The results are in for SDHS’s 2017 San Diego County Fair Garden Exhibit, The Urban Homestead.
By Terry Chamberlin.
Since last October, when Mannah Gbeh, Greg Hunter, Karen Krugman, and I answered Cindy Benoit’s email looking for volunteers to create a garden on behalf of SDHS for the 2017 San Diego County Fair Garden Exhibit, it has been a roller coaster ride to the finish. After several attempts to come up with a garden theme, it was the Hort Society’s Mission and Vision statements that ultimately led us to the Urban Homestead theme, incorporating a simple garden design created to educate the public about sustainable garden and agriculture practices which could be implemented in a home garden. After several attempts to come up with a garden design that would match this year’s Fair theme of “Where the West is Fun,” it was the Hort Society’s Mission and Vision statements that ultimately led us to design an Urban Homestead. Our exhibit is a simple garden design created to educate the public about sustainable garden and agriculture practices which could be implemented in a home garden.Through the ups (meeting wonderful people) and the downs (death from shock of a 36” box tree four days before judging), the exhibit ultimately captured the judges’ attention and earned the Hort Society ten awards.
In addition to a garden design sign and a plant list, we included a sign briefly outlining the guiding principles for the development of a back (or front) yard urban homestead, as well as a sign devoted to solitary bees. Web links were added to provide references where more detailed information could be found. To achieve a garden that embodied the urban homestead theme, vegetables, herbs, and fruit trees were included along with pollinator-friendly flowers and California native plants. A chicken coop (with live chickens), a beehive (without live bees), and a functional waterwheel that splashes water into a lily pond were among the practical and fanciful elements added to round out the urban homestead setting. As the garden included 110 different plants, please check out the Fair display on SDHS’s webpage for the garden design, full plant list, and educational signs. We are humbled to have been given the opportunity to design this garden on behalf of the Hort Society, and we hope you will enjoy it, too!
San Diego County Fair Awards
2017 Paul Ecke, Sr.: Best overall landscape exhibit awarded in memory of the Father of Commercial Floriculture in San Diego County
2017 Paul Ecke, Jr. Garden Show Theme: Third place for landscape exhibit best representing the Garden Show theme, “Happy Trails”
Edgar Engert Educational Merit: Landscape exhibit incorporating outstanding educational information and creative use of plant materials to encourage and inspire the home gardener
Noteworthy Plant Specimen: Green Ribbon for Friendship Sage (Salvia ‘Amistad’ PP23,578)
2017 Kellogg Garden Products “Grow Your Own”: Second place for the garden that best incorporates edible components
Cuyamaca College Ornamental Horticulture: Best landscape display presentation in the drawn landscape plan
Evergreen Nursery Green Leaf: Best use of plants in a home garden setting
J.C. Associates Organic: Garden which best exemplifies the use of organic gardening practices
Master Gardener Association Earth-Friendly Gardening: Recognition of a garden that best demonstrates Earth-friendly Gardening principles
San Diego County Water Authority’s WaterSmart Landscape: Garden exhibit that best exemplifies a WaterSmart Garden