San Diego Floral Association
California Garden Magazine

California Garden

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January/February 2019 Volume 110 No. 1

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California Garden

In This Issue


  • President’s Message
  • Contributing Authors
  • SDFA Quarterly Meeting
  • SDFA Celebrates Kate Sessions
  • Football and Flowers
  • Floral’s Annual Festival of Trees

California Garden


  • Now is the Time
  • Growing Grounds: The Avocado in San Diego County: Early Years
  • San Diego Botanic Garden: History Highlights
  • Interview with Ari Novy, PhD, President & CEO at SDBG
  • The Dickinson Family Education Conservatory
  • Lucky in His Work: Tony Gurnoe, Director of Horticulture at SDBG
  • Saying Goodbye to Julian Duval, President Emeritus at SDBG
  • Book Review
  • Support Your Favorite Plants and Join a Plant Society
  • SDFA Affiliates
  • January/February Gardening Events Calendar
  • From the Archives of California Garden


Publication Staff

EXECUTIVE EDITOR - Francine Phillips

ASSOCIATE EDITOR - Nancy Carol Carter

Judy Kirsten, Lisa Prindle, Denise Thompson

ART DIRECTOR - Rachel Cobb


John Blocker, Nancy Carol Carter, Thea Gurns, Kay Harry, Francine Phillips, Lee Somerville

Special Thanks Now is the Time contributors
Lisa Prindle, Membership Records


The first issue of California Garden magazine was printed in July of 1909.

The magazine specialized in information for growing plants in the San Diego area. It is the oldest horticulture magazine in continuous publication in the United States. Except for a brief two-year period, all writers, editors, and photographers have been volunteers, many of whom are well-known authorities in their fields.

Even though the organization was founded for beautification of San Diego, many people wanted to grow vegetables and fruits, so California Garden expanded to give advice on growing edible items. Today subscribers include readers in foreign countries with similar climatic conditions, as well as in colder areas of the United States, where the information is used for growing plants in greenhouses.

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First Place

California Garden Wins First in Journalism Contest
California Garden
is the proud winner of a first place prize in the annual Excellence in Journalism Awards presented by the San Diego Press Club during an Oct. 24 ceremony in Balboa Park.

The professional organization is the third largest of its kind in the United States. More than 400 print, television and online journalists attended the event, now in its 39th year.

California Garden was honored in the trade publication category as the best association publication. Executive Editor Mary James accepted the award on behalf of SDFA, publishers of the magazine since 1909, and her California Garden colleagues, Associate Editors Nancy Carol Carter and Aenne Carver and Art Director Rachel Cobb.

Judges praised the magazine for its “variety of useful and fascinating information, from how you can get a free tree to when to prune your kiwi vines to how to take better photos of flowers. History, background, events – it seems as if this publication is a labor of love by many, many contributors and the love fairly glows on the pages.”

A freelance writer and editor, James also won first, second and third place awards for garden features that appeared in San Diego Home-Garden/Lifestyles magazine. She also took home second place honors for a design story also published in San Diego Home-Garden/Lifestyles.

A plaque celebrating the SDFA win is on display in its Balboa Park office, Room 105 of Casa del Prado.

Congratulations to all involved in producing the magazine, published six times a year and distributed to SDFA members. Included are Kay Harry, advertising director; Bonne Gebhardt, associate editor and copy editor; and Editorial Board members Amy Wood and John Blocker, author of “Growing Grounds.”

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