by Joan Ray
Spring is on the horizon, meaning the time has come to begin thinking about birds singing, bees buzzing and homeowners sprucing up their gardens. For those in the latter category we have, courtesy of the San Clemente Garden Club, two events to note on your calendar.
On April 8, the club will be holding Garden Fest, an annual party for the entire family. The doors of the San Clemente Community Center will open at 8am for six hours of informative talks, games; face painting, courtesy of artist Lisa Spinelli, children’s activities, shopping and more. Vendors will show a variety of merchandise from standard garden tools to startling new inventions. Event chairman Elyse Crane and her committee will operate a flea market offering a smorgasbord of garden essentials ranging from patio furniture to clay pots. A wide variety of healthy new plants will be available for reasonable prices, and the city will host a water-wise booth with information on water conservation.
A Funky Container contest adds to the fun. Contestants show-off planters made from imaginative objects such as old boots, cookie jars and coffee mills. The San Clemente Art Association also joins in by holding a painting contest during the show. Attendees can watch the artists’ progress and, in both contests, attendees help choose the winner. Doors close at 2pm, so guests can return home in time to plant and/or display their new-found treasures.
On May 20, club members will present their Garden Tour. Event chairman K. K. Ciruli and her committee are planning another enjoyable day that, like the Garden Fest, helps the club maintain its level of community service. The tour showcases several stunning gardens, designed and tended by creative gardeners who always seen to have another surprise waiting just around the corner. The tours are self-guided and always stimulate guests’ imaginations and spark new ideas. In recent years, local restaurants have provided tastes at some of the gardens, adding to the party ambiance. Every year’s tour is different and each garden is unique, ranging from spacious and elegant to small and so well designed it feels spacious and elegant. One garden may feature a drought-tolerant plan and the next present a design showcasing the ocean view. The garden tourist is in for a treat, a surprise and a bolt of inspiration at every venue.
These two interesting projects provide important information, encourage family fun and help the Garden Club fund its many philanthropic efforts. Local schools for grades K -12 are awarded grants to maintain garden projects involving student participation in growing and harvesting food, conserving water, scientifically investigating the world of agriculture, and more. Club members often play a role in the educational process.
Scholarships are awarded to high school seniors and continuing college students who are studying agriculture, landscaping, wildlife, marine science and other environmental sciences. Kris Ethington chairs the high school scholarship program that “supports our youth as future stewards of our environment.”
Club members also hold a variety of workshops for the public, have established beautification projects throughout the city, and voluntarily maintain gardens at the iconic Casa Romantica, many city buildings, monuments and parks.
For more information and tickets, call Bette Langford at (949) 498-3317 or go to sanclementegardenclub.com.