 less. Children 2 and younger, free. Tickets must be purchased in advance. descansogardens.org

Nov. 23-24
Landfill to Landscape in Altadena: Hands-on Hugelkultur/Bioswale Workshops These two-day rain garden and bioswale workshops by Shawn Maestretti Garden Architecture are $20 a day, with a $10 refund on Day 2 if participants attend both days. Hugelkultur is a technique for creating raised garden beds using logs, branches and other clippings covered with soil. Rain gardens and bioswales are techniques for collecting, filtering and storing excess water. Specific location to be announced Nov. 20. 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. each day. smgarchitecture.com

Dec. 5-8, 12-15, 19-22
The sixth Nights of 1000 Lights at Sherman Library & Gardens celebrates the holidays with a 12-night garden light show Thursdays through Sundays. The event, which includes music, has been expanded this year. Ticketed guests get free photos with Santa, a chance to make a traditional Scandinavian Julehjerter (heart-shaped Christmas decoration), complimentary coffee, hot chocolate and s’mores around a bonfire, along with beer, wine and other food on sale. Tickets on sale now; $15 members, $25 nonmembers, children 3 and under free. 6 to 9 p.m. slgardens.org

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