Ecke Ranch once again donated its Spring Trials plant material to Community Resource Center (CRC), which saw record attendance and raised more than $28,000 in critical funding at its 10th Annual Garden Tour & Plant Sale on April 9.
The popular event included five residential garden stops in North County San Diego, plus exclusive admission to Ecke Ranch for a private plant sale that included an incredible selection of blooming spring plants at below-market prices. The event attracts gardening aficionados from all over Southern California. All proceeds from ticket and plant sales go to CRC programs for women, children and families in crisis.
The exclusive plant sale at Ecke Ranch was added to the garden tour five years ago and has become the most popular part of Community Resource Center’s charity tour. The tour is consistently responsible for more than half of the event’s earnings.
This year, the plant sale alone raised a record $18,700. Paul Ecke III, owner and CEO of Ecke Ranch, along with his staff, worked his traditional all-day volunteer shift at the plant sale and was joined by his wife, Julie Hampton, and their daughter, Polly Ecke. Lizbeth Ecke and children, Matthew and Lillie also pitched in. A number of Ecke Ranch staff bring their spouses or children to help at the plant sale every year, as well.
Long-time CRC Board Member and plant guru, Evelyn Weidner, started the annual garden tour 10 years ago as a way both to expose the public to beautiful gardens in North County San Diego and to support Community Resource Center, a North County agency that provides critical services for victims of domestic violence and families in need of food and shelter assistance.
“The Plant Sale is the only day of the year that the Ecke Ranch is open to the public, and they line up early to get first pick of their favorite plants,” Ecke III says. “It’s nice to see people’s joy as they pick out their plants, and it’s even more gratifying to know that it’s all for a great cause.”
Laurin Pause, executive director of Community Resource Center, is amazed by how much the annual garden tour has grown over the years.
“What a way to mark the 10th anniversary of an event that Evelyn Weidner created to bring together a love of gardening and a desire to help our neighbors in need,” Pause says. “What a way to mark the fifth Anniversary of the Ecke Ranch Plant Sale, which has become a signature part of the garden tour and has consistently doubled event revenues since it started.”
Learn more about Ecke Ranch online at www.ecke.com.