Canadians inspired by protea garden to make Ramona their home

The 26-acre home Daniel MacDonald and Stephen Leonard get in touch with residence is on the northwestern slope of Mt. Woodson overlooking Lake Poway and the Blue Sky Ecological Reserve.

On a obvious working day they have unobstructed views to the ocean.

But it was not just the amazing perspective that prompted the two Canadians to shift from Toronto to settle in Ramona. They were being also drawn by an unique backyard planted with 5 acres of proteas, which are brilliantly coloured flowers with unconventional styles and textures.

In the early 2000s, the partners were being looking for a trip property in an place with a heat climate wherever they could be “snowbirds” in the winter months, MacDonald stated. Throughout their search, they frequented Florida, Texas and Arizona but none of them experienced what they have been hunting for — a home surrounded by mother nature, plenty of land and obtain to the mountains and ocean.

Daniel MacDonald and Stephen Leonard grow a variety of Proteas on their property on the northwestern slope of Mt. Woodson.

Daniel MacDonald and Stephen Leonard are escalating a variety of Proteas on their assets located on the northwestern slope of Mt. Woodson.

(Courtesy Daniel MacDonald)

When MacDonald was attending a convention in Rancho Bernardo for his task as a portfolio supervisor at a public pension program in 2005, he called Leonard and questioned whether or not they’d look at Southern California for their second household. MacDonald experienced hardly ever been to San Diego County ahead of and Leonard had only been there once in advance of, so they gave it some believed.

“In 2005 genuine estate was crazy high-priced so we started off our look for following that,” claimed MacDonald, who previously had accomplished a presentation on proteas for the Ramona Backyard garden Club). “We to start with visited Ramona in 2007. We ended up seeking for home in San Diego County with acreage.”

A real estate agent took MacDonald and Leonard on excursions of area attributes and the partners also drove all around searching on their personal. They discovered 15 acres near Lake Sutherland that suited them, but a few months after they ordered the open up land the Oct 2007 Witch Creek hearth went via and burned a lot of the trees, MacDonald mentioned.

“In 2008 and 2009 we constructed a little dwelling that was meant to be our wintertime put as snowbirds,” MacDonald reported. “We were likely again and forth.”

Then in April 2009, MacDonald and Leonard noticed an announcement about the Ramona Yard Club’s annual back garden tour in the Ramona Sentinel and resolved to go. They ended up awestruck by 5 acres of proteas on the property of Joann Cruz on the self-guided tour.

“I thought, there is no way these can grow on planet Earth,” MacDonald explained. “I believed they have been so attractive. It was really in just 15 months right after that that we saw the home for sale and jumped on it.”

As a substitute of coming to Ramona as snowbirds, the two determined to stay. Apart from the backyard, the property experienced a Southwestern-style residence with a wraparound deck, and a pair of h2o functions in a secluded place. In 2016 they got their environmentally friendly cards to dwell in the United States complete time.

Whilst continuing to get the job done in their fields, MacDonald as a expert in the financial investment discipline and Leonard as a household house manager in San Diego, they develop protea, Leucospermum (pincushions), Leucadendron (cone bushes), Banksia, Grevillea and other African and Australian native vegetation for the cut flower marketplace.

Their flowers are slice on and off throughout the yr by the intercontinental wholesaler Resendiz Brothers Protea Growers, centered in Rainbow near Fallbrook.

“The bouquets are in these types of high demand and they have longevity in floral preparations,” MacDonald claimed. “They ship perfectly and last very long.”

Proteas make beautiful, long-lasting floral arrangements.

Proteas make lovely, very long-lasting floral preparations.

(Courtesy Daniel MacDonald)

MacDonald and Leonard also propagate by cuttings and seeds and supply a compact assortment of protea and Australian indigenous vegetation for sale at their property-primarily based Mt. Woodson Flora small business. Later this yr, they system to provide vegetation, slice bouquets and seeds via the Etsy on the net store.

The Ramona Backyard Club requested MacDonald to give a presentation on protea at the Could 11 assembly, held at Mountain Check out Neighborhood Church. All through his slideshow of colorful bouquets in the Proteaceae spouse and children, he gave recommendations for expanding them. Amongst those highlights had been Banksias and Grevilleas.

Most species of Banksias are from Southwestern Australia and can selection from groundcovers to manageable large bushes to trees. They involve nicely-drained soils, comprehensive sunlight, superior air circulation and minimal humidity, he said. Though they are not drought-tolerant, they really do not