Heirloom Botanic Gardens

Long has it been the desire of the MCHS Board of Directors, staff and volunteers to eventually present to the public various natural spaces throughout our campus that reflect the rich history of our region. It wasn’t until the arrival of Dawn Avery, our volunteer Director of Heritage garden Projects, MCHS board member and Master Gardener, in September 2020, that our hopes would begin to be realized.

The idea of these botanical gardens is to highlight the history of Agriculture in our County through the use of heirloom plant stock. Some examples we are working on acquiring include grape vine stock dating back to the 1770s; a cutting from a Mission San Juan Bautista Pear tree—the very last tree that was once part of a substantial orchard originally planted in 1804, and roses dating back to the 1760s including a specimen cutting from the Rose of Castille—stock originally brought to the region by Padre Junipero Serra. Additionally, we shall include a large California native plant section utilizing plants used by the First People’s in the regions for nourishment and medicinal purposes.

We shall also be incorporating various exterior architectural elements through the gardens including the poured concrete finials from the once famous Hotel Cominos in addition to bricks from the Spreckels Sugar refinery. The placement of gazebos, pagodas and elegant benches throughout will ultimately highlight the development of our central fountain reflecting the era of the 1870s. 

Phase I for the gardens has already commenced due to the generosity of a patron presently wishing to remain anonymous donating $10,000. This most important project needs ongoing sponsorship of time, talent and funding and please reach out to Dawn at 831-594-6144 or email her at: deltadavery@hotmail.com