Gifts of Green: Garden Club livens up library landscape

Using funds generated by annual membership dues, the La Jolla Garden Club sponsored a new landscaping project at La Jolla’s Riford Library.

Completed on May 26, the project includes the installation of three Pygmy Date Palms and a collection of Carissa Green Carpet plants on the side of the library facing the parking lot at 7555 Draper Ave., where there was previously only a bike rack.

The club also added flowers to both sides of the entrance stairs.

“Our garden club wanted to do something for the community and we wanted it to be something garden-related,” said member Roberta Saunders.

Saunders said club members originally thought of donating some gardening books, but realized these days, people tend to look things up online instead. “Librarian Shaun Briley said there was an area in the back of the library that was totally blank and he’d like to have something planted there,” Saunders said.

The club already supports the library with weekly flower deliveries that brighten the lobby. Continuing its support with the landscaping project was “a great fit for us,” Saunders said.

The Garden Club’s board approved the project and its $1,000 pricetag. The work was carried out by a landscaper.

Briley said it will take about six months for the plants to fill out the patch.

Carissa Green Carpet plants are drought-resistant and require little watering once established. Pygmy date palms are also drought-tolerant, but will require slightly more watering by the present library maintenance crew.

“Everyone connected with the library wishes to extend thanks to the La Jolla Garden Club for this generous gift,” Briley said. “We rightly praise the efforts of La Jollans who beautify their own businesses or residences, but this is an act of kindness that has been done entirely for the benefit of others. It isn’t just people who use the library, but anyone passing along Draper Avenue will benefit from this.”

La Jolla Garden Club meets 1 p.m. third Tuesdays, September-April (taking a break during the summer) at La Jolla Lutheran Church, 7111 La Jolla Blvd. Most meetings are open to guests, with an occasional members-only event.

Annual dues are $35, with a suggested $25 donation to the club’s scholarship program for students studying horticulture at Mira Costa Community College and Cuyamaca College. The club also supports the Penny Pines Reforestation Program in the Cleveland National Forest.