For the past couple months, Surfrider San Diego's Ocean Friendly Gardens committee has been busy working on our first ever display garden at the San Diego County Fair. Installation was done by chapter volunteers, took place over a few weeks, and included building a "surf shack", placing large boulders, laying stone, and planting a variety of native and other low water use plants.
Exhibit judging took place this week, and Surfrider's display was awarded three honors, which include the "San Diego County Award", the "Environmental Award", and the San Diego Horticultureal Society 'Excellence in Horticulture' award for "Best Expression of Garden Education".
The "San Diego County Award" is given in recognition for the best display representing the diversity of San Diego landscape, the "Environmental Award" is presented to landscapes that benefit the environment through concepts like conservation and sustainability, and the "Best Expression of Garden Education" is presented to the garden that is both educational and functional. Surfrider is proud to have a garden that is beautiful, location appropriate, ocean friendly, and educational and inspiring to the average homeowner on display for the entire County to see. Each award also comes with a monetary prize that will be going directly to the Surfrider San Diego Chapter. Between the prize winnings and stipend to participate, our garden display has raised over $1,500.00 for our local chapter.
Last year, 1.4 million people visited the fair, making it the 5th largest fair in the US. We are thrilled at the opportunity to reach so many people with our message of CPR - Conservation, Permeability, and Retention, and how implementing these three concepts can result in a healthier ocean for everyone to enjoy.
The fair runs from Friday June 8th through Wednesday July 4th. Morgan Vondrak, the OFG committee member who designed our award winning display, will be giving a talk on the garden show stage June 13th at 4:00pm where she will be discussing how you can save money and the environment through the use of Low Impact Design (LID) in the garden by applying the CPR principles. Susan Krzywicki, chair of the OFG Committee, will also be giving a talk Sunday July 1st at 1pm titled "Garden Styles with OFG".
If you cant make it out to the fair, you can check out more photos of our display, and the installation process, on our Facebook page at "Ocean Friendly Gardens - San Diego". And homeowners, dont forget about our Ocean Friendly Garden Party on Thursday June 28th from 5-8pm at the Ocean Beach Hotel. You can learn more about CPR and our other program events in a fun informal setting. You can RSVP at firstname.lastname@example.org.
A big thank you to all the volunteers that worked long hours to make this happen, and to all the donors that loaned us plants for our display: Southwest Boulder & Stone, Las Pilitas Nursery, the San Diego Botanic Garden, and Moosa Creek Nursery.