Cambria Pines by the Sea is full of gardeners and people come from all around to participate in the Cambria Garden Tour. Cambria has had a garden tour for the past 18 years, but last year the sponsoring group took a break. We were tour deprived last spring! Now it is back in full force with seven gardens to visit, a continental breakfast, gourmet treats at each site, and a wine tasting and raffle finale at the Cambria Nursery to end the day.
This year I worked on the committee to select the gardens. What fun! The four members of the committee visited many of the beautiful gardens in Cambria and chose ones that we thought would inspire gardeners. I don’t want to give all the secrets away but here’s a peek what you’ll see on the tour.
Hold on to your garden hat! This garden is “BIG and BEAUTIFUL”! The Cambria Pines Road estate grounds have been recently renovated with a lush green lawn (rare in Cambria), charming greenhouse, water features, bridges, and creek bed. The rock-walled vegetable garden makes “growing your own” a beautiful experience.
In another location, a simple garden landscape is perched on the bluffs overlooking the Pacific. The landscape provides a foreground for a vast water view. Low-growing, drought tolerant plants like ceanothus and rockrose provide color, and a carpet of dymondia surrounds the rock pavers. There’s a modified Zen garden, an enclosed area for potting and growing grapes, vegetables, and herbs, and a pizza oven in a sheltered area by the front door. A few local classic cars will be on view on the street out front for your enjoyment.
Around the corner, within walking distance of the sea, you’ll visit an enchanting small garden with sweeping hillside views of the Fiscalini Ranch. The greenhouse provides a retreat where the owner nurtures and collects exotic flowers. Clay sculptures and pottery adorn the property.
Above the fog, beyond the wind, you’ll meander through a garden that’s evolved over a generation. There’s a playhouse for grandchildren, a pond, roses, and pathways of brick and stone. Water features abound. Art objects and staghorn ferns decorate corners and fences, and benches and a hammock provide “places to ponder”.
On Lodge Hill you’ll visit a hillside retreat where native and Mediterranean plants thrive in poor soil. A huge native Toyon shade the rhododendrons. You’ll find a dry creekbed, bridge, and sitting area with an overhead structure. Fruit trees and small vegetable beds provide produce for the kitchen. The plants will be labeled to help visitors identify the hardy native plants.
A Japanese inspired front gate, complete with Japanese maples, welcome you at yet another lovely Cambria garden. The guesthouse is “one of a kind”, and the vintage trailer that serves as an art studio is a treasure. Using a bridge, cross the dry creek bed and see lesser-known Australian plants that tolerate summer drought.
A kind of “secret garden” that cannot be seen from the street awaits you at this shady Cambria home. You’ll have to climb the stairs and make your way to the back of the home to find a spacious outdoor living area complete with seating areas, fireplace and stained glass windows. The garden of Mediterranean and semitropical plants covers six lots. A large custom carved Buddha presides over the outdoor space.
For more information on the Cambria Garden Tour on May 19, visit www.CambriaGardenTour.com or call the ticket hotline at 805 909-0052. All proceeds benefit the Cambria Education Foundation and the New Dawn Montessori.
The complete article on the Cambria Garden Tour (written by Lee Oliphant) will be published in The Cambrian, on May 17th.