Thursday, April 10, 2014

Spring Garden Festival all the fashion at Cuyamaca College May 3

          SoCal casual – the sartorial style most days at Cuyamaca College – will give way to a more refined and polished look May 3, when about 100 students, college staff and their families will strut down a fashion show runway as part of this year’s Spring Garden Festival.
Now in its 21st year, the 9 a.m.-4 p.m. celebration of spring that typically draws about 7,000 people to the Rancho San Diego college will include “Fashion in Bloom,” a fashion show and sale featuring spring and summer ready-to-wear attire, as well as tuxedos and gowns.  All clothing will be 80 percent off retail prices, with proceeds from the sale, as well  as 10 percent of sales from a farmer’s market and other vendors, will go to a fundraising campaign, “Share the Future,” for student scholarships and college programs.

Admission and parking to the Spring Garden Festival, is free. Tickets to the fashion show range from $5-$18 and can be purchased online at . Feeling lucky? Twenty dollars will get you 10 tickets for a raffle with a top prize of an Xbox One game console valued at $600. Other prizes include an iPad, a Sea World Family Four Pack and a $200 gift card from Barnes & Noble

The Spring Garden Festival showcases the college’s 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 100 vendors, craftspeople, and artisans will be offering their wares and services. A host of activities, exhibits, tours, and demonstrations of sustainable gardening and landscaping promise to delight visitors of all ages.

The day’s events include:

·         An all-day ornamental horticulture plant sale in the Cuyamaca College nursery

·         Sustainability exhibits in the Water Conservation Garden Amphitheater

·         Succulent plants and arrangements for sale at the Garden

·         An all-day health and safety fair at in the Child Development Center parking lot. Sheriff’s Department K-9 and SWAT demonstrations, and a helicopter landing from 1-3 p.m.

·         Fashion in Bloom fashion show from 11-11:30 a.m. in the Student Center quad

·         Share the Future” fundraising clothing sale from 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. in the Student Center quad


College highlights

In keeping with the event’s theme, “Celebrating Community Farms and Gardens,” a new attraction this year is the new Intergenerational Garden located on a 1/3-acre plot between the Water Conservation Garden and the Child Development Center. Funded by a grant from San Diego County and built with the help of community volunteers, the garden links “Garden Grannies” --  mostly gardeners recruited from the Master Gardener Association of San Diego County --  with youngsters under the care of the Child Development Center. The plot between the center and the Water Conservation Garden, once a vacant site with mountains of mulch and debris, will when completed boast a variety of produce and lots of whimsical touches, including an amphitheater and a meandering creek.

Faculty and students will give demonstrations and provide a bounty of information on the horticulture program and topics including floral design, landscape design, pest control, plant propagation, arboriculture, irrigation, plant identification and more.

The Ornamental Horticulture department’s plant sale will feature a large assortment of ornamental 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 identification, care and landscape uses of Southern California’s ornamental trees and shrubs.

“The Spring Garden Festival is an immensely popular community celebration of spring and an opportunity to showcase Cuyamaca College’s longtime commitment to the green movement,” college president Mark J. Zacovic said. “With an underlying theme of resource conservation, it’s a fun event for the entire family that highlights a wealth of educational programs, exhibitors and demonstrations.”

Water Conservation Garden events

At the Water Conservation Garden, the new Dorcas E. Utter Memorial Butterfly Pavilion will be open from 9:30-3:30 p.m, for admission fees of $5 for adults, $3 for children 5-11 and free for garden members.  Visitors can get docent-led tours of the garden at 10 a.m., noon and 2 p.m.; the San Diego Watercolor Society’s demonstration of plein aire, or open-air, painting from 9 a.m.-12:30 p.m. in the garden’s gazebo; a compost demonstration from 10 a.m.-1 p.m.; a vegetable garden demonstration from 10 a.m.-1 p.m. and from 10 a.m-1 p.m., “Ask the Designers” provides a 15-minute landscape design consultation with a professional designer specializing in water-saving landscapes for a $15 donation. Pre-register by calling (619) 660-0614, extension 10, and don’t forget to bring photos or diagrams.

Museum happenings

At the Heritage of the Americas Museum, docent-led tours of the natural history, archaeology, anthropology, and art wings will be available at 10 a.m., noon and 2 p.m. An arts and crafts show and sale, and demonstrations by renowned Huichol bead artist Rosendo Carrillo are planned throughout the day. Carrillo is a Wixarika Indian, more commonly known as the Huichol, and his beadwork art has been passed on through generations and tells the stories of his tribe.

At 3 p.m., a Five-Choice Dream Drawing takes place at the museum with prizes including natural history specimens, archaeology and anthropology artifacts, framed art and a $50 gift certificate for the museum store. Tickets are available for $1 at the museum store or by calling the museum at (619) 670-5194. Winners need not be present at the drawing to collect prizes.

For more information about the event, call the Ornamental Horticulture department at (619) 660-4023, or the Water Conservation Garden at (619) 660-0614. For a program and maps, go to

Cuyamaca College is at 900 Rancho San Diego Parkway in Rancho San Diego.