Optional Bus Excursion (Thursday)
& Included Garden Tour (Saturday) !
By Nancy Groves
WBC Affiliate Host Committee Co-Chair
October 2017 Update
The excitement for Fiesta de las Bromelias grows! Whether prolific bloomers or 10 year waits, bromeliads are enchanting, surprising and always heightening our expectations. A preview of our conference tours will heighten your expectations!
The Optional Bus Excursion on Thursday
This is a DO NOT MISS experience, with garden tours followed by a catered dinner at the San Diego Botanic Garden. In order to optimize the amount of time at each garden and avoid traffic, the optional excursion to north San Diego County destinations is planned for Thursday. The luxury buses will take you to diverse, wonderful gardens. To build the suspense, I am not going to tell you the names of the members who are opening their gardens to you. Suffice it to say they are enchanted gardens. One garden has thousands of tillandsias, billbergias, and other bromeliads in a shade house. More bromeliads, succulents and rare fruit trees grow in the landscape. The owners are perfectionists with a great knowledge of each plant and how it is best grown.
A second informal garden has an emphasis on terrestrials: hectias, dyckias, bromelias, puyas and cycads in a meandering seemingly never-ending landscape. This garden also has a shade area, a koi pond, chickens, and lots of stories to go with each plant—- where it came from or who hybridized it. The stories are as wonderful as the plants.
If we have time, there may be a third garden, which is a beautiful secret garden. Plants are artistically arranged almost as if on a painter’s palette. Vivid in placement, as well as in color, there are many unique specimens.
Our final destination, the 42-acre San Diego Botanic Garden (formerly known as Quail Botanical Garden) will wow you with its nearly 3,000 varieties of tropical, subtropical, and California native plants.
This fantastic bus excursion with catered dinner is the San Diego Bromeliad Society’s welcome to fellow bromeliad lovers. We’ll share approximately 8-hours together, door-to-door. Welcome to our wonderful climate in Southern California where we grow bromeliads outside year-round. The entertainment and information dispensed is free; however, the buses and food must be paid for, hence the $60 charge for the tour, catered dinner and entrance fee to the San Diego Botanic Garden. Please sign up for the tour on the BSI website under Conference Corner, Optional Bus Excursion.
The Saturday City Gardens Tour
This tour is included in your conference registration. From Paradise Point Resort we travel to two members’ gardens and Balboa Park for a half-day tour by chartered open-air trolley-style buses. The two gardens are very different. One is a beautifully landscaped small backyard retreat of an historic house in the Mission Hills area of San Diego. The owner is none other than the San Diego Bromeliad Society president, Scott Sandel, so of course it is full of specimen bromeliads. The other garden, a few blocks down the street, is a Spanish Style house and garden, which is owned by a self, described “plant-a-holic” and is set on a canyon. Both of these gardens show how one can maintain a lovely garden while living in the city.
Then we are on our way to the famous Botanical Building and Lily Pond in Balboa Park, home to more than 2,100 permanent tropical plant specimens. In 1910, with preparations already underway to hold an expo to coincide with the opening of the Panama Canal, the park was named for the Spanish explorer Vasco Núñez de Balboa, the first European to cross Central America and see the Pacific Ocean. A number of the buildings built in the Spanish Colonial-revival style contribute to the present-day look and feel of the park built for the 1915 Panama-California Exposition. And now over 100 years later, all of the buildings have been refurbished and are still in use.
OPTIONAL Bus Excursion and INCLUDED home tours both require walking about two city blocks with an incline. We will have a car there to transport those who cannot walk there but none are wheelchair accessible; they are mostly accessible with walker or cane.
As with any tour and getting on and off bus, please wear good, sturdy walking shoes.
Bring a sweater and/or jacket; it is always cool in the evening here.
Join us for the Fiesta de las Bromelias WBC Optional Bus Excursion and the included City Gardens Tour, which I am sure, will fulfill your expectations!
¡Hasta luego! in San Diego!