RANCHO SANTA FE — The Rancho Santa Fe Garden Club held its annual Garden Tour on April 25 and four busloads of eager gardeners set out to see four featured homes, each dedicated to using drought-resistant plants. The results were impressive, inspiring and water-wise.
In 1918 the Lake Hodges Dam was built to assure a supply of water to the area, yet recent drought conditions have created mandatory water rationing for residents effective this summer. The majority of water usage is for the irrigation of plants, yet homeowners in the Ranch are proving that beautiful gardens are still possible when succulents and “water-wise” plants are used.
The lovely home and garden of Sunna Bohlen was featured. Both home and garden have been completed within the past year. Bohlen is an artist whose home is set high on a hill with dramatic vistas. Her garden is a beautiful blend of succulent plants that flower, nestled amongst water fountains, ponds and pools. The beautiful garden and entry drive is based on the gardens at the Alhambra in Spain. No artist could ask for a more beautiful setting.
Cat Nunn welcomed gardeners to her lovely home, a 1926 Lilian Rice cottage, that features an old ox cart planted with geraniums, aloes and other succulents. Nearby palm trees were damaged during the Witchcreek Fire of 2007, and burn holes in patio furniture reminded everyone just how fragile and vulnerable the beautiful environment is.
A lovely home and garden on Mimulus was the first-place winner in the 2007 California Friendly Landscape Contest. The home was an example of indoor-outdoor living with rooms that were open-air yet covered. The home also featured a “wining” wall where old wine bottles were used cleverly to create a barrier and support for the succulent garden.
The Miller home on La Gracia was designed to bring the outside in by designing it inside out. The Millers wanted to enjoy the garden without going outside, so they brought the garden in. Each window and glass doorway was designed to connect them with the flora and fauna outside.
After the Garden Tour, a luncheon was served at the Garden Club, catered by Daniel Bohlen, executive chef and owner of The Pantry of Rancho Santa Fe. Several exhibitors were on site also to provide information about water conservation and garden specialties.
The Garden Club’s Annual Meeting and Spring Reception is scheduled for May 29. For more information, visit www.rsfgardenclub.org.