MURRIETA – The “hills are alive” April 29 with the sights and sounds of nature’s music at the Santa Rosa Plateau Nature Education Foundation’s 14th annual Garden Tour and Garden Party, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Featuring five beautiful and unique private gardens nestled in the Tenaja Valley area on the Santa Rosa Plateau, the tour has become a favorite for local gardening and nature enthusiasts. This year’s theme “Gardening in Mother Nature’s Backyard” will feature gardens that have been designed by their owners to compliment and integrate Mother Nature’s unpredictable effects on gardening.
For example, the “Waterfall Garden” features how a giant natural boulder was fashioned into a cascade of water or the “Cottage Garden” demonstrates how a relatively small area can be transformed into an abundance of garden vignettes. The “Vista View Garden” is a tropical paradise that includes the valley view of the Santa Ana Mountain range, and the “Flora and Friesian Foals” garden displays a landscape filled with California friendly plants hosting magnificent Friesian horses and an incredible stone barn.
The Garden Party component of the event will be held at Liberty Oaks Ranch, a 40-acre horse ranch transformed into a Garden Party. It will host the Marie Callender’s picnic lunch cafe, the beer and wine garden serving local wines, Stone Brewing and Garage Beer craft beers, live entertainment by Jimmy & Enrique, the Secret Garden silent auction and a garden marketplace. University of California Riverside master gardeners will be on hand with gardening tips.
Tickets are on sale at www.srpf.org or may be purchased the Santa Rosa Plateau Visitor Center, 39400 Clinton Keith Road. Tickets are also available by phone at (800) 369-4620. General admission garden tour tickets, including the garden party site, are $20 for Foundation members and $30 for non-members. Day of the event tickets are $40.
Attendees can drive themselves and visit the gardens in the order of their choice, or they can decide to purchase in advance a $15 shuttle ticket and travel to the gardens in an air-conditioned, luxury limo bus. Garden Cafe lunch tickets are purchased in advance for $15. Combo tickets that include the tour, garden party, lunch and the shuttle tickets are available for $45 for Foundation members and $55 for non-members. General admission and shuttle tickets can be purchased on the day of the event at the Trails Circle entry to La Cresta. Combo and lunch tickets are advance purchase only.
The event is a fundraiser to support youth environmental stewardship nature education programs at the Santa Rosa Plateau Ecological Reserve. The programs, serving approximately 9,000 youth in grades 3-12 from 10 local school districts, provide much needed nature education opportunities to students in southwest Riverside County. Santa Rosa Plateau Nature Education Foundation provides all programs at no cost to participating schools and classrooms.