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SOLD OUT!: Day Trip to San Diego County: Poway Spring Garden Tour

  • Apr 6, 2013 · 7:30 AM
  • This location is shown only to members

Please Read all the directions below before you RSVP 'Yes' for this event:

1) This is part of a series of events taking place in San Diego County. You do not need to attend the other events to attend this one, unless you are carpooling.

2) Tickets for the event cost $25 per person. You MUST prepurchase your tickets online no later than April 4th to attend this event. Purchase your tickets here NOW:

3) We will carpool from the LA Zoo Parking Lot. If you carpool with a  designated driver, make sure to give your driver $30 to compensate for gas and car maintenance. We will leave for San Diego at exactly 7:30 AM SHARP and won't return to LA until 7 PM or 8 PM.

4) I am hosting this event for both Gay Foodies and Pleasure Palate.

Our annual garden tour sets the standard for local gardens of horticultural interest.

This year's tour is co-hosted by the Lake Hodges Plant Native Club, celebrating their 25th annual Spring Garden Tour.

Tour six wonderfully diverse private gardens in Poway. The gardens feature a wide array of water-wise plantings, including native plants, succulents and cacti for the home landscape.

Tour Information

  • This is a self-guided tour and is at your own pace.  You can tour the gardens in any order you wish.
  • General admission and all tickets purchased on the day of tour are $25
  • Advance purchase tickets for members of SDHS and Lake Hodges Native Plant Club are $20
  • CARPOOLS with at least 4 people receive one FREE SDHS meeting pass (a $15 value).
  • No pets or strollers are allowed in the gardens. Gardens are not handcapped accessible. Tour is held rain or shine. All sales are final.

The tour includes both the 2011 and 2012 San Diego Home/Garden Lifestyles magazine Grand Prize winners for Garden of the Year.

The 2011 winner's 2-acre garden features one of the best native plant gardens in San Diego, wonderful hardscape and path to a secret garden with a running stream.

The 2012 winner is a succulent sanctuary with a dramatic view of the golf course below and mountains in the distance.

Native Plant Paradise


The native plant paradise of Dennis and Pamela Mudd was the 2011 Grand Prize Winner of the San Diego Home/Garden Lifestyles magazine Garden of the Year. Located on the edge of a canyon, it features a wonderful array of native plants. The exuberant landscape stretches from the front yard past the pool patio and into the distance, where the original 2-acre home site lies adjacent to a 4-1/2 acre lot the couple purchased to keep as a nature preserve. Pathways lead visitors past unusual natives to a secret garden by a stream bed. The treatment of the driveway, with a dry streambed running through it, is surrounded by multiple species of Manzanita and oak trees, as well as numerous wildflowers.

Succulent Sanctuary

The succulent sanctuary of Bo and Elizabeth Matthys was the 2012 Grand Prize Winner of the  San Diego Home/Garden Lifestyles magazine Garden of the Year.  The colorful succulent garden replaces a large area of former lawn and features meandering paths, a patio, and a wide selection of beautiful succulents and other drought-tolerant shrubs that create beauty year-round.Throughout the garden, the emphasis is on low water-use as well as low maintenance plantings. The homeowners collaborated with landscape designer Linda Bresler to create this sumptuous setting.  


Palm Paradise


The palm paradise of Lyle (Chip) and Helen Arnold has been featured in San Diego Home/Garden Lifestyles magazine. A combination of botanical garden and nature preserve, the main garden contains an extensive collection of tropical and subtropical plants from around the world, including more than 80 palm and 50 cycad species. The garden also includes a koi pond built directly into existing boulders. Other sections are dedicated to various areas of the world and feature proteas, aloes, bromeliads and ferns, as well as flowering trees. Much of the 15-acre hilltop property is dedicated as a nature preserve of highly diverse, undisturbed coastal chaparral and native plants.


Eclectic Variety



The eclectic garden of Paul and Jo Casterline has been featured in various national garden publications including Sunset magazine. A notable feature of this garden is the magnificent Santa Fe style garden room that was fashioned from an old garage. The garden room and rustic gates give way to sweeping views of the mountains beyond the vanishing edge pool framed by lush flower beds. A stroll through the garden reveals an incredible variety of plants including roses, orange pincushion protea, bush poppy, leucadendron, kangaroo paws, and grevillea, and other California and Australian natives. Wandering paths then lead through a grove of fruit trees to a secluded meditation garden.


Hilltop Retreat

Ann and Bill Dahnke’s private hilltop home offers sweeping panoramic views of the Poway hills and beyond. The front gardens feature charming vignettes with meandering pathways and eclectic Mediterranean plantings. Through the side gate you enter into a unique “gardener’s dream” potting paradise, created with an artist’s touch.The dramatic views continue to the back yard, which features a large gazebo and pool in a park-like botanical setting. A meandering flagstone pathway leads you back through the boulder strewn landscape, with a variety of drought tolerant plantings and a small grove.  Multiple seating niches offer a place to relax and enjoy the beauty of the garden, the mountains or an evening sunset.  Surrounded by 15 acres of open space, it is also a place to view a wide variety of wildlife, including birds of prey, songbirds, roadrunners, owls, deer, and coyotes.

Sunshine Care

Sunshine Care is a community of assisted living homes on 32-acres nestled beneath the Green Mountains in Poway.  The property, blanketed in California wildflowers, boast five organic growing fields, two fruit arbors, a greenhouse, a rose garden, a pine tree forest, composting, worm bins and a children’s garden. In 2012 over 14,000 pounds of produce was harvested and put to good use for Sunshine Care residents and the greater community.




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  • koti

    such a wonderful trip, gardens are stunning, I got drunk in those incredible color and design.

    April 7, 2013

  • Robert

    Today is the deadline to have purchased your ticket online. If you did not purchase the ticket online already, then please switch your RSVP to 'No'.

    April 4, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Unfortunately I won't be able to attend after all. But it looks like such a great day trip. Have fun!

    April 2, 2013

  • koti

    I'd like to car pool with someone, please let me know where and when.

    April 2, 2013

    • Robert

      Do you have Sklar's #? If so, call him and ask if you can carpool with him. Or the 4 of us can carpool from the LA Zoo Parking Lot.

      April 2, 2013

    • koti

      no, I don't have his number, can I have it?

      April 2, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    I'm very interested in this and am thinking of going a day early to get a hotel room so that I can make it by 7:30 in Poway. That way I won't have to get up at 4:30 to make it down there by 7:30 and I"ll be fresh from the night's sleep. Anyone else want to get a hotel and split cost?

    April 2, 2013

  • koti

    got my ticket.

    April 2, 2013

4 went

  • Robert
    Event Host
  • A former member
    +1 guest

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