Dozens of gardening enthusiasts took advantage of a series of informative garden workshops Saturday, May 20, during the second Ramona Bowl Garden Festival sponsored by Valley Beautiful and the University of California Master Gardeners of Riverside County.
During the fundraiser for the maintenance of the gardens at the Ramona Bowl, located at 2700 Ramona Bowl Road in Hemet, Hemet Depot and Estudillo Gardens in San Jacinto brought experts in different areas of gardening. There were many types of plants, decorative landscaping, and plant care to conduct workshops for those interested.
The workshops included talks on butterfly gardens by Christine Lampe; edible landscaping by Laura Simpson; fruit trees by David Contreras; and irrigation techniques by Thurman Howard.
Booths manned by local nursery employees, farmers, university botanists and other professional gardeners explained beekeeping and honey; birdhouses; composting and raising worms, native and historic plants and their uses, children’s fairy gardens, decorative gourds and community supported agriculture and water conservation.
Also on hand was Sherri Domenigoni, Local author and Plein Air artist talking about her art and children’s books. Visitors also had an opportunity to tour the Ramona Bowl grounds and ranch building where the state’s official outdoor play “Ramona” is held each year. Ramona Bowl and Estudillo Mansion docent Lynn Peterson conducted the tours.
The Ramona Bowl Museum and Gift Shop and Ramona Bowl concessions remained open during the festival.
The special event is in its second year sponsored by the nonprofit Valley Beautiful. Valley Beautiful members maintain the landscaping and maintenance around the historic Ramona Bowl, the Estudillo Gardens near the Estudillo Mansion, and the landscaping around the old Hemet Train Depot and Destination Coffee Shop & Bistro on Florida Avenue.
Diane Boss, from Valley Beautiful, during the festival that was last held in 2003, said the festival proceeds from the sale of plants by members, festival admissions, lectures and tours helps the ladies of organization maintain the gardens at the historic sites in the Valley. The well-maintained gardens allow visitors to sites to relax and enjoy the gardens. In recent years Valley Beautiful, which was initially established in 1964 to keep Hemet and San Jacinto’s heritage oaks and other trees, is now is focusing its attention on maintaining the gardens and promoting the use of “water wise” plants by residents and local cities.
The dedicated ladies of Valley Beautiful gather on different days of the week to maintain, plant and week the local historic gardens. For more information about Valley Beautiful see their website on Facebook under Valley Beautiful, contact Diane Boss at [email protected] or Nancy Austin at [email protected].