Activity on Site

Cactus Bed Conversion: February 2013

For several years we have had two cactus patches here in the Gardens. The large circular patch has been here since at least the 1960s. The smaller one against the East fence was set up in the early 1990s to demonstrate how to start new plants from harvested pads. This patch grew with enthusiasm, but now that it is fully grown it no longer serves its original purpose.

The smaller patch is being removed to make room for callas and columbine. Some of the pads are being rooted for the Plant Sale. This bed will be one of the last demonstration beds to be reframed.

The smaller cactus patch, mid-way through removal.

The smaller cactus patch, mid-way through removal.


Arborist Day: June 23, 2012

Arborist in Copper Beech.

Arborist in Copper Beech.

It didn’t happen on Arbor Day, but Saturday, June 23 was an exciting day for trees at Luther Burbank Home & Gardens.   It was lots of fun to watch Arborists Fred Frey, Chad Brey and Benjamin Kent and their crew of Silviero Medrano, Delfino Tafolla and Jose Morales tackle overgrown branches in trees big and small.

When good Arborists do their work as well as these fellows did, you know “something looks a lot better” but you are not sure exactly what — unless you were there to see them strap themselves for safety and scramble up the trunks of the Paradox Walnut, the Copper Beech and other significant greenery to remove dead or overhanging branches and prune for better form.

Rachel Spaeth and various Garden Volunteers helped by keeping onlookers out of the way and raking, raking, raking . . . and then Rachel spread their 25 wheelbarrow-loads of chips under the Copper Beech the following day!  Wow.

The accompanying photos will give you some idea of the work the Arborists and crew did — all graciously contributed to LBH&G — in four busy hours.  This kind of help from community supporters with talent is what keeps us going in the never-ending maintenance of our historic site, and we greatly appreciate it!

Arborists at work.

Arborists at work.


Fruit Tree Restoration Project: 2012

Our Fruit Tree Restoration Project is intended to improve and extend our display of fruit trees developed by Luther Burbank. His first major accomplishment in California was the propagation of 20,000 prune trees, and he spent considerable effort over the years to improve the flavor and yield of many different fruits.

We have planted five semi-dwarf fruit trees in the new Orchard: ‘Wickson’ plum, ‘Burbank’ plum, ‘Santa Rosa’ plum, ‘Wenatchee Washington’ apricot and ‘Spring Satin’ plumcot. Luther Burbank developed these plums. The apricot is an example of the fruit trees he used for crossing with plums and the plumcot is a stand-in for his successful crosses.

This Orchard complements the Edible Garden and will remain a highlight of the Garden tour for visitors and school groups.

The Fruit Tree Restoration Project is funded in part by proceeds from Clark Wolf’s Farm Forums, John Lyle’s Chosen Spot pop-up dinners and the Questers.


Demo Bed Replacement: 2009 – current

The Demonstration Beds in the Gardens are based on Luther Burbank’s own original beds. In the early 1990s, the Gardens received a major renovation and the current Demo Beds were put in place then. Time and weather have necessitated the replacement of the wooden supports. With generous donations from Mrs. Meriko Watanabe and the Donaldson Charitable Trust, we have been working on this project as weather and schedules allow.