Green isn’t just for grinches

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This holiday season, shoppers, and those seeking a shopping respite, should head to The Water Conservation Garden, a green oasis of tranquility and conservation wisdom with a newly updated gift shop nestled in the heart of Rancho San Diego.

The Garden, a non-profit cultural institution, has been helping San Diegans live more sustainably since 1999 via its 5-acre living laboratory, which demonstrates how extraordinary water-saving landscapes can be in a southern California region hallmarked by scant rainfall and imported water supplies.

This holiday season, shoppers, and those seeking a shopping respite, should head to The Water Conservation Garden, a green oasis of tranquility and conservation wisdom with a newly updated gift shop nestled in the heart of Rancho San Diego.

The Garden, a non-profit cultural institution, has been helping San Diegans live more sustainably since 1999 via its 5-acre living laboratory, which demonstrates how extraordinary water-saving landscapes can be in a southern California region hallmarked by scant rainfall and imported water supplies.

As a demonstration garden, the venue showcases over 800 species of flora–both native and that of Mediterranean-climate countries throughout the globe– highlighting the diverse selection of plants that thrive in San Diego landscapes, but demand less at the faucet. Visitors will meet Pincushion Protea from South Africa, Acacia and Kangaroo Paw from Australia, and Manzanita and Coast Live Oak, to name a few.

For those serious about making their landscapes more San Diego-friendly, The Garden offers gardening classes year-round and a nursery. Classes on lawn removal, basic landscape design, rainwater harvesting, and irrigation are included in the education program, and partner water agencies offer generous rebates that assist homeowners in making the transition to more sustainable landscapes.

A Plant of the Month program will begin at The Garden in January of 2013.

The Garden may be known for its mission to inspire San Diegans to save more water in the landscape, but people may not be familiar with its newly remodeled onsite gift shop that brims with unusual gift items, many crafted by local artisans.

Rare finds include garden-themed glass bowls, sustainable mango wood serving trays, fair trade handbags and scarves from Thailand, and for the kids, butterfly kites and magic, color-changing bug t-shirts.
A selection of plant and wildlife themed jute bags, perfect for trips to the market, will help gift recipients be green shoppers year-round.

To kick off the holiday shopping season, The Garden will host a sale and open house on Saturday, December 8, from 9am-4pm. A special program from 11am-2pm will feature family-friendly holiday fun: Digital photos with “Father Nature”, mini cupcake decorating, and a children’s holiday gift-buying table (all items $1 or less). As a bonus, garden members and those who become members, get special discounted pricing on items throughout the store.

The Garden is located at 12122 Cuyamaca College Dr. W, El Cajon, CA 92019 and is open daily from 9am-4pm.
For more information, please visit www.thegarden.org or call 619-660-0614.

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