San Diego Floral Association
California Garden: Centennial Compilation 1909-2009

Learn the San Diego Floral Association history by reading articles written by the founding members and authors who came after them. 256 pages. See pictures of members, flower shows, early magazine covers and other activities. Enjoy the long history of our magazine.

Centennial Cover

Editor’s Note
Immersion in the California Garden pages, a hundred years worth, is the glad part of editing this book. The sad part is being able to fit in such scant selection of material, knowing so many fine, captivating contributions will not make the cut because of stringent space considerations. So many idiosyncratic, telling details jump out—Guy Fleming remembers his introduction to San Diego waking in a downtown hotel to the sound of dynamite blasting holes into City Park hardpan so trees could be planted; Richard B. Howard, stationed in the Fiji Islands during World War II, recommends Fijian plants for San Diego and asks for seeds from home to try out on his island post; Glen Chase, La Jolla artist, draws a 1972 cover picturing an enchanting elf on a garden stroll.

Room has been found for the luminaries—the eminent Alfred D. Robinson, of course, Theodore Payne, Lester Rowntree, Kate Sessions, Alice Rainford, Roland Hoyt, Rosalie Garcia, Barbara Jones, Lucy Warren. Among more contemporary authors, the editor wishes writers such as Marion Almy Lippitt, Carol Greentree, Nibby Klinefelter, Gina Wright, Christine Wotruba would have found space within.

All selections are offered in full, but the reader will note references to a preceding article or the promise of a following piece or perhaps a reply to an earlier author on some topic, all of which are not included in this compilation. At times an accompanying photo is mentioned but not shown because of condition quality.

Editorial bias favors selections from an earlier era. Composed in personal voice, they charm with their viewpoint, but also the history of the topics and events they cover is today neglected, background details forgotten. California Garden history deserves revival. In most instances, they tell it best who told it at the time. –Thea Gurns

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Centennial Compilation


Mission: To promote the knowledge and appreciation of horticulture and floriculture in the San Diego region.