All the colors of spring will be on display Sunday, April 28, when the nonprofit beautification group Fullerton Beautiful presents its Annual Open Gardens Tour.
The tour will be held from 11am to 4pm, and will feature a wide variety of garden types, from a house in the middle of a garden, a quiet book lover’s retreat, active spaces for entertaining, some low-maintenance and drought-tolerant plantings, and lots and lots of flowers – something for everyone!
Maps to the locations of the seven gardens to be spotlighted on the tour are $15, and may be purchased at the Fullerton College Horticulture Department, located east of the intersection of Lemon Street and Berkeley Avenue.
Visitors are also invited to walk through the department’s gardens, and plants will be available for sale. Proceeds from the sales support the department’s programs.
Among the gardens to be featured on the Open Gardens Tour is one the owner dubbed the “ugly duckling” when he purchased the home in 2003. The yard was drab, with lots of grass and planters filled with rosemary. In 2014, with drought conditions on the rise, the owner decided to dramatically reduce the turf, expand the planting beds and bring in a colorful variety of drought-tolerant and succulent plantings. In a bow to the green up front, there are turf accents along with pavers. The ugly duckling nickname also included the backyard pool, which had to be completely renovated with the addition of new decking, a waterfall, planters, statuary and entertainment space. Plumerias, palms, succulents and cactus line the back planter. Decorative pots add colorful touches.
A second garden on the tour surrounds a vintage Spanish Colonial Revival home. Since the owners purchased the home 11 years ago, they have made many improvements, including developing a landscape design that incorporates the outdoor living space as an extension of the home. A blended mix of hard- and soft-scape details help achieve this in both the front and back patios of the home. The owners chose to go with a more drought-tolerant approach in front with new ground cover along with several varieties of cactus. The rear yard features an entertaining area centered by a Tipuana tipu tree. Fruit trees and smaller plants surround the fireplace, water feature and outdoor kitchen which includes a home-made wood fired pizza oven.
A large parcel originally developed in 1949 hosts a third garden on the tour. The property had been part of the original Valencia orange groves enveloping the city.
Railroad tracks were next to this property and trains took fruit to the packing house on what is now Sunnycrest Drive. The owner enjoys designing and re-designing gardens. These include a French country one with wall art, grape vines, lavenders and a shade garden with azaleas, gardenias and hydrangeas.
Other sites include an arbor overflowing with roses, perennials, bulbs and fruit trees in an English garden with lattice work completing the look. Mediterranean, succulent and native plant gardens with a focus on color and winding paths with spaces for relaxation and entertaining areas surround the front yard swimming pool and a patio kitchen garden planted for summer entertaining near a large fountain that plays host to tiny hummingbirds, hawks and falcons.
Proceeds from the map sales will go toward providing scholarships for horticulture students. For more information about the Open Gardens Tour call Fullerton Beautiful spokeswoman Kay Miller at (714) 394-5805, or visit www.fullertonbeautiful.org.