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Redlands Horticultural and Improvement Society 2014 Garden Tour on April 26 – 27

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Cutler Church Insurance Building Courtyard – 2014 Redlands Garden Tour


Redlands Horticultural and Improvement Society is celebrating 125 years beautifying Redlands, by inviting the public to their 2014 Garden Tour, Exotic Plant Sale, and Art Shows, Saturday and Sunday April 26-27.

The 2014 RHIS Garden Tour theme is “Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow.” The Garden Tour includes four events. First on the list is the tour of six private Redlands gardens that are homeowner designed and maintained. Each garden on the tour is unique, insuring every visitor will return to their home with a “must do” list for their own home garden. Second and third, the Redlands Camera Club will show off its floral photo display at the Cutler Building, and the Redlands Art Association will have the Gallery full of flowers … artist’s works and florist’s creations…on display at their downtown gallery, 215 E. State Street, historic downtown Redlands.

The fourth, and most popular event for many is the RHIS Uncommon Plant Sale. Again, this year there will be a fantastic selection of unique plants and trees for sale. Visitors will find everything from Acer (Japanese Maple) to Zephyranthes (Fairy Lily). Each year happy gardener’s leave with their car’s trunk filled with rare and exotic plants. The RHIS Plant Yard in located in Prospect Park by the Carriage House.  Enter on South Cajon Street, watch for the Highland Avenue and Cajon Street directional signs to the Plant Yard, 1352 Prospect Drive, Redlands.  Plant Yard admittance is free, Garden Tour tickets are not required.

Tickets are for sale from 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. the Saturday and Sunday of the sale at any of the garden sites. Adults are $10.00 and children under 13 are free when accompanied by an adult. Tickets are also available, starting at 9:00 a.m., at the Plant Yard during the Uncommon Plant Sale.


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Cutler Group Building, 201 Cajon St.

The Cutler Building started out as the first Mortuary in Redlands back in 1903.  It became the YWCA in 1913 and remained so for 90 years.  Tom Cutler has been the owner for the past 7 years and has done extensive renovations to the building.  Where the auditorium once stood, is now a parking lot.  There is also a remembrance wall of old photos from the YWCA and a case of artifacts found during renovations.

The lovely courtyard, designed by Hellen Frances, has beautiful Japanese maple trees and large succulents in bright colorful pottery.  The plantings all around the building are placed beautifully and are drought tolerant.

The Cutler Group provides insurance and benefits to churches in California,

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Tim & Mary Andersen, 1655 Henrietta St.

Tim & Mary Andersen’s home, 1655 Henrietta Street, Redlands, is one of seven gardens on Redlands Horticultural and Improvement Society’s 2014 Garden Tour and Plant Sale Saturday and Sunday April 26-27.

The Andersen’s created their landscape to circle their home and provide interest with every turn. They reused the broken concrete from the old driveway, relocated many existing plants and installed a state of the art drip system to conserve water.

Their private front yard is landscaped primarily in whites: including azaleas, loropetalums, crepe myrtles, agapanthus, roses, and camellias. Japanese maples and a large jacaranda outline the circular driveway. Their backyard begins with a winding walkway through various fruit trees and a vegetable garden surrounding a quaint garden house. The further backyard combines a mixture of aloes, magnolias, azaleas, and several large sequoias creating an intimate and private setting.

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Don & Arlene Benson, 1228 S. Center St.

Don & Arlene Benson’s home, 1228 S. Center St. Redlands, is the second of seven gardens on Redlands Horticultural and Improvement Society’s 2014 Garden Tour and Plant Sale Saturday and Sunday April 26-27.

Anchored by two planters of roses, Don & Arlene Benson’s gardens include native plants, drought tolerant succulents and cacti as well as plants from the Redlands Horticultural and Improvement Society Plant Yard.

The Koi in the pond have permanent residence in the gardens welcoming visiting butterflies, birds, bees, dragon and damsel flies. Many plants were chosen to attract and give sustenance to such flying fauna, exampled by the butterfly garden at the north fence beside the tree stump.

The human visitor circling the house will discover the Tea Room niche, the living wall of succulents, the small fernery and Sweet Pea corner. There are spots to sit and reflect, none more so than in front of the wall of mirrors.

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Dennis Houlihan & Mike Coleman, 309 Felisa Ct.

Dennis Houlihan & Mike Coleman’s home, 309 Felisa Court, Redlands, is the third of seven gardens on Redlands Horticultural and Improvement Society’s 2014 Garden Tour and Plant Sale Saturday and Sunday April 26-27.

Two Silk Floss trees with natural plantings of bright red geraniums welcome visitors. The rear garden includes, two majestic Canary Island Date Palms that create a canopy of shade for the grassy knoll. A eucalyptus tree gives a place for a Stag horn fern to hang.

A circular rose garden is centered with brass cranes. Grounds include, mature sago, pigmy Queen and other palms. Australian tree ferns help create small eco systems that let many flowering shade plants and others thrive. Agapanthuses, Daylily’s, cacti, succulents, Giant Bird of Paradise, and Night blooming cactus are plentiful. A local artist painted the pool equipment fence with a mural depicting beautiful white Herons on  a tropical beach.

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Jo Ann Levine, 1014 W. Sunset Dr.

Jo Ann Levine, 1014 W. Sunset Drive, Redlands, is the fourth of seven gardens on Redlands Horticultural and Improvement Society’s 2014 Garden Tour and Plant Sale Saturday and Sunday April 26-27.

Thirty years ago Ms. Levine purchased her first home – a ranch-style track house surrounded by a garden consisting of almost 100% grass.  Pushing a lawn mower has never been her favorite pastime, so she began experimenting with plants.

The home owner’s latest endeavor has been succulents.  She feels, “They are capricious, forgiving and full of surprises – not unlike people!”  Their whimsical nature inspired her to accent the garden with unusual art and statuary.  The sunset orange color of the house was chosen with the intention of showing off the plants and of cheering up even the gloomiest of days.  “The enchantment of my garden never fails to make my heart sing,” says Jo Ann.

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Polly Sholl, 30802 Miradero St.

Poly Scholl and her late husband Edward moved to their home 45 years ago.  The grounds were in need of care with wild grasses and several different plants growing on the bank.  It was then, they began their garden journey. These days Wisteria graces the front pillars, and Cecile Brunner roses, my father’s favorite, grow on the bank of the side yard.  A giant chess board is always set-up and ready for play on this lovely shaded patio.  As you walk around you’ll find a very active herb garden neatly squared off in slightly raised beds.  A collection of colanders hang with strawberries overflowing from them, just at the right level to pick! Also in this area are citrus trees and an apricot tree.  Boysenberries grow on a tall trellis made of PVC pipe.

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Susan Schroeder, 840 Serpentine Dr.

Susan Schroeder and her daughter Mercedes bought their house in 2005. Thick, worn out grass wrapped around the property, and the sprinklers were broken most of the time. When they added a second story to the home in 2009, they decided to get rid of the grass and switch to a drought-tolerant yard. The couple loved cactus and succulents and had already planted a great many of them along the fence on the south side of the property. They decided to transplant the plants to the front, and then filled in around them. Mercedes, designed it all, first taking a photo of the house, and then photographing all the plants. Then she superimposed the plant images on the house photo, so the pair would have some idea of how things might appear once planted.


Contributed Content, Submitted by Frank Herendeen

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