PHOTO BY TABETHA WITTENMYER
REDLANDS The Redlands Horticultural and Improvement Society’s annual garden tour and plant sale is special, organizers say, because it spotlights homes never shown before.
“The homes are all different styles as are the gardens,” said Frank Herendeen, the society’s vice president. “You could go to one house with a Japanese garden, then another with a cacti garden that is completely different. Most people who attend the event have gardens themselves and they get inspired from seeing other homeowners’ landscaping ideas.”
This year’s tour, “A Colorful Palette,” features six homes in Redlands, all open to visitors from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. The companion Uncommon Plant Sale is 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. both days.
One of the more unique gardens on the tour belongs to Chris and Caitlyn Buscaglia. Their 1930s Tudor on South Michigan Street is home to the couple and their three sons, Max, 8; Sam, 7; and Enzo, 5.
According to Caitlyn, she was unsure what to expect when she received a letter that began, “To the Homeowner.” When she saw that it was from the Horticultural Society saying it was interested in featuring her garden on its annual tour, she was thrilled.
“They said they wanted to highlight yards that are child-friendly and since our yard highlights that with an area designated for our sons to mimic construction play with their Tonka trucks and an A-frame tree house that Chris built, they were interested in our house.”
Chris, who works at Esri, enjoys woodworking and renovation projects. In addition to renovating several interior elements of their home, he has built an outside deck and several planter boxes around the exterior.
Caitlyn, a stay-at-home mom, describes herself as a fan of do-it-yourself projects.
“I get a lot of design and repurposing ideas from my grandma, who did a lot of it throughout the years,” she said. “She looks at the newspaper to find old items. She saw a drinking fountain from an old school in San Diego and went and got it for me to use. We installed it in the backyard and it’s wonderful for the boys to use when they are outside playing and get thirsty.”
Caitlyn also says she is a succulent hoarder. The fun thing about succulents, she says, is that she doesn’t have to purchase them anymore. She simply takes cuttings and replants them to keep her garden flourishing.
“The garden is growing from itself and from me putting in the time and effort.”
The only labor the couple paid for is a concrete slab to be poured in the driveway.
“It’s very organic,” Caitlyn said. “We never sat down and made a plan, we just did it one piece at a time over the three years we have been here. On Friday nights we would talk about what we are going to do in the yard over the weekend, and it has progressed into something we hope others will enjoy, too.”
Garden tour participants are invited to bring cellphones or cameras to each garden to take photographs. Homeowners will welcome visitors 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Tickets will be sold at each home on the self-guided tour. Cost is $15 per person; free for children under 13. Information: www.redlandsgardenclub.com.
1668 Fifth Ave.
Owner: Nancy and Chuck Alexander
Details: Single-story home surrounded by drought-tolerant features such as decomposed granite, Gorilla Grass and other waterwise plants. A fire pit, newly planted trees and entertaining space make the landscape unique.
332 S. Michigan St.
Owner: Chris and Caitlyn Buscaglia
Details: A 1930s Tudor home with a drought-tolerant yard incorporating succulents, rocks collected by the family on vacations, and DIY projects. There is also a working drinking fountain, handmade tree house and Tonka truck construction site.
649 Los Altos Drive
Owner: Nathan Gonzales and Todd Loza
Details: The 1964 home’s landscaping reflects the era of its construction, with clean lines and several plants from Asian and other faraway countries including agave, Spanish lavender and giant lily. The couple also installed a patio extension using exposed aggregate pavers, a bocce court and turf that does not require watering.
1032 E. Pennsylvania Ave.
Owner: Michelle Trubio
Details: Landscaping incorporates a free-form design that includes orchid trees, bougainvillea, Mexican heather and Arabian jasmine. Additional herbs, bulbs, vegetables and a plethora of unique trees separate Trubio’s garden from the rest.
1515 Powell Lane
Owner: Joe Vogt
Details: Home built in 1984 includes low-drought plantings, trees Vogt ordered from a catalog and unique Americana such as antique signs, plates and orange crates. A vegetable garden and animal topiaries add to the creativity of this memorable outdoor space.
1618 Crestview Road
Owner: Steve and Hito Vu
Details: A 1980s ranch home with a renovated front yard that features a Zen garden, fruit trees, pavers, a pool and avocado, lemon and orange trees.
Uncommon Plant Sale: Includes shrubs and trees. 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Plant Propagation Yard near Carriage House at Prospect Park, 1352 Prospect Drive, Redlands.
Floral-inspired art show: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday. Redlands Art Association Gallery, 215 E. State St., Redlands.