Giving Back, On A Garden Walk

Eight of San Diego’s most stunning springtime events that directly support local communities

By Meredith Kavanagh

Flower shows and garden walks offer more than gorgeous bouquets and stunning landscapes. The handbook of National Garden Clubs (NGC) explains that the purposes of a standard flower show are to: educate, stimulate interest, provide an outlet for creative expression, convey to the community the objectives of NGC. San Diego is lucky enough to have a variety of organizations that support the beautification of their communities as well as varied philanthropic causes. Read on for eight of our favorites.

From The Valley to The Sea:
Gardens of Carmel Valley & Del Mar

San Diego Horticultural Society
and the San Diego Floral Association

April 2 | sdhort.org

This self-guided tour takes visitors on an educational excursion through nine private gardens that each boast horticulture and florals unique to the climate of San Diego. Staying true to their mission to educate residents, the San Diego Horticultural Society and San Diego Floral Association will also feature water-wise irrigation techniques to motivate visitors to be extra green while watering their home gardens. The tour is their largest fundraising event of the year. Proceeds go to support their efforts to support gardening and horticulture in San Diego County. Funds are used to underwrite scholarships for college students enrolled in horticultural programs. In 2015, in honor of the Balboa Park Centennial, they also used the funds to beautify gardens, including the Lily Pond Garden at Balboa Park.

Coronado Flower Show
“When in Drought: Conserve, Cultivate, Create.”

April 16 & 17  | coronadoflowershow.com

Coronado residents consider the Flower Show to be the highlight of spring! In addition to being the largest tented flower show in the country, the weekend-long event also anchors the home front garden competition, the library book sale, and the Rotary pancake breakfast. The show celebrates its 91st anniversary this year, and it’s sure to be another wonderful weekend with family and friends. The show at Spreckels Park features landscape displays, lectures, food, drink and live entertainment.

Point Loma Garden Walk 

April 23 | pointlomagardenwalk.com

This spring, the Dana Unit, a Rady Children’s Hospital Auxiliary, teams up with residents, local businesses and volunteers to present the 15th Annual Point Loma Garden Walk. This fundraiser is a favorite among San Diego residents, thanks to some of the most breathtaking gardens that the historic community has to offer. If you’re interested in the ultimate experience, you can opt for the Dana Diamond Tour, that includes a private shuttle to each garden, as well as lunch overlooking the bay. Ticket sales from the self-guided tour and the garden boutique provide much-needed support for the Craniofacial Services at Rady Children’s Hospital.

Fallbrook Garden Club
Flower Show

Fallbrook Historical Society

April 30 | fallbrookgardenclub.org

As one of the oldest garden clubs in California, Fallbrook Garden Club takes pride in its rich history of creating beauty, promoting civic responsibility, and giving back to the community. The Flower Show offers guests a plant sale, community information booths, and workshops on maintaining an environmentally-conscious garden. Proceeds from the biennial flower show benefit the scholarship fund, community service efforts, and the general garden club fund.

Clairemont Garden Tour

Clairemont Town Council

May 7 | gardentour.clairemontonline.com

In its 20th year, the Clairemont Garden Tour pays tribute to the diverse residents of San Diego by offering 12 gardens with unique concepts that are as visually pleasing as they are functional. Each stop on the tour features expert speakers to advise gardeners on how to make the most of their outdoor space. Money raised by the tour directly supports the Clairemont community. Local schools, Eagle Scouts, and music programs are just a few of the recipients that have recently received funding from the Garden Tour profits. 

The Mission Hills Garden Walk

Mission Hills Garden Club

May 7 | missionhillsgardenclub.org

The community of Mission Hills comes together to celebrate local residents’ dedication to extraordinary outdoor spaces. This walk, in its 18th year, highlights the remarkable architecture and the splendid gardens that enhance the homes and is a perfect way to spend Mother’s Day with the green thumb or history buff in your life. Proceeds from the event support horticultural scholarships, The San Diego River Park Foundation, the San Diego Urban Tree Club, as well as grants to numerous local gardens, parks, libraries and more! 

Mother’s Day Weekend Art,
Garden & Studio Tour

San Dieguito Art Guild, Off Track Gallery, Encinitas

May 7 & 8 | sandieguitoartguild.com

Celebrate Mother’s Day by treating the women in your life to a weekend of beauty. This unique event combines natural and man-made art with an art exhibit at each garden location. One ticket grants you access to the weekend-long event where guests will enjoy a range of exhibits, relax with refreshments, and shop along the way. As the organization’s main fundraiser, this event allows the Art Guild to accomplish its goal of promoting interest, education, and skills in the visual arts. 10% of the proceeds will go towards scholarships for three local high schools.

The Secret Garden Tour

La Jolla Historical Society

May 14 | lajollahistory.org

Get an insider’s look into some of the most secluded gardens that this historic community has to offer. Visitors can pick between the Self-Guided Tour, or the Platinum Tour which includes a delicious brunch and transportation to each garden. Thousands attend the Secret Garden Tour every year, and the proceeds allow the La Jolla Historical Society to continue with its mission: to make La Jolla’s diverse past a part of contemporary life, and provide educational opportunities for residents and visitors to explore the rich history of the coastal community.