By Mary James.
May is dominated by perennial garden tour favorites, some now in their third decade of welcoming visitors to scenic and historic neighborhoods.
The month begins with the Point Loma Garden Walk on May 4 that visits six home gardens in the scenic La Playa area - including one that spans two acres. Look for a boutique with food trucks and vendors selling garden accents, jewelry and clothing by local artisans at All Souls’ Episcopal Church, 1475 Catalina Blvd., San Diego.
And on May 3, an Evening in the Garden cocktail party is set for an estate garden not on the tour. Proceeds benefit plastic surgery craniofacial programs at Rady Children’s Hospital.
Tour tickets are $30; cocktail party tickets are $100. Purchase both at pointlomagardenwalk.com. Garden tour tickets also are for sale at local businesses listed on the website. Tour day ticket sales are at 3111 Kellogg St., San Diego.
Two other tours also are set for May 4. The first focuses on the urban neighborhoods of Bay Ho, Bay Park and Clairemont. Now in its 23rd year, this event has been expanded to showcase outdoor living amenities as well as gardens. The Clairemont Outdoor Living and Garden Tour visits up to 10 home gardens and the Tecolote Canyon Nature Center. Artists and garden decor vendors will be featured and garden experts will be on hand to answer questions.
Tickets are $20 for adults and $15 for seniors (60 plus) if purchased by May 2. Prices increase $5 on May 3. Kids 12 and under are free. Purchase them at clairemontonline.com.
The second - the Fallbrook Garden Club Garden Tour & Plant Sale - opens multi-acre water wise gardens in this North County community. One features multiple themed garden rooms; another includes a mini oak forest, while another showcases unusual succulents displayed with artwork. Plants and garden accents are for sale at the Fallbrook Historical Society, 269 Rocky Crest, Fallbrook, where tour tickets are exchanged for maps on tour day.
Tickets purchased in advance are $20 and available at Major Market Fallbrook, Fallbrook Chamber of Commerce, and BrownPaperTickets.com. On tour day, tickets at $25 each are for sale at Fallbrook Historical Society. Get more information at fallbrookgardenclub.org.
Mother’s Day weekend always welcomes two tours that draw crowds. On May 11, the Mission Hills Garden Club sponsors its 21st annual Mission Hills Garden Walk through this historic neighborhood. More than a dozen gardens are featured, including an all white Italian Renaissance garden, an urban farm with raised beds and fruit trees, and a beekeeper’s grounds. Tour gardens host art displays and music, while a mercado tempts shoppers at Mission Hills Nursery, 1525 Fort Stockton Drive, where the tour begins.
Tickets are $25 in advance and $30 on tour day. Purchase them at Mission Hills Nursery or at missionhillsgardenclub.org. Kids attend free.
In North County, on May 11-12, studios and gardens of eight artists based between Encinitas and South Carlsbad are open for visits on the popular Mother’s Day Weekend Art, Garden & Studio Tour. Participating artists range from photographers and painters to glass blowers and gourd artists. Works by 35 other members of the San Dieguito Art Guild, tour sponsors, will be displayed around the gardens, where refreshments also will be available.
Tickets at $30 each are good for both days. Children under 17 are free. Purchase tickets in advance at Off Track Gallery, 937 South Coast Highway 101, Encinitas, or at sandieguitoartguild.com/mothers-day-tour.
One week later, on May 18, the La Jolla Historical Society unveils its Secret Garden Tour of La Jolla. Destinations are kept under wraps until tour day but always include both posh estates and charming cottages. Each garden hosts entertainment, artists in residence and tabletop and floral displays, while a boutique at Wisteria Cottage, 780 Prospect St., La Jolla, showcases plants, garden accessories and gifts. A recent addition is the candlelight cocktail party held the evening before the tour in a garden featured last year.
Tickets are $50 ($40 for La Jolla Historical Society members); $60 on tour day. A Platinum Tour with brunch and shuttle costs $150 ($140 LJHS members). Friday Night Candlelight Garden Soiree is $75 ($65 with Platinum Tour). All are for sale at lajollahistory.org.
The 2019 spring tour season comes to an end on June 8 with the San Diego Floral Association Historic Garden Tour that visits eight gardens in Kensington, several tucked behind century-old homes in this walkable neighborhood. Shop vendors at Ward Canyon Neighborhood Park, 39th St. and Adams Ave.
Tickets are $30; $35 on tour day. Purchase them in advance at sdfloral.org, Walter Andersen Nursery Poway and Point Loma, Mission Hills Nursery and Weidner’s Gardens, Encinitas. On tour day, they are for sale at Ward Canyon Neighborhood Park. Find additional details at sdfloral.org.