This is the time of year when gardens burst into full glory, with plenty of fresh spring growth, gorgeous blooms, and wonderful scents! (My enthusiastic note is tempered with a sympathetic nod to allergy sufferers, for whom this beautiful time of year can also be the most miserable.)
The show this season is even lovelier than in past years, thanks to our more normal winter rainfall and periodic spring showers. It’s a perfect time to get out and enjoy the colorful sights in your own garden and in your local surroundings.
If you’re looking for a fun and scenic little adventure without having to travel far, plan to attend an upcoming event presented by the San Joaquin County UC Master Gardeners: the 2016 Garden Tour. The theme of this year’s tour is “Celebrate Spring!”
The tour (a biennial event) will be held on Sunday, May 1 from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. at various locations within the city of Stockton, and it promises to be an enjoyable, inspiring, and informative event.
This year’s garden tour features seven privately owned gardens and one public garden with three distinct areas, all in central Stockton for convenient access. Here’s a list of some of the many garden elements and features you can expect to enjoy during the tour:
- A water-wise garden incorporating color, form, texture, and artificial turf
- A lush and shady garden with an Asian flair
- A scenic, woodland-type garden with a pond and expansive views
- A terraced, bird-friendly back yard with garden art and an herb garden
- A highly varied garden with entertainment spaces and whimsical features
- A bountiful organic garden filled with vegetables and numerous fruit trees
- One public garden that highlights different plant types: edibles, roses, and valley-appropriate California natives
In addition to the sheer enjoyment offered at each location, there will also be many educational resources available to tour-goers. Certified UC Master Gardeners will be available at each site to lead demonstrations, explain displays, and answer gardening-related questions. Free educational handouts relevant to each tour location will be provided. Important plants within each garden will be labeled with common name, scientific name, and cultural information for the benefit of visitors. Various University of California horticultural publications and San Joaquin Co. UC Master Gardener journals will be available for purchase either by cash or check.
Tickets to the 2016 Garden Tour are only $20.00 each if purchased in advance. The cost increases to $25.00 apiece if you buy tickets on May 1, the day of the event; all ticket purchases that day must be made at the University of the Pacific, Robb Family Garden, 1081 W. Mendocino Avenue.
Garden Tour tickets can be bought directly from the UC Master Gardener program in two ways:
- At the UC Master Gardener Office, 2101 E. Earhart Avenue (off of Arch-Airport Road near the Stockton Airport). The office is open Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
- Online by credit card at the San Joaquin County UC Master Gardener website: http://sjmastergardeners.ucanr.edu. April 24 is the last day to purchase tickets online and have them mailed to you. Tickets purchased online after April 24 will be held at a will call table at UOP’s Robb Family Garden (address above).
Tickets will also be available for purchase (cash or check) from UC Master Gardeners on April 23, 24, and 30 from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. at two local nurseries:
- Delta Tree Farms, 12900 N. Lower Sacramento Road, Lodi
- Quail Lakes Nursery, 3404 Shadowbrook Drive, Stockton
Once you purchase tickets, you’ll receive a detailed brochure listing all the garden locations and their major features. The brochure also includes a map for general navigation. Light refreshments and water (for refilling personal water bottles) will be available at select garden sites.
Treat yourself to an inexpensive and fun day, and help support a valuable cause! Proceeds from the 2016 Garden Tour will help fund UC Master Gardener education and gardening outreach activities in San Joaquin County.
For gardening or tour-related questions, call the UC Master Gardener office at 209-953-6112, or use our website: http://sjmastergardeners.ucanr.edu/CONTACT_US/.