Saturday, June 14, 2014

Western Gardens Field Trip: Sunset Open House

In late spring Sunset Magazine opens it's doors for it's open house, or Celebration Weekend. It's in my own neighborhood and I love to go.

This year I biked over and plunked down my twenty bucks first thing on Sunday morning. Good thing I got there early as I found that one of the talks I wanted to hear was already starting. It was about planting meadows (from turf) to replace lawns. I went back later for my very favorite talk by succulent author Debra Lee Baldwin and the owner and creator of Succulent Gardens. I love their succulents. Spent all my cash in their booth (made a trip to the ATM for more!) on more echeveria for my garden. I highly recommend taking a field trip to the Succulent Gardens fall open house. I'll be back there this year for more beauties. The Santa Cruz county area is gorgeous too.

There are always a lot of good talks at the Sunset Open House. I go for the garden talks but the food and wine are extremely popular as well. In between talks I moseyed on over to check out the tiny houses and demo garden. There's always some kind of vacation house or something similar and it's like touring a playhouse. This years tiny houses were really tiny mobile homes that work like a cottage - though I urge caution in assuming that you could really downsize as most building and safety departments won't permit this type of house for temporary or permanent living. Special situations do allow for them though, so check them out. They cost around $60,000.

Because I live in the area I've walked through the Sunset demonstration gardens many times, but for those who don't come often, just walking the beautiful western style grounds is a pleasure. The celebration includes lots of wine (tasting also I think and maybe beer too - you can tell that's not my thing but it's a big part of the do) and delicious artisinal type food, but seating is really limited. You want to eat early if you want a table - or duck out (return later) and walk over to roomy, green Burgess Park about a mile away and picnic there. There are also representatives from many vacation areas, outdoor and garden products with lots of samples. If you're looking for ideas for your home or yard you'll get plenty.

Current Clip from Succulent Gardens re: their open house. They have lots of activities and classes there but this one is a blowout event and really fun.
"September 26-27, 2014
Succulent Extravaganza!!! Our Fourth Annual at our nursery! Check back for line up of speakers and all the details. "

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