CNPS-San Diego presents four special events each year. People travel from all throughout Southern California to attend these events and the events go far in educating, motivating, and inspiring the public to garden with California native plants.

To find more detailed information about these events and other events held on a monthly basis, check our Upcoming Events section of the website.

The events fall into the three basic categories listed below:


Photo credit: Joseph Sochor

Photo credit: Joseph Sochor

Held each year during April, the Native Garden Tour is a self-guided walk through private and public gardens in a geographical area of San Diego County. 

•      Self-guided tour of private gardens, with each garden staffed by knowledgeable volunteer docents and homeowners. Additional public and commercial gardens are available as stops on the tour. 

•      The 2020 tour will be our eighth tour

•      All gardens are water-thrifty and contain 60% or more native plants

•      Gardens commonly feature permeable surfaces, rainwater collection, or wildlife habitat

•      Tour gardens use little or no fertilizers and pesticides, thus exercising true source control of stormwater pollutants

•      Tour attendance has grown every year since its inception in 2012 (750 last year)

•      Visitor surveys indicate high rate of behavioral change, converting conventional gardens and implementing other water-saving measures

In 2020 the Tour will be held in East County.


Photo credit: Phillip Roullard

Photo credit: Phillip Roullard

Our next Winter Workshop will be held on Saturday, January 25 in Balboa Park. The workshop will be a day of presentations from numerous experts speaking from all angles on the subject. Many participants across the county have been inspired to plant or make improvements to a native garden after attending our workshops.

A Fall Workshop is traditionally held in September

The workshops

•      Provide a full day of lectures and demonstrations

•      Focus on practical issues of design, installation, and maintenance of California native plant gardens

•      Are held in fall/winter so attendees can learn, plan, and be ready to plant in time for the rainy season and before the rainy season is over

•      Visitor surveys indicate motivation to save water and have environmentally beneficial gardens

•      Qualify as continuing education for California Landscape Contractors Association (CLCA) and UC Master Gardeners


Photo credit: Phillip Roullard

Photo credit: Phillip Roullard

Our Fall Plant Sale, held in mid-October in Balboa Park offers thousands of native plants for purchase. The sale coincides with an optimal time of year to put native plants in the ground. Expert advice is available at the sale, along with literature, seeds, and native plant swag. The Fall Plant Sale is virtually a yearly homecoming for CNPS-SD members, visitors, and friends.

Banner photo by Barbara Hebel