Two busloads of avid gardeners will converge on the southern tier of the California Pack Trials on Saturday, when Ball Horticultural Co. and Jackson & Perkins/Suntory host the Fresno Master Gardeners in Santa Paula and Somis, Calif.
“This is a group of passionate gardeners who really know very little of how our industry works,” says Danny Takao of Takao Nursery in Fresno, who helped organize the trip. “Lou Aguirre of Jackson & Perkins and Pete Kruger of Ball Horticulture will be taking the 90-plus Master Gardeners behind the scenes and introducing them to Pack Trials.”
The two Master Gardeners coordinating the tour are Rita Evans and Gail Cole. The group will spend the first day at the trials and then spend the next day in Pasadena, visiting Vescanso Gardens, Huntington Botanical Gardens and Armstrong Garden Center.
The group plans a tour each year as part of its educational component, alternating between California and other locations out of state and even out of the country. Last fall, the group visited Charleston, S.C., and Savannah, Ga. In 2006, the group flew to England. Excited about visiting the California Pack Trials, Evans says, “We always like to do something new and exciting and this fits the bill! Master Gardeners live to have fun and they live to learn.”