Click photo to enlarge
Mary Johnson and Dale Lefler, both of Carmel, check out wildflowers at the 2003 Pacific Grove Wildflower Show, held every year at the Pacific Grove Museum of Natural History.

Spring is just around the corner, and you know what that means — spring garden shows, tours and other events are beginning to bloom.

And one of the largest events of all, although not in Monterey County, deserves mention because of the participation of several local businesses. The 27th annual San Francisco Flower & Garden Show this year will feature Succulent Gardens of Castroville, Elkhorn Garden Dahlias of north Monterey County, and Sierra Azul in Watsonville as exhibitors.

Succulent Gardens is no stranger to the event, having exhibited there for several years, and last year winning Best in Show for commercial exhibits. Owner Robin Stockwell is also well known for his work in vertical gardening, and in 2010 collaborated with the design firm Organic Mechanics to create a succulent-covered structure at the show that won a gold medal. The nursery specializes in growing high-quality succulent plants; for information, see

Also slated for the show is Elkhorn Garden Dahlias, which grows 550 varieties of colorful dahlias as well as 900 species of rare and specialty flowering perennials. Information: Sierra Azul, just over the Monterey County border near Watsonville, is a favorite with gardeners seeking drought-tolerant plants;

For information about the San Francisco Flower & Garden Show, the largest garden festival of its kind in the western United States, see The show take place March 21-25 at the San Mateo Event Center, and includes 20 full-sized garden installations from top Bay Area designers as well as exhibits, seminars and other activities.

Other upcoming spring garden events:

· The Monterey Parks Division's ever-popular Cutting Day and Horticulture Faire is set for Saturday, March 17 from 9 a.m. till noon at Monterey's Friendly Plaza, next to Colton Hall on Pacific Street. Residents are asked to bring their plants and cuttings to the drop-off point on Pierce Street.

Cutting Day, long a favorite of Monterey-area plant fans, is a chance for gardeners to get together and exchange plant cuttings and plants. The 56th annual event will also feature displays on drought-tolerant plants, bonsai and drip irrigation. Other activities include a cutting demonstration, free advice from garden experts, and giveaways of tree seedlings.

It's all free to the public, and takes place rain or shine. For information, see or call 646-3860.

· The 2012 Central Coast Home, Garden, Culinary & Wine Expo takes place March 24-25, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. daily at the Cocoanut Grove Ballroom in Santa Cruz. Feng shui gardening and sustainable living are among the topics for the weekend; the Monterey Bay Master Gardeners will also be on hand to dispense garden advice. Admission is $3, and kids 12 and younger are admitted free with an adult. Information:

· Bring your bulbs, divisions, seeds and cuttings to exchange with other gardeners at the free Marina Cutting Day on April 1, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Hosted by the Marina Tree & Garden Club, it takes place at the Marina Farmers Market, 215 Reservation Road. For information, see

· The Monterey Bay Dahlia Society will hold its annual Root Sale on April 7 from 9 a.m.-noon. The society will sell dahlia tubers near the Red Apple Café at Deer Park Shopping Center in Aptos. There will also be a second-chance sale on April14 at the Cabrillo College Farmers Market. Details:

· Get into the swing of spring at the free Smart Gardening Fair on April 14, 10 a.m.-4 p.m., hosted by the Monterey Bay Master Gardeners. The event at Crossroads Shopping Village in Carmel includes vendors, speakers, and demonstrations during the day, as well as nonprofit group and garden club members sharing their knowledge.

Ongoing demonstrations of plant propagation, composting, beekeeping and more are scheduled throughout the day, as well as speakers and kids' activities. Information:

· The 51st annual Pacific Grove Wildflower Show is set for April 20-22 at the museum, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. daily, presented by the museum and the Monterey Bay chapter of the California Native Plant Society. More than 600 wildflower species and varieties will be on display, making it the largest wildflower show in the northern and western hemispheres. Information:

· The Monterey County Spring Home Show returns on April 28-29 to the Monterey County Fairgrounds, 2004 Fairground Road, Monterey. The event features more than 100 home and garden professionals as well as drawings and giveaways throughout the weekend. Information:

· The spring show and sale of the Monterey Bay Area Cactus & Succulent Society takes place April 28-29 at Jardines Restaurant, 115 Third St. in San Juan Bautista. Members will show off prized plants and also sell a variety of succulent species.

· The 43rd annual Carmel Valley Garden Show will deliver its outstanding mix of art, flower arrangements, and family-friendly activities May 4-6 at the Hidden Valley Institute for the Arts. Exhibits of cut flowers and orchids highlight the two days, as well as garden vendors, a plant sale, art exhibits and a children's discovery garden. Information:

· The Aromas Country Garden Tour returns once more for a look at some beautiful home gardens in north Monterey County on Saturday, May 12,10 a.m.-4 p.m. The self-guided tour starts at the Aromas Grange, Rose and Bardue avenues, where tickets and maps will be available. Local artists will show and sell their work at many of the gardens. For information, see

· The Monterey Bay Rose Society will host its annual Rose Show at Alladin Nursery in Watsonville, beginning at noon on May 12. The show is open both to members and nonmembers, with judging taking place that morning. Information:

· The Historic Garden League of Monterey will host itsfundraising event, History in Bloom, on May 26 from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. in the Casa del Oro Garden at the corner of Scott and Pacific Streets in Monterey. Plans include a plant sale, a raffle, tea and cookies, and helpful advice from Al Graham, "The Answer Man," who will be available to answer questions about plants and gardens. Details:

· The Monterey Bonsai Club will showcase the living sculptures of bonsai at its annual exhibition on June 3 at Monterey Buddhist Temple, 1150 Noche Buena St., Seaside. Club members will show some of their best work at the exhibition, as well as dispensing advice and education. Bonsai and bonsai pots will be for sale, and demonstrations are also planned. Information: