HomeArticle Index

Other Articles
in this Issue

The Delights of Dill
San Diego County 2010 Garden Tours

Troubles in the Tomato Patch
Heirloom Tomatoes: Fruit with a History of Great Taste
The 2010 Master Gardener Plant Sale is set for June 19
Educators Earn Credits at School Gardening Conference
Our Community Gardens Grow But They Need Your Help. Please Sign Our Petition and make your voice heard.

Find Past Articles

Check out the Master Gardener Pest Notes

Subscribe to our mailing list

See us on Facebook

San Diego County 2010 Garden Tours

Listing compiled by Master Gardener Mary James

* - Master Gardeners will have an information booth at starred tours.

Elfin Forest-Harmony Grove Garden Festival
When: April 3, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Cost: $20 in advance; $25 day of event
"Gardens within Gardens" is the theme of this rural North County festival built around a tour of five area gardens. Among them is a "green" native plant garden with a living roof, a French potager, and a garden dotted with metal sculptures and topiaries. Vendors will sell garden-related items and lunch will be available for purchase. Proceeds benefit the Elfin Forest-Harmony Grove Town Council.

Tickets can be ordered in advance at www.elfinforestgardens.info and picked up the day of the event at Elfin Valley Nursery, 20110 Elfin Forest Lane, Elfin Forest. The nursery also will sell event day tickets.
Information: http://elfinforestgardens.info

Garden pond on Ramona Garden Tour and Plant Sale. Photo courtesy of Ramona Garden Club

Ramona Garden Tour and Plant Sale*

When: April 10, 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Cost: $15

Five gardens, including an award-winning waterwise estate garden, will open for the 3rd annual tour sponsored by the Ramona Garden Club. Other gardens include a Backyard Wildlife Habitat; a 450-foot long garden railway; and a "party yard" with pool, outdoor kitchen, children's play area and bocce ball court. Tour goers also can shop for sages, succulents and other plants suited to Ramona's climate. The plant sale will be held in the parking lot of First Business Bank, 1315 Main St., Ramona. In addition tickets at $1 and $5 will be sold for an opportunity drawing. Proceeds benefit the club's scholarship fund and community projects.

Tickets can be purchased in advance at Ramona Interiors, 707 Main St., Ramona. Event day tickets will be sold at the plant sale.

Information:  Call (760) 788-5961 

Bernardo Gardeners Tour*

When: April 15, 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Cost: $15

Four gardens in Rancho Bernardo and one in Poway are part of this 7th annual tour sponsored by the Bernardo Gardeners Club. Among them are a 9-acre estate garden, a backyard wildlife habitat dotted with bird houses and baths, a cactus and succulent garden and an English-style landscape with statuary, a gazebo and 88 rose bushes. Also plants and refreshments will be for sale. Proceeds help fund horticultural student scholarships.

To purchase tickets by mail, send a self-addressed stamped envelope with a check payable to Bernardo Gardeners to 13085 Avenida Marbella, San Diego 92128-1544. Mail order requests must be received by April 7. Event day tickets can be purchased at each tour garden; for locations visit www.bernardogardeners.org.

Information: www.bernardogardeners.org.

Tour stop on Encinitas Garden Festival and Tour. Photo by Nan Sterman

Encinitas Garden Festival and Tour*

When: April 17, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m
Cost: In advance, $21 for adults and $7 for kids 10 and younger; event day, $25 for adults and $10 for kids 10 and younger.

South Leucadia is the focus of this 5th annual tour and Gardeners Marketplace. More than 20 gardens of all sizes will be open for visits, including the waterwise landscape at the newest Encinitas fire station. Also on the tour is The Monarch Project's vivarium with displays of butterflies and their host plants. The marketplace in Orpheus Park will host venders of plants, garden supplies and garden art as well as information booths. Proceeds support gardening-related projects in the community.

