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The Hornet

Serving the Fullerton Community Since 1922

The Hornet

The 30th annual Open Gardens Tour spruces up Fullerton

A yard known as the ‘Jurassic Yard’, a large Spanish Colonial Revival style garden and the

Police Station
An Open Gardens sign welcomes residents to the Police Station Gardens. The red balloon lets guests know it’s open to the public. Photo credit: Diana Garcia

winner of the Fullerton Beautiful Front Yard Award leading into a beautiful back yard, were three of seven points featured in Fullerton Beautiful’s Open Gardens Tour 2016 which took place on Sunday.

Founder of the Fullerton Beautiful organization, Molly McClanahan, was at the Fullerton College Horticulture Department along with others, to hand out self-guided tour maps to the seven locations for $15.

“We started out in 1984 because we were hosting the 1984 U.S. Olympics. So we said ‘Spruce up, Fullerton, company’s coming!’ and started by walking all the major architectures and cleaning up the trash,” McClanahan said.

According to the organization’s website, each spring up to ten privately selected gardens in Fullerton are open to the public under Fullerton Beautiful’s sponsorship. The goal is to showcase a diversity of landscape design, plant material and features which may offer ideas as well as an opportunity to interact with local gardeners,

This year included the Fullerton Police Station Gardens, the Spanish Colonial Revival Style that showcases succulent and California native plants.

Sarah Roberts
This do-it- yourself trail was created by the Roberts’ to provide an easy path for viewers. Photo credit: Diana Garcia


“Because of the drought we turned it into a drought-tolerant, succulent garden,” Dennis Quinlove said, Fullerton alumni and Director of Public Works.

“It’s developing and morphing over the years, we are real happy with the reduced maintenance and the good match with the beautiful building,” Quinlove added.

The Sarah Roberts Garden which won the 2015 Fullerton Beautiful Front Yard Award led into a wonderful back yard that featured a wishing well, bird houses, a fountain and an orange tree. Benches planted throughout the garden aimed to provide tranquility and comfort for guests.

The Crippen Garden, also known as the “Jurassic Garden”, reflects owner, Cheryl Crippen’s love of travel, animals and creativity.

This yard, as described by Fullerton Beautiful’s brochure, showcased East African inspired life-size metal giraffe sculptures by artist Ricardo Breceda, Moroccan-inspired lanterns and Mexican talavera tiles connecting social spaces.

Crippen Garden
East African inspired life-size metal giraffe sculptures by artist Ricardo Breceda can be found in the Crippen Garden. Photo credit: Diana Garcia


Crippen installed an amazing cat enclosure to keep her cats safe from coyotes as guests walked on 6 tons of pebbles.The nature of this yard is best described as whimsical.

The Emmanuel Community Garden, located on church grounds, is where members grow vegetables and flowers in 41 raised 4 by 8 beds, using the no-dig method. This year they are introducing their one-year old grape vines and look forward to making wine.


The Collins Garden, sprucing from a passion for the Orient and Japan, owner Kathy Collins, 98, cared for and maintained small plants to large bonsai over the decades to create her dream garden.

Collins shared that when she was young, she was marveled at a Japanese play and ever since then, she wanted her yard to look just like the set.

Beautiful Statue Collins Garden
One of many decorative statues that can be found throughout the Collins garden. Photo credit: Diana Garcia

The Spencer Garden, owner Nancy Spencer stated she loves designing and redesigning gardens. This one included fruit trees, a pond, and a succulent and cactus garden.

Lastly, the Sanders Garden. Two years ago landscape architect Alison Terry redesigned the pool in the yard using custom tiles made in Sausalito. The diagonal shape of the pool and the array of drought resistant plants are enjoyed by viewers.

According to organization members, a portion of the proceeds of Fullerton Beautiful’s Open Gardens Tour goes to funding scholarships at Fullerton College.

To join Fullerton Beautiful or for more information please visit their website.






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