UC Master Gardeners of Monterey & Santa Cruz Counties
University of California
UC Master Gardeners of Monterey & Santa Cruz Counties

Garden Tour 2019 - May 18th, 10 am to 3 pm

UC Master Gardeners of Monterey and Santa Cruz County Garden Tour

garden tour 2019
2 garden tour 2019
A self-guided tour through beautiful Salinas home gardens and a small farm
Our self-guided garden tour offers access to hidden gems in Salinas, whose owners have generously opened their gardens to visitors to benefit the UC Master Gardeners of Monterey and Santa Cruz Counties.
This year, our home gardens include a rose garden developed by a master rosarian and author, a National Wildlife Federation Certified Wildlife Habitat and a thoughtfully-designed family oasis by a local landscape supply owner and former President of the Central Coast Rare Fruit Growers. The farm open to visitors focuses on educating and creating economic opportunities through organic farming.
Throughout the day, Master Gardeners will be available to answer questions at each site as well as at the tour headquarters at Rancho Cielo at 710 Old Stage Road.
This tour is free. UC Master Gardeners sponsor a variety of educational programs, including low-cost classes, a demonstration garden in Watsonville, and education-focused community events like the recent Smart Gardening Fair in Pacific Grove.
We appreciate your support!

Garden Descriptions

Rancho Cielo - Leadership Garden

710 Old Stage Road

This local nonprofit invests in youth by providing them diploma education, vocational training, counseling, and enrichment experiences. One of the gems at Rancho Cielo is their Leadership Garden which is supported by Master Gardener volunteers. Students work alongside volunteers to grow flowers, fruits and vegetables, often used by the Culinary Academy to create delicious and fresh meals.



Outdoor Living

18447 Kennedy Street 

One of our own Master Gardeners transformed a yard full of weeds to a water-wise low maintenance landscape. The front yard features vegetables and other edibles, as well as colorful wildflowers. The backyard contains a number of outdoor rooms with cozy seating, including a beautiful screened-in gazebo with fire pit for cool evenings, a sewing shed, winding paths, and numerous places to sit and enjoy the garden. Creative touches include a border of inverted wine bottles. The entire landscape is irrigated with a low cost, custom made rain catchment system, which provides water for most of the year.



Water-wise Oasis

13423 Jackson Street

This desert inspired oasis was once an overgrown, dry, and patchy yard. The homeowners transformed it into a garden of passion & peace. The front yard has many great succulents & cacti, demonstrating how a low-maintenance and water-wise garden can have a lot of curb appeal. In the backyard, the homeowners had a large koi pond installed for their 19 koi fish. There is also an eclectic mix of plants and garden statues in the backyard that add color and interest to the peaceful retreat.



Cascade of Roses

350 Chaparral Street

This local garden writer and rosarian has planted more than 300 roses in his garden since 1993, and thanks to an ongoing editing process has brought the current number down to sixty of the best, most varied and stunning specimens. Special features include an elaborate drainage system that tames the property’s lack of slope, and a raised garden bed built using principles of Hügelkultur, used for growing rotating crops of vegetables and herbs.



Drought-tolerant Elegance

107 San Gabriel Drive

Several years of drought inspired this water-saving landscape design paired with ranch-style hardscaping. The owners worked with the city to replace broken sidewalks and replaced the dated turf-and-foundation-planting design with pavers, rocks and fencing. New plantings include naturally-arranged Ginkgo trees, cordyline, hummingbird mint and a succulent garden. Special features include pollinator-friendly blooming thyme in the parking strips.



Shakespeare’s Garden

40 Willow Street

Inspired by Shakespeare, this touchable and scented garden has many features that stimulate the senses. There’s Ophelia’s rue tucked in amongst the herbs, the birds that frequent the garden fill the space with song, and the brick walkways along with the art in the garden has been salvaged and repurposed to add charm. This garden is also a certified wildlife habitat and you can frequently spot hummingbirds, towhees, and golden crowned sparrows.



Garden of Memories

130 Oak Street

This garden remodel traded thirsty lawns for a stone-lined raised kitchen garden bed, native plants and gorgeous drifts of naturalized Clarkia and California Poppy. Vegetables and culinary herbs grow just steps from the back door, next to a tranquil seating area, while a multitude of pollinator-friendly flowers caters to the hummingbirds and bees. Special elements include a century-old oak in the front yard, a St. Francis statue overlooking a garden dedicated to the owner’s mother and a luminous accent wall painted a brilliant Frida Kahlo blue.



Super Succulents

114 Oak Street

Calling all succulent lovers. The garden surrounding this beautiful spanish style home is a succulent paradise. Aloes, aeoniums, echeverias, cacti, are just a few of the many succulents you’ll come across in this beautiful garden. All of the plants in this garden, be it succulents, weeping evergreen, or grasses, add interesting texture, color, height, and spectacular contrast.



Nurseryman’s Garden

20 Dickens Circle

This meticulously-designed quarter-acre lot incorporates areas for outdoor dining and socializing with intensive food production and a stunning collection of subtropicals. Work on this water-thrifty garden began in 2007, and only one tree remains from the original landscape. The owners, who run a local landscape supply business with a passion for rare-fruit cultivation, frequently host community gatherings to enjoy the fire pits, bocce court and outdoor pizza oven. Look for the cherimoya, and the guava tree which produced fruit for the first time this year.

2019 garden tour mcshane fireplace


Our Featured Farm: ALBA Organics

1700 Old Stage Road

Nestled in the midst of a diverse 110-acre organic farm, the Agriculture and Land-Based Training Association (ALBA) provides hands-on training to beginning and aspiring farmers – many of them transitioning from farm worker to farm owner. Your tour takes place on ALBA’s annual Family Farm Day celebration – take advantage of this happy coincidence to tour the farm, learn about ALBA’s programs, buy freshly-harvested organic produce, and pick strawberries from a designated field. Kids activities, food vendors and local organizations will also be part of the festivities.


Garden Tour Headquarters: 
Rancho Cielo
Stop by our Garden Tour Headquarters at
Rancho Cielo!
Address: 710 Old Stage Road, Salinas
Open: 10 am - 3 pm
Live demonstrations
Garden marketplace
Silent auction & raffle for a variety of garden-related items
Plant Sale
At our Garden Tour Headquarters at Rancho Cielo, we'll be selling the following plants to add to your own garden:
  • Many varieties of tomatoes in 1-gallon pots
  • 4" Green Globe artichokes
  • Peppers
  • Eggplant
  • Assorted herbs
  • Sunflowers
  • Geraniums
  • Assorted annuals in 6-packs
  • Assorted succulents in a variety of planters
We will accept cash, checks, debit and credit cards at the plant sale.
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