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Tour of garden-fresh variety at Woodbridge
Herleene Bebout, wearing a colorful floral outfit to the Woodbridge Garden Tour at Del Webb, joins other Del Webb residents and guests in surveying the wide array of drawing prizes before dropping in their tickets in their appropriate boxes. - photo by ROSE ALBANO RISSO/ The Bulletin
It was a tour for all the senses with plenty of intellectual stimulation to sweeten the experience.

Guests meandered through the Pleasant Knoll, Appleleaf, Maple Valley, Holly Berry, Gardenstone, Pepper Tree, Bell chase and Belle Glade gardens. There were two along Bellchase and Pepper Tree, and three on Belle Glade.

Bundled together, there were 13 gardens to preview within a five-hour period. But that was just the cake. The icing to the second annual Woodbridge at Del Webb garden tour over the weekend came in the form of lectures focusing on garden-related topics, a farmer’s market, and a plant sale. That’s not even mentioning the luncheon and the drawing for a lot of unique prizes. There was also a book and magazine give-away (the book was the Manteca Garden Club’s recipe book), plus live music entertainment featuring Sierra High School’s jazz band led by band director Rick Hammarstrom.

Lecture presenters were Delta College horticulture instructor Andria Bersi who gave a talk on “Gardening to attract birds, butterflies and other beneficials,” North San Joaquin Valley Chapter of The California Native Plants Society president Jim Brugger who gave a presentation on “California native plants for landscaping in the Central Valley,” and Master Gardener Program coordinator Marcy Hachman whose topic was, “All-star plantings: UC Horticultural recommendations for low water use and low chemical use landscape plants.”

Throughout the five-hour garden tour, Kenny and Denise Eastburn of Denise’s Farmers Market on East Highway 120 in Ripon were kept busy by Del Webb residents and guests who scooped up fresh green avocado, cherries, tree-ripened apricots and no-fuzz peaches, sweet oranges, and other produce by the pound and by the bundle. Next to the farmers market in the parking lot of Del Webb’s clubhouse, Annette Roddan and sister-in-law Donna Reich of New Buds Nursery on South Manteca Road talked to a steady stream of visitors who browsed through a wide variety of perennials, annuals, tree gardenias and a host of other plants looking for the special horticultural specimen to bring home.

Among those who opened their private back-yard paradise for the tour were retired Sierra High School principal Rick Arucan and wife Doreen, and retired orthopedic surgeon Bill Egelston and wife Lynn.

One of the prizes given away during the special drawing was an original oil painting of hummingbirds by porcelain painting artist and teacher Mary DiMaggio.