Jeff Smith 2 p.m., April 16
- Community Blog
I'm excited about tomorrow. Briercrest Park, La Mesa. San Diego Hort Society . The first garden tour of the season.
I think this is my 10th season of garden tours in San Diego. I had never heard of them although I had been an avid gardener for years, planting mostly herbs and veggies to eat in whatever dirt I had at home. For several years I had a plot in as community garden 20 x 30 with water included for $60 a year. That's farming.
Every year, usually beginning in April, garden clubs produce tours of showcase gardens in their area. The cost is minimal and some even provide transportation, various plant related vendors, lunches, snacks or treats. Others include artists working on site creating paintings during the tour. One year a garden was included that had very few plants, composed entirely of sculptures and mosaic tile in the forms of nature. The gardens are in residential areas and on private estates or event venues. The homes may be tiny and charming to muilti building acreage estates. All however have unusual or interesting gardens or botanical collections. English gardens, succulents, bonsai trees, palms, color, drought resistant- all have a place in this annual ritual for lovers of plants.
We usually try to start at the last stop of any tour if we have a choice although this sometimes means we miss out on a few of the first ones but we also miss some of the crowds. For some reason it's always a sunny day but not too hot. A visual person like me ends a tour day dirty and dusty, with sore feet, tired eyes, but a smile and a long list of must have plants, and an imagination overflowing with new ideas on presentation or planting or almost anything. The tours are all different and even looking at the homes themselves is part of the fun. Some of the hosts recognize this and will leave a window open or a door ajar so we can peek in.
The second garden tour season I spent six weekends in a row touring various parts of the county. Elfin forest, Fallbrook, Escondido, Rancho Santa Fe, La Jolla, Pt Loma, Encinitas, and El Cajon. Springtime flew by. One year we had endured freezing temperatures and heavy rain that decimated some of my favorite gardens and almost wiped out several local nurseries.
It’s that time again, and tomorrow kicks off the season. Last minute tickets are $25 for this one. One of my favorites is the Mission Hills garden tour. Google it, i'm sure they've put a date on it by now.