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Now Showing Reel Gardens : Chance to Hear Experts

October 04, 1998

One of the best reasons to attend the 1998 Los Angeles Garden Show is to hear the talks given by garden experts.

At just about any time in the day, two talks are being given--one outdoors in the canopied Jameson Pavilion and one indoors in the subterranean lecture hall near the gift shop.

(The show organizers are a little concerned that the lecture hall may be difficult to find; the entrance is a ramp just north of the gift shop that heads down to the lecture hall, under the library.)

On Wednesday and Thursday, talks are scheduled every hour beginning at 11 a.m., with the last given at 4 p.m. On Saturday and Sunday, talks begin at 10 a.m.

When your feet have finally had it with touring the show gardens and markets, sit down for one of the talks.

Heidi Gildemeister, author of "Mediterranean Gardening," will discuss Mediterranean gardens on Friday and Saturday. She turned a maquis-covered parcel in Spain (similar to our chaparral) into a 10-acre garden full of plants that thrive in summer-dry climates. After the talk, she will autograph her book.

In a similar vein, Jan Smithen, who leads the popular "Fanatic Gardeners" classes at the arboretum, will speak on the "Gardens of Southern France," another climate like our own. She'll show slides taken on a recent trip to visit gardens there, on Saturday and Sunday.

Times Garden Editor Robert Smaus will speak all four days on garden antiques and collectibles, and what they tell us about gardening today.

He will bring along part of his collection of old garden tools, pots, catalogs, books and early pest control devices from Southern California. He'll also talk about some of the latest wrinkles in gardening (including the new yellow impatiens), and some old, forgotten techniques that still work.

Tool expert Bob Denman will talk about the care and selection of garden tools on Friday, and for those who still doubt that we can grow beautiful clematis in Southern California, Edith Malek, head of the clematis society, will quickly change your mind in her talks on Thursday and Saturday.

The arboretum's botanist, Jerry Turney, also a certified arborist, will explain how to choose a tree, and Judy Wigand, who has a widely publicized garden in San Diego County, will give a handsomely illustrated talk on perennials for the Southland.

Jack Christensen has hybridized six All-American Roses, including 'Mon Cheri' and 'Brandy,' and he'll speak on roses and their care. Garden designer Bridget Skinner, who is also a graduate of the Western School of feng shui, will explain how these intuitive and intellectual skills can help garden design.

There are talks on gardens of the '30s and '40s, herbs, old roses, orchids, topiary, living wreaths, ikebana and more. For a complete list, see the accompanying chart, and when your feet wear out at the show, sit and enjoy a lecture.

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