Tickets can be ordered online at www.encinitasgardenfestival.org or by mail with a form available on the Web site. They also can be purchased at Anderson's La Costa Nursery, Barrels and Branches and Weidners' Gardens, all in Encinitas. Event day tickets, if the event is not sold out, will be available at the marketplace.

Information:  www.encinitasgardenfestival.org.

Coronado Flower Show and Garden Tour*

When: April 17, 1 to 5 p.m.; April 18, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Cost: $3; children under 12, free.

For more than eight decades, the Coronado Flower Show and Garden Tour have drawn thousands of visitors to events under the big white tent in Spreckels Park on Orange Avenue, between Sixth and Seventh streets. Included are a standard flower show, floral displays, a plant sale (8 a.m. to noon, April 17), seminars, educational booths and a small marketplace. Also under the big top, a map will be available for self-guided visits to the Top 10 home gardens picked after several rounds of judging. Organizers are the Coronado Floral Association and city of Coronado.

Tickets are available at the tent in Spreckels Park.

Information: www.coronadoflowershow.com.

Neighborhood on Oceanside Seaside Native Plant Garden Tour. Photo courtesy of Buena Vista Native Plant Club

Oceanside Seaside Native Plant Garden Tour

When: April 18, 2 p.m.

Cost: Free; donations accepted

Fifteen front-yard gardens of only native plants will be on view during the 8th annual guided 1.5 mile walking tour of the historic Seaside neighborhood of downtown Oceanside. Guides are native plant experts, landscape designers and knowledgeable locals who will provide tour goers with plant lists. Tour goers gather at St. Mary's School parking lot, 515 Wisconsin Ave., Oceanside, for the one-hour walk.  Sponsors are the Buena Vista Native Plant Club and the Oceanside Coastal Neighborhood Association.

Information:  www.bvaudubon.org, www.OCNA.info or the Buena Vista Nature Center at (760) 439-2473.


Garden on North County Charity Garden Tour. Photo courtesy of Community Resource Center

North County Charity Garden Tour and Ecke Plant Sale

When: April 24, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Cost: $25

Five residential gardens in North County will be open, rain or shine, for this popular tour, now in its ninth year. One is a Rancho Santa Fe estate that is a popular venue for weddings and other outdoor events. Tour goes also are invited to the Ecke Ranch to purchase plants grown for annual spring pack trails that showcase new varieties to the trade. Look for below-market prices on hundreds of begonias, geraniums, African daisies and many other varieties. Sponsors are Ecke Ranch and Weidners' Gardens, and benefit programs of the Community Resource Center for the homeless and abused women and children.

To reserve tickets, register at www.crcncc.org or call (760) 230-6305. Event day tickets will be sold at Weidners' Gardens, 695 Normandy Road, Encinitas, while supplies last.

Information: (760) 230-6305 or scolby@crcncc.org.

Linda Bresler's Garden on the Lake Hodges Native Plant Club Spring Garden Tour.  Photo by David Barto

Lake Hodges Native Plant Club Spring Garden Tour

When: April 23, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Cost: $15

For its 22nd annual tour, the Lake Hodges Native Plant Club will showcase five waterwise gardens, four in Poway and one in Sabre Springs. Two are solely native plant landscapes designed by Greg Rubin of California's Own Native Landscape Design. The others, which include the 2-acrea home garden of landscape designer Linda Bresler, mix natives with blooming beauties from other Mediterranean-style climates. A native plant sale, plant-related vendors and free refreshments also are part of the tour

Tickets will be sold at Walter Andersen Nursery and Poway Nursery in Poway, El Plantio Nursery in Escondido, and the Escondido Historical Society office, 321 North Broadway, Escondido. On April 17 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and on April 23 from 9 to 11 a.m., tickets will be available at the Vons Market in Rancho Bernardo Plaza Center.

Information:  www.lhnpc.org or (858) 486-8733.

Rancho Santa Fe Garden Club Spring Tour and Luncheon

When: April 24, 9 a.m.

