Flurry of Flowers in May

Now, halfway through spring, we have blooms blossoming in many places. We might first notice new colors in our own gardens, which both rewards our horticultural achievements and urges us to add plants.

We can respond to such urges by scrolling through a local garden center and leafing through a nursery’s mail-order catalog. We also acquire new plants at local plant sales that support local garden groups.

The Annual Mother’s Day Plant Sale offered by Cabrillo College’s Horticulture Department is among the most expansive and inspiring events of its kind. This year’s sale begins on Friday, May 11th, 3:00 to 7:00 p.m., with admission reserved for Friends of the Garden. Surprise: you can join the Friends on the spot for $25. That pre-sale occasion includes a silent auction and refreshments. The event continues on Saturday, May 12th, and Sunday, May 13th from 10:00 to 2:00. For directions and more information about the sale, visit the Cabrillo Hort website.

If you are seeking inspiration and plant selection ideas, your opportunities arise at plant shows and garden tours. These events can be enjoyable in their own right, and also preparation for purchases. The Monterey Bay area has excellent shows and tours.

Annual Rose Garden Tea

The Community Church of the Monterey Peninsula will hold this event on Saturday, May 12th from 2-4 pm. The occasion will display a collection of 112 beautiful roses planted since 1970. Come to enjoy the rose superbloom. Stroll the rose garden and enjoy refreshments, fellowship and live music by flutist Julie Roseman and guitarist. Bring your camera and wear a hat! Location: 4590 Carmel Valley Road, Carmel. Free admission. Information: 624-8595 or caroleccmp@yahoo.com

Sixteenth Annual Garden Tour and English Tea Luncheon

St. Philip the Apostle Episcopal Church sponsors this occasion on Saturday, May 12th from 10:00 to 4:00 p.m. Visit selected gardens in northern Santa Cruz County, and enjoy a full high tea luncheon with homemade English favorites such as scones with jam and cream, a delicious and light soup, sausage rolls and finger sandwiches, and sweet treats such as English toffee and shortbread cookies! A rare delight! Admission: Early Bird $35; At the Door $40. Information and ticket orders: visit the St. Philip website and click on “Events.“

Secret Gardens of the Valley

The Felton Library Friends invites you to visit their selection of seven gorgeous and unique gardens. These include a wildlife habitat with a huge koi pond; garden art, succulents on rock walls, a profusion of pathway plants, a tropical plant conservatory, and bonsai and “insect hotel” demos. The occasion includes a raffle, live music by Patti Maxine & Friends, gift seeds, and succulent sales. Saturday, May 19th, 10:00 to 4:00 p.m. Admission: $20 in advance; $25 at the tour. Information: visit FeltonLibraryFriends.org or call (831) 335-1135.

Open Days in Santa Cruz

We’ll have more information about this tour next week but mark your calendar now for this first-ever tour in the Monterey Bay area sponsored by The Garden Conservancy, a national non-profit group. Three local gardens will be on the tour, which supports the Conservatory’s national program to preserve exceptional gardens. Hint: the gardens include one that has been featured often in this column. The tour will be on Saturday, May 19th from 10:00 to 4:00. Admission: $7/garden. At 4:00, there will be a Digging Deeper program, with a separate registration required. For information, visit the Conservatory’s Open Days website.

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