Earth Day 2017

Thank you to everyone who joined us to celebrate Earth Day! We had a great time learning about pollinators and celebrating PHIG’s 10 Year Anniversary.

Special shout out to our vendors, as well as to our volunteers who came to help us set up and break down. We couldn’t have had a successful Earth Day without you!


Questions about the Garden? Visit us at to learn more!


How to Enjoy Your Community Garden Without Destroying It

Community gardens are popping up everywhere because they are great collaborative projects that help educate and often feed a neighborhood. There are many different kinds of community gardens, and not all provide food. Some are educational native habitats for plants and wildlife, and if you happen to come across either one, it’s important to know how to enjoy them without ultimately destroying them.


Pleasant Hill Instructional Garden (PHIG) is an example of an educational, native plant and wildlife habitat, as well as water conservation demonstration garden. PHIG is carefully maintained by a trained staff of garden experts, including UC Master Gardener, Monika Olsen.


Special care is taken to ensure native insects, birds, plants, and more are given the opportunity to thrive in the garden without pesticides, that invasive species don’t take over the area, and that PHIG’s composting system is properly working so we can ultimately use it to feed the garden soil.


If  you are lucky enough to live near a community garden, or happen to come across one, here are a few helpful tips to enjoy it without destroying it:

  1. Look for posted garden rules: Most true and well established community gardens will have posted rules and even possibly a garden mission statement.
  2. Stay on designated paths: Paths are designed to keep plants and especially wildlife safe. For example, the garden might also be a monarch butterfly habitat, and there may be caterpillars curled up among the roots and plants.
  3. Don’t be a ‘Guerilla Gardener’: (This rule is especially for native gardens) Never put your own seeds into a native garden. Every plant is placed in the garden with thought and care, and introducing random seeds could kill other native plants, or you could be introducing an invasive species that is difficult to get rid of.
  4. Don’t contribute your own scraps to the composting system: Compost is a precise science in which you add specific layers of green and brown material, with the goal of maintaining 120 degrees and above. The heat is required in the process to break everything down. No heat, no compost. So if you toss in random scraps with good intentions, you may be messing up the compost cycle already started.
  5. Sign up to volunteer!!: Your local community garden needs you! Volunteering to help in the garden is one of the most effective ways to help out. Maintaining even a small garden can be a lot of work! You will learn a lot, get some exercise and fresh air, or get those community hours you need to log while you’re at it.


To volunteer at PHIG or get more information, email Nikki at or visit PHIG’s website at








Earth Day Celebration Garden Tour

PHIG will be celebrating Earth Day on April 30, 2017 from 1:00-4:00pm with fun, educational activities, games, and exhibitors for all ages.

Join us at 1:00pm for cake as we celebrate PHIG’s 10 year anniversary. Snacks and refreshments to be provided throughout the day.

At 2:00pm, UC Master Gardener, Monika Olsen, will give a tour of the garden, educating participants on topics such as native plants, irrigation, water conservation, and pollinators.Click on the link below to register for this free event today before spots fill up!


Happy New Year from PHIG!

Happy New Year and welcome to Pleasant Hill Instructional Garden’s (PHIG) news site and blog. Here you’ll be able to find regular updates about Garden happenings, the PHIG Quarterly Newsletter archive, discussion forums, blog posts, and pictures of the beautiful drought tolerant Instructional Garden.


PHIG would not be able to operate without the many volunteers that spend hours pruning, weeding, composting, and much more at our weekly Garden Work Parties. Each year PHIG honors special individual and group volunteers who have gone above and beyond volunteering many hours and contributing to several projects at PHIG over the year. Soon we will announce the 2016 honorees, so be sure to check back.


Save the Date and mark your calendars for Earth Day at PHIG on Saturday, April 30, 2017. Enjoy a day in the Garden with local vendors, talks by local experts, a garden tour, interactive Garden activities, and light snacks and refreshments.


If you’re a vendor that would like to have a booth at PHIG’s Earth Day Celebration, email Monika at for more information.

Don’t forget to ‘Follow’ PHIGarden News blog to automatically receive notification of new blog posts.  You can also become a member of the PHIG mailing list by e-mailing

We look forward to seeing you in the Garden!