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Taking a peek inside private Fallbrook gardens

While locals and visitors appreciate the rural beauty of the Fallbrook area as they meander through the rolling hills, an opportunity to get a peek inside the private gardens of some of Fallbrook’s most talented green thumbs shouldn’t be passed up.

For the 15th year, the Fallbrook chapter of the American Association of University Women (AAUW) has organized and will present its Country Garden Tour, which not only gives attendees a behind-the-garden-gate look at some of Fallbrook’s most attractively landscaped homes, but also raises funds for educational scholarships for deserving young women in the community.

Each year the tour exudes a slightly different overall feel, and Jeff Nelson, chairperson of the 2010 event, describes this year’s as “country casual, with emphasis on native plants, flowers with ponds, water features, statues, and more.”

One of the gardens on the tour is that of Wanda Mallen and Gary Vincent’s. This garden has elements of a bird sanctuary, with numerous bird houses for the favored wildlife to use as nesting boxes. These little structures attract birds that prefer protected cavities of small hollows for their nests. The boxes end up compensating for lost habitats where these birds would normally nest.

Many Fallbrook residents also select specific plant and tree types that attract birds; put out thistle seed to attract finches and chickadees; and sunflower/safflower mixes to welcome cardinals, wrens, doves and blue jays.

Nelson also said as Fallbrookians have had to address water conservation, many of the gardens open to the public in the tour will showcase varieties of succulents and other plant material that are not large water consumers.

The tour will take place on Saturday, May 8, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Those that are able to plan ahead to attend should take advantage of buying their ticket in advance, for $15. On the day of the tour, the journey will begin at the historic Palomares House, 1815 S. Stage Coach Lane, Fallbrook, where if you don’t have a ticket you will be able to purchase one for $20. This will entitle tour participants to the map of the seven home gardens on the tour and complimentary refreshments.

Those who wish to purchase a ticket in advance or have questions about the tour may wish to call Jeff Nelson, chairperson of the event, at (760) 451-9532.

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