Tustin is truly a city of trees

by Juanita Lovret
Reprinted courtesy of the Tustin News

The beauty of Tustin has long been touted. A newspaper clipping from 1911 quotes the Episcopal Bishop of California, the Right Reverend Bishop Kipp, as saying, “Tustin is the most beautiful garden spot I ever set foot on.”

The article describes Tustin as an exceptionally lovely place of natural beauty with trees lining its streets and avenues and picturesque homes buried in a wealth of shrubbery and flowers. One hundred years later, this description is apt for the four gardens open on Saturday’s Tustin Area Historical Society 2010 Promenade Home and Garden Tour.

The Pankey family’s garden on West Main is lush with specimen trees, many of them over 100 years old, as well as a bounty of shrubs and flowers. The sycamore in the rear yard is believed to be a survivor from the belt of sycamore timber marked on an early map of the Spanish land grant for Rancho Santiago de Santa Ana, from which Columbus Tustin bought land for Tustin City.

A magnolia dates back to the 1880s when W.L. Adams planted it to shade his Victorian home. Three Canary Island date palms and a coast redwood also are thought to have been planted by Adams. A Norfolk Island pine, about 70 years old, was probably planted around 1918 by Will Ferry, original owner of the Pankey’s Mediterranean Revival house. Orange, kumquat, and loquat trees are reminders of the days when citrus thrived in Tustin.

Across the street, the Edgell garden is shaded by many oak trees, one of them estimated to be at least 200 years old. Inviting nooks allow one to sit and enjoy the beauty of the garden as well as the 1905 Dutch Colonial house, which has been doubled in size with a carefully planned addition.

Cathy, owner of the Vintage Lady, which occupies one of Tustin’s oldest buildings, the original office of Dr. Sheldon in the 1880s as well as the home of The Jabberwocky, Margaret Pottage’s clothing store for teenage girls during the 1960s and ’70s, selects a theme each year for the exquisite garden which she maintains behind the shop.

This year she is stressing the effective use of herbs. In addition to demonstrating how herbs can add interest and charm to a small garden, she will be offering samples and recipes of the ways herbs can accent cooking.
Jon and Jolene Illingworth have designed an intimate garden garden that is compatible with their Victorian Italianate style home on West Main.

The tranquility of the koi pond invites you to rest in the shade of the adjacent gazebo, while the plantings urge you out to explore and enjoy.

Built between 1870 and 1885, the house was home to his grandfather, William Leinberger, assistant cashier at the First National Bank of Tustin for 50 years, and his grandmother Grace from 1920 to the 1970s.

Tickets for the Promenade, which follows the theme “The Roots and Trees of Tustin,” from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, are available at the museum for $20 ($25 at the door). Contact the museum (714-731-5701) for more information or go to their website, www.tustinhistory.com.


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