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Garden Tour Recap

This year’s Spring Garden Tour, “In Sight of the Sea: Gardens of Point Loma and Sunset Cliffs,” was, by all accounts, a huge success. The extra rain this past winter had gardens looking their best. However, we were fortunate and the rain forecasted for tour day stayed to our north. Just a refreshing mist was the worst that occurred and no spirits were dampened since gardeners love rain even if it sometimes occurs at inconvenient times. The 900+ happy tour goers saw nine gardens with very different styles, each reflecting the homeowners’ personalities. Suitable for the location, many of the gardens featured tropical and subtropical plants and all of them included artwork.

As Garden Tour Chair, please join me in thanking the gracious and creative homeowners who welcomed us into their gardens: Berit and Tom Durler, John Collon, Randy and Bobbi Hanna, Cheryl and Robert Nichols, John and Debbie Albe, Kathy and Mark Sorensen, Barb Benko, Karan Greenwald and Carey Pratt. Also, special thanks go to the homeowners that gave us a little peek inside their homes. And thank you to the Albes for the wonderful pottery and planters that they created and sold in their garden.

The tour would never have happened without these garden owners and the work of our volunteers. I chaired the tour this year, but couldn’t have done it without the help of others. First off, I’d like to thank Susan Starr, who provided a wonderful outline of tasks for the tour, a list of vendors, and many other hints and documents to make running the tour easy. Thanks to Lynlee Austell for helping identify potential gardens for the tour. I think she may know everyone that lives in Point Loma. Special thanks to my partner, Scott Borden, for helping contact homeowners on our many scouting trips…but mostly for putting up with me during the process of organizing the tour. Thanks to Barbara Raub, who once again recruited and organized the artists in many of the gardens. And to Lisa Robinson, who took on the task of contacting vendors and homeowners and helping them find suitable locations to display their garden-related crafts. Thanks to Jennifer Morrissey for persistently publishing information and articles about the tour on Facebook. Susan Morse stepped in again this year to help people who had trouble purchasing tickets online. Ray and Bonnie Brooks did a great job selling tickets at our monthly meetings. Sam and Terry Seat helped the day before the tour by making sure signs were in place and ready to go the next morning. Patty Berg recruited and scheduled volunteers in the gardens. Close to 50 volunteers greeted, checked-in and helped garden owners and visitors the day of the day of the tour.

It seems that each year, fewer and fewer other organizations in San Diego are offering garden tours and ours has grown to be one of the best known and most successful. It is our largest event of the year and a it provides a great opportunity for SDHS to share with San Diegans some of the wonderful climate-appropriate possibilities for gardening here. The variety of gardens, plants, and styles in just one corner of San Diego was astounding. Beyond the gardens, the neighborhoods of Point Loma are some of the most beautifully landscaped in the County. I hope everyone found some inspiration from the gardens—perhaps a new plant to try or an idea for creating a backyard sanctuary. We really do live in one of the best gardening areas of the country…some might even call it Eden.

Which bring us to next year’s tour. We would like to have a tour again next year and will need a volunteer chairperson. Much of the work is automated and online, so it basically takes care of itself. We have “The Formula” down for putting on a successful tour and have many volunteers to help. Organizing the tour only takes part of the year and leaves plenty of months with very few activities. The first step is identifying a neighborhood or area with gardens that could potentially be on the tour. Since the Encinitas Garden Festival was discontinued several years ago, this area of San Diego County might be the perfect spot! It is also possible to co-chair the tour, which would help divide the work up and has the added advantage of benefitting from the different skills of each chairperson. If you are interested in taking on a fun and significant role for our organization, please contact me at:

Thank you to all those who volunteered to make our Spring Garden Tour a huge success:

Kathy Ascher

Barbara Bandhauer

Bob Bandhauer

Annette Beaty

Benay Berl

Jeff Biletnikoff

Kathryn Blankinship

Kathy Blattner

Sandy Burlem

Cee Canyon

Jason Chen

Lynn Clahassey

Nancy Dalton

Mary Dilligan

Chris Drayer

Connie Forest

Simon Fraher

Thelma Gerome

Jennifer Gerson

Kelly Granger

Carolyn Hayen

Pam Highfill

Paula Hildebrandt

Myrna Hines

Suki Ince

Mary Jo

Linda Jones

Elizabeth Klugh

Carol Lane

Ginny Mahigian

Mark Mahigian

Kat Marshall

Jan Mazur

Jennifer Morrisey

Joan Oliver

Martin Parks

Peggy Poorman

Shelly Ray

Barb Redlitz

Barbara Raub

Lisa Robinson

Mara Rosza

Lisa Schneider

Trista Silvia

Cathy Tylka

Lucy Warren

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