Wednesday, July 1, 2009

A Cambria getaway with free weekend garden demos

Right about now, I'm looking forward to throwing some big backyard barbecues on the long holiday weekend. My garden, alas, is not quite ready for prime time. Oh well, if I was smart, I'd head to Cambria for a long weekend with some garden 'how-to' classes thrown in for free.

Why Cambria? One reason is the lovely, flower-bedecked Cambria Pines Lodge and their occasional Gardener’s Getaway Package. Just walking around the coastside lodge will inspire any plant-lover— a bevy of different pocket gardens enliven the sprawling grounds. There's a wedding garden, butterfly garden planted with species that attract butterflies; and a California Certified Organic Farmers vegetable garden, plus an extensive collection of plants that thrive in a Mediterranean climate (that's where I always get good ideas for my own yard).

The lodge's some five acres of colorful themed gardens are linked via a California native plant pathway to Cambria Nursery and Florist. On select weekends, the Nursery offers free classes. That's the other good reason for a visit soon. Coming up:
July 18, 2009—Shade Gardening: Learn how leaf litter, shallow soil and filtered light are just the right elements for certain shade-loving plants. August 15, 2009—California Native Gardening: Learn how to select and plant drought-tolerant California native plants. September 19, 2009—Drought Tolerant Gardens: Discover how to reduce water requirements in your garden. Learn tips about soil preparation, efficient irrigation and water-wise plant selection.
And in fall: October 17, 2009—Basic Pest Control: Learn good cultural practices and strategies for dealing with common garden pests. November 28, 2009—Deer-Resistant Gardens: Learn to choose plants that are less attractive to deer. Enjoy a guided tour of a deer-resistant garden and take home a recommended plant list. December 19, 2009—Winter Color: Discover how to fill your garden with seasonal color that will head off the winter blues. Learn that preparations made this t time of year set the tone for a spectacular garden throughout the year.

Call ahead to ask if there's room in the next garden demo class, then ask the lodge about the best deal for gardeners. You might find it's a bloomin' good time for a Cambria getaway.

Details: free events begin at 10 AM. Space is limited, so pre-registration is recommended. Call: 805/927-4747 or 800/414-6915. Classes are offered at Cambria Nursery & Florist at 2801 Eton Drive, Cambria; for more, email Cambria Pines Lodge offers a Gardener’s Getaway Package on all nursery event weekends except during Thanksgiving week. The package includes a room or suite; two dinner entrees and a bottle of house wine at the Cambria Pines Lodge restaurant; a gardener’s gift; and a breakfast buffet for two. Rates on a March weekend recently ranged from $198 for a Standard Room to $398 for a Deluxe Spa Tub Suite. For more, click here or call 800/966-6490.

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