Like honey bees to a hive, the public swarms Cuyamaca College each year for its immensely popular Spring Garden Festival.
The 22nd annual free event takes place 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday, April 25.
For one day each year, the Rancho San Diego campus transforms into a green mecca, with fun programs, exhibitors and demonstrations designed to inspire the gardener in everyone. From urban farming to water-conserving landscaping ideas, the festival is the place to go to learn about sustainability, all the while relishing Southern California’s springtime weather.
The event showcases the college’s renowned Ornamental Horticulture program, as well as the Water Conservation Garden and the Heritage of the Americas Museum, both located on the Cuyamaca College campus. More than 50 vendors, craftspeople, and artisans will be offering their wares and services. A host of activities, exhibits, tours, vendors and demonstrations of sustainable gardening and landscaping promise to inform and entertain visitors of all ages. There will also be horticulture seminars throughout the day.
The Ornamental Horticulture department’s plant sale will feature a large assortment of flowers, vegetables and drought-tolerant plants. Sales from the nursery supplement the Ornamental Horticulture program’s regular funding, helping to pay for supplies and equipment. The nursery is a learning lab for students on the production and sales of landscape plants.
Faculty and students will give demonstrations and provide a bounty of information on the horticulture program and topics including pest control, plant propagation, irrigation and more.
“The Spring Garden Festival is a fantastic opportunity to showcase Cuyamaca College’s longtime commitment to the green movement,” college president Mark J. Zacovic said. “It’s a fun event for the entire family that highlights a wealth of educational programs, exhibitors and demonstrations promoting resource conservation.”
In addition to sustainability exhibits and demonstrations, the Water Conservation Garden will add an artistic flair to the event with plein air (French for “open air”) painting by the San Diego Watercolor Society from 9 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
A composting demonstration and an open house with docent-led tours of the Garden will be held at 10:30 a.m. and12:30 p.m. Between 10 a.m.-2 p.m., professional landscape designers will give 20-minute consultations to help homeowners get started with converting thirsty green lawns into attractive, water-saving gardens and yards. To pre-register for the $20 consultations, call the garden at (619) 660-0614, ext. 10.
“This is a way for homeowners to be introduced to the possibilities of xeriscaping their yards,” said Diane Owens, the garden’s director of events..”
The Heritage of the Americas Museum, which features historic art, culture and natural history of the Americas, will have free admission during the festival and docent-led tours at 11:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. A “Five-Choices Dream Raffle” for prizes including natural history specimens, archaeology and anthropology artifacts, framed art and a $50 museum gift card starts at 3 p.m. Raffle tickets for $1 can be bought on the day of the festival or in advance by calling the museum at (619) 670-5194.
The work of local artist and museum volunteer Diana Kam will also be displayed. Kam, who retired from 22 years teaching in the Cajon Valley School District, keeps in touch with young students by teaching summer art classes at the museum.
For more information about the event, call the college at (619) 660-4228, or the Water Conservation Garden at (619) 660-0614. For a program and maps, go to http://web2.cuyamaca.edu/springfest/2015/