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NEWS: Spring's First Garden Tours

By Mary James.

San Diego’s garden tour season kicks off mid-March with two popular events.

20th Annual Borrego Desert Garden Tour

On Saturday, March 17, in the midst of peak desert wildflower bloom (not expected to be as spectacular as last year's following record rainfall), six private gardens and three of the homes they surround in Borrego Springs will welcome visitors for a daylong event benefiting the Anza-Borrego Desert Natural History Association.

Included are the mid-century modern home built by fashion designer Jane Abernathy on six acres dotted with native palms, a tea house, and outdoor sleeping platforms; the home of Nobel Prize winner Francis Crick constructed when he was at La Jolla’s Salk Institute; and a travel consultant’s memento-filled garden. Special places to retreat, such as the one in the photo above, can be found at each of the annual Borrego Desert Garden Tour stops.

Hours are 9 AM to 3 PM. Tickets are $30 ($28 if bought before March 10). Details and ticket purchase available online.

Third Annual Water-Wise Home Garden Tour

One week later, on Saturday March 24, the Water Conservation Garden hosts its third annual Water-Wise Home Garden Tour. Five East County gardens with drought-tolerant plant palettes will be featured, including one landscape shaped like Africa and a lawn replacement planting with native plants from around the Southwest. Birdhouses and other hand-crafted garden accents will be for sale.

Tour time is 9 AM to 3 PM. Tickets are $25 if purchased in advance; $30 on tour day. Visit online for details and tickets.

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