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Raising awareness of conservation in L.A.

As California struggles with drought, gardening and conservation specialists will gather today for the nation's first National Public Gardens Day to raise awareness of the importance of plant and water conservation.

More than 500 public gardens across the nation will join in the celebration and host speakers who will discuss means of maintaining beautiful landscapes while still complying with water restrictions.

In Los Angeles, National Public Gardens Day events will take place at Descanso Gardens, the Huntington Library and the Los Angeles Arboretum from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.

"There's more emphasis on people taking care of their home gardens and [growing] vegetables in their home gardens," said Brinda Rees, Descanso Gardens' communications director.

"There's more attention being placed on what homeowners and businesses can do to their gardens. And we see these public gardens as a leader: Here's what we do and what we inspire you to do as well."

Besides learning about gardens and plant conservation, visitors will also have the chance to meet with conservation specialists, including Paul James, host of HGTV's "Gardening by the Yard."

-- Sherine El Madany 

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