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Happy Birthday, Crest Rim!
Linda Chisari | Crest Road

Early morning views over Crest Canyon.
Photo Linda Chisari.
Click to enlarge.

It’s been ten years since the Del Mar Garden Club took on the challenge of converting a roadside dirt parking area along Crest Road into a lovely neighborhood park, Crest Rim. Lane Goodkind, a Landscape Architect who grew up in Del Mar, designed the park. There’s an inscription on the beautiful stone bench that Lane dedicated to his mother, long-time resident and community activist Alice Goodkind. The plants and cost of construction were funded by generous donations from residents of Del Mar.

While lots of lizards and birds have always welcomed this new habitat, many of the plants have been far more reluctant, and their growth, or lack of same, has been a challenge and learning experience for Garden Club members. The original plant palette was chosen from a short list of plants that are native to and thrive in Crest Canyon, below and to the east of the park. The Garden Club didn’t want to introduce ‘alien’ plants that might spread to the Canyon and threaten the native species.

Early morning views over Crest Canyon.
Photo Linda Chisari.
Click to enlarge.

To a large extent, these natives are doing well. Our own Del Mar Manzanita, federally-listed as endangered, was a prime choice, and one original one, directly south of the main entry and across from the project’s name-bearing boulder, has done exceedingly well. Other Del Mar Manzanitas have struggled and been replaced. Several still hang on but remain very small. Plants that have done well include three varieties of Dudleya, White Sage, Beach Asters and Lemonadeberry. A few non-native interlopers appear every Spring (Nasturtiums, ‘Freeway Daisies’, Statice, to name a few) and, because of their fleeting beauty, are tolerated and then removed after they bloom. Some truly-unwanted invasives are removed as soon as they’re noticed; Crystalline Iceplant and Tumbleweeds would happily take over the entire park if allowed to creep in.

The park was watered by hand for the first two years after planting, but regular watering is no longer done. Garden Club members, with the help of a few neighbors, have diligently pulled and bagged weeds and cut back dead growth several times a year. Assistance from hired gardeners helps with the heavy-duty end of season clean-up.

This lovely park is a living ‘front porch’ where neighbors, walkers, dogs and passers-by can meet and enjoy a tranquil respite. It’s Spring! Come and sit for a while!




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