Master Gardener Workshops

Western Municipal Water District partners with the University of California, Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of California Cooperative Extension (UCCE) Master Gardener Program of Riverside County to host FREE monthly workshops that focus on gardening and efficient outdoor water use.

Workshops are hosted on the second Saturday of each month. 

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, workshops are being held virtually.

  1. Upcoming Workshops
  2. Past Workshops


Incorporating California Natives into Your Landscape

Join us for a practical introduction to using our unique and diverse native plants in our landscapes. Topics will include: reasons for planting native species, things to know and do before you plant, basic planning and design considerations, planting and maintenance requirements and a review of some native plants that can be grown successfully in our area.

For the past 15 years, George's primary area of gardening interest has been California native plants, which now comprise approximately 70 percent of his own landscape. Landscape Integrity Films and Education (LIFE) produced a series of 23 short videos featuring native plants in George and his wife Elaine's yard. In addition to providing information on native plants, George has given presentations on Pollinator Gardening and Maximizing Enjoyment in Your Garden. George has been a docent at the UC Riverside Botanic Gardens since 2014, providing tours to youth and adult groups. He also hosted a series of short videos on California native plants at the Botanic Gardens. In 2020, George became a UCCE Master Gardener to expand his knowledge of sustainable gardening practices and provide information to the public. In 2022, he joined the Board of the Rivers and Lands Conservancy to support the conservation of our natural landscapes and habitats.

Oct. 14, 2023 | 10 a.m.

Speaker: George Spiliotis

Register for the Workshop

Learn about our plant of the month:

Baja Fairy Duster (Calliandra californica)

baja-fairy-dusterAmidst the landscapes of California, the Baja Fairy Duster stands tall, a medium-sized shrub that enchants with its tropical allure. Its verdant foliage, twice divided and one inch in length, adorns the shrub, lending it an air of otherworldly charm. But it is the tufted flowers that truly bewitch the senses, blooming in scarlet red to red-orange hues, year-round. When the winter months grace the land, the shrub takes on an even more enchanting visage, with intermittent blooming during the summer. The long red stamens of these wondrous blooms resemble the tufted head of a dusting brush, a sight that beckons hummingbirds from far and wide. These winged creatures, known for their territorial nature, fiercely guard their beloved Baja Fairy Duster. For those seeking to add a touch of magic, the Baja Fairy Duster is a wondrous choice. Its year-round color and low maintenance nature make it a beloved addition to any garden.

Baja Fairy Duster is a resilient shrub that thrives in full sun, although it can also tolerate partial sun and reflected heat. While it can grow in most desert soils, it prefers well-drained, drier soils. This xeric shrub is water-efficient, but regular irrigation during summer months can lead to more robust growth and blooming.