Cost: $65

Tour goers will meet at the club house, 17025 Avenida de Acacias, Rancho Santa Fe, to board busses to the four gardens featured on this year's tour. Two are waterwise gardens with different approaches to landscaping with succulents, while the other two are traditional gardens filled with floral color. After the tour, a buffet lunch will be served at the club house. Proceeds benefit horticultural scholarships and conservation groups.

To reserve or purchase tickets with Visa or MasterCard, call (858) 756-1554.Tickets also can be ordered by mail. Send checks payable to the Rancho Santa Fe Garden Club to RSF Garden Club, P.O. Box 483, Rancho Santa Fe, CA 92067.  Tickets are picked up at the club house on tour day.

Information: www.rsfgardenclub.org or call (858) 756-1554.

Garden on Friends of East County Arts Garden Tour. Photo courtesy of Friends of East County Arts

Friends of East County Arts Garden Tour

When: April 24, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Cost: $15 in advance; $18 day of tour

Six gardens spanning the East County communities of El Cajon, Lakeside, Alpine and Jamul will be open for this tour, now in its 15th year. Among them are his-and-her gardens, a flower-filled one-acre landscape with 150 rose bushes and a "green" succulent garden. Tour goers also can visit a 3-year-old Clydesdale born the day before the 2007 tour and purchase refreshments and crafts. Proceeds benefit art programs in East County.

To purchase tickets in advance, contact Christy Klock [cq] at (619) 442-8515. Event day tickets can be purchased at any of the tour gardens. Contact Klock for garden site information.

Information: (619) 442-8515.

Garden on the Point Loma Garden Walk. Photo courtesy of the Point Loma Garden Club

Point Loma Garden Walk*

When: April 24, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Cost: $20 in advance; $25 day of event

The 9th annual walking tour will focus on 10 homes and gardens in the secluded wooded area of Point Loma. Tour goers also are invited to shop in the Garden Boutique at 381 Silvergate Ave., open during tour hours. Items for sale will include garden décor created by local artists and crafters. The Boutique also will host the Point Loma Garden Club's plant sale. The tour is sponsored by the Dana Unit of Rady Children's Hospital and proceeds benefit the hospital's craniofacial services.

Tickets can be purchased online at www.pointlomagardenwalk.com  or at the Armstrong Garden Center on Morena Blvd., Cottage Antiques in Ocean Beach, Green Gardens Nursery in Pacific Beach, Mission Hills Nursery in Mission Hills and Walter Andersen Nursery in Pt. Loma. Event day tickets will be sold at the boutique.

Information: (619) 518-8663 or visit www.pointlomagardenwalk.com

Clairemont Town Council Garden Tour*

When: May 1, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Cost: $12 in advance; $15 day of event. Children under 12, free

This year's self-guided tour will stop at more than a dozen gardens, including several that have been featured in magazines or won awards. Among them are multi-level canyon gardens and landscapes in a variety of styles ranging from English to tropical. The Rare Fruit Growers Association, Master Composters, Master Gardeners and The Clairemont Art Guild will have information booths throughout the tour. Free refreshments will be provided.

Ticket can be ordered by mail and online at www.clairemontonline.com through April 23. To order by mail, send a large self addressed stamped envelope and check payable to the Clairemont Town Council to Clairemont Town Council Garden Tour, P.O. Box 17793, San Diego, CA 92177-7793.  Tickets also can be purchased by check or cash in advance or on event day at the UPS Store, 4809 Clairemont Drive, and the Sandwich Emporium, 3054 1/2 Clairemont Drive.

Information: (858) 204-4085.

