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, 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 an April weekend, the Native Garden Tour is a self-guided walk through 20-25 private and public gardens in a geographical area of San Diego County. 

•      Self-guided tour of 21 private gardens, with each garden staffed by knowledgeable volunteer docents and homeowners. An additional 12 public and commercial gardens are available as stops on the tour. 

•      This year will be our sixth tour and will feature the North San Diego communities of Escondido, San Marcos, Vista, Oceanside, Carlsbad and Encinitas

•      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 (700 last year)

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

Click for details and registration...


 Photo credit: Phillip Roullard

Photo credit: Phillip Roullard

We host a Fall Workshop every September. After a day of presentations from numerous experts speaking from all angles on the subject, participants across the county have been inspired to plant or make improvements to a native garden.

A Winter Workshop is held in January or February. Next date soon to be announced.

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