Garden on Through Garden Gates/ North County. Photo courtesy of AAUW, Del Mar-Leucadia Branch

Through Garden Gates/ North County

When: May 1, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Cost: $25 in advance; $35 tour day

For its 14th annual garden tour, the Del Mar-Leucadia branch of the American Association of University Women has selected four north county gardens with Mediterranean, native and succulent plantings. One notable garden, an artist's view home in Rancho Santa Fe, includes lush flower beds as well as a vegetable garden, orchard and berry patch the owner uses for home-made jams. Proceeds benefit Tech Trek math and science camp for girls at UC San Diego and other women's education programs. 

Tickets can be purchased by calling (760) 603-9287 or emailing throughgardengates2010@gmail.com. They also are for sale at The Book Works in Flower Hill mall, 2670 Via de la Valle, Del Mar.

Information: (760) 603-9287

Garden on Alpine Sage & Songbirds Festival and Garden Tour. Photo courtesy of  CHIRP for Garden Wildlife

Alpine Sage & Songbirds Festival and Garden Tour

When: Garden tour, April 30-May 2, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; festival May 1, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and May 2, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Cost: Garden tour, $15($12.50 in advance); festival, free.

Sponsor of this tour and festival, now it its 13th year, is CHIRP for Garden Wildlife. The five Alpine-area gardens open for touring are all bird and butterfly friendly, providing food and shelter for these winged visitors. Many also have natural rock water features. Throughout the tour, butterfly host and nectar plants will be sold at one of the gardens. Also included is a visit to a raptor rehabilitation facility for hawks, owls, eagles and other birds of prey. The free festival in the Show Court at Viejas Outlet Center, 5005 Willow Road, Alpine, features a butterfly release at noon both days, as well as garden-related vendors and talks.  Proceeds benefit habitat conservation.

Early-bird garden tour tickets at $12.50 are available until April 1. Download an order form at www.chirp.org.  Event day tickets will be sold at April 30-May 2 at Vine Restaurant, 2502 Alpine Blvd., Alpine; and on May 1-2 at the CHIRP booth at the festival.

Information: www.chirp.org or (619) 445-8352

Garden on Mission Hills Garden Club Garden Walk. Photo by MeredithFrench

Mission Hills Garden Club Garden Walk

When: May 8, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Cost: $25 in advance; $30 day of event; children under 12, free

San Diego horticultural pioneer Kate Sessions will be remembered in this year's garden walk through the Bankers' Hill area. A dozen gardens that reflect Sessions' design influence and plant passions will be showcased. Artists and musicians will entertain along the tour route. From 2 to 5 p.m. at Mission Hills Nursery, 1525 Ft. Stockton Drive, wine will be served; Sessions' favorite plants, garden art and crafts will be sold; and an opportunity drawing will be held.  Ticket price includes free trolley service, water and the reception. Proceeds benefit the club's community-related projects.

Advance tickets can be purchased at Mission Hills Nursery, Mission Hills, and at Walter Andersen Nursery, Point Loma. After April 1, they can be purchased at www.missionhillsgardenclub.org. Event day tickets will be sold at Mission Hills Nursery from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

Information: www.missionhillsgardenclub.org

Garden on Artist Studio and Garden Tour. Photo courtesy of San Dieguito Art Guild

Artist Studio and Garden Tour

When: May 8-9, 10 .m. to 4 p.m.

Cost: $20

This annual Mother's Day weekend tour sponsored by the San Dieguito Art Guild will visit 8 artist studios and gardens in the Encinitas area. Host artists, members of the guild, will showcase their work and that of several guest artists. All of the art - ranging from prints and paintings to pottery and jewelry - will be for sale. Some stops also will feature entertainment. Proceeds benefit art departments in several area schools.

Tickets are available starting April 1 at the Off Track Gallery in the Lumberyard on Highway 101 in Encinitas. They also can be ordered online at www.offtrackgallery.com.
Information: www.offtrackgallery.com.

Country Garden Tour of Fallbrook

When: May 8, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Cost: $15 in advance; $20 day of tour

Seven gardens in the Fallbrook-Bonsall are included on this 15th annual tour that begins at Palomares House, 1815 South Stagecoach Rd., Fallbrook. Tour stops range from professionally designed gardens to country gardens, landscapes with edibles and groves and gardens with elaborate pools and water features. One garden will showcase the work of three local artists. Complimentary refreshments will be served at Palomares House, where several vendors will sell garden items, art and used books.  Proceeds benefit educational programs of the tour's sponsors, the Fallbrook-Bonsall branch of the American Association of University Women.

Advance tickets are available by calling (760) 451-9532. They also will be sold at the Avocado Festival in Fallbrook on April 18. On tour day, tickets can be purchased at Palomares House.

Information: (760) 451-9532

Native Plant Garden on Bonita in Bloom Tour. Photo courtesy of Bonita Valley Garden Club

Bonita in Bloom

When: May 12, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Cost: $15 in advance; $20 day of tour; $10 for a box lunch

Waterwise gardening is the theme of this year's tour, the 14th annual event sponsored by the Bonita Valley Garden Club. Six gardens are featured, including a front yard designed by a Master Gardener, a popular native garden included on a previous tour, and an award-winning landscape designer's garden that provides food for the family and visiting wildlife. Also included are an opportunity drawing and plant sales by club members and the Southwestern College Department of Horticulture.

Tickets and lunches can be purchased by calling Vera Mathias at (619) 479-0429.  

Information:  (619) 479-0429

Secret Garden Tour of Old La Jolla

When: May 15, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Cost: $50 ($40 LJHS members)

Now in its 12th year, this popular tour keeps its gardens secret until the day of the event. As in previous years, the tour's sponsor, The La Jolla Historical Society, promises several gardens and homes that reveal the often secluded charms of this seaside community. Tour stops also will feature entertainment by local musicians, displays by designers and merchants and the work of area artists. Tour goers learn the location of the gardens when they pick up their tour book at the historical society's home, Wisteria Cottage, 780 Prospect St., La Jolla. Proceeds benefit the society's many programs to preserve La Jolla's history.

Tickets can be purchased online at www.lajollahistory.org. Tickets also can be purchased online for a Platinum Tour that includes shuttle bus transportation and lunch in one of the gardens. Cost is $150 ($140 LJHS members).

Information: www.lajollahistory.org

Fallbrook Garden Club Garden Tour

When: May 22, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Cost: $20 or $35 for two

Three succulent gardens, a vineyard, a Victorian house and garden , a rose garden and a Mediterranean-style garden designed by former "Down to Earth" host Tom Piergrossi are included on this 6th annual tour. Vintage autos and the work of local artists will be on display in the gardens and at the Fallbrook Historical Society. Plants and other garden-related merchandise also will be on sale. Proceeds benefit the club's scholarship and community programs.

Tickets are for sale on tour day only from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Historical Society, 260 Rockycrest Rd., Fallbrook.

Information: 760-468-5842. 

Garden on San Diego Floral Association Historic Garden Tour. Photo by Bob Wigand

San Diego Floral Association Historic Garden Tour

When: May 22, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Cost: $15 in advance; $20 day of tour

In honor of Kensington's centennial celebration this year, the Floral Association tour will visit six historic gardens in this central San Diego community. Among them are two homes and courtyards by architect Richard Requa with gardens by Milton Sessions and an exotic garden of South African cycads inspired by legendary designer Sinjen. [cq] The tour concludes with a complimentary wine reception at the French Garden Shoppe in Little Italy.

Tickets are available after April 1 at Walter Andersen Nursery in Pt. Loma and Poway, Weidners' Gardens in Encinitas, Kniffing's Discount Nurseries in El Cajon, Mission Hills Nursery in Mission Hills and Green Gardens in Pacific Beach. Event day tickets can be purchased at 5159 Marlborough Dr.

Information: 619-232-5762 Monday-Friday, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Master Gardener Mary James is a freelance garden writer. She also is executive editor of California Garden, the 100 year old magazine of the San Diego Floral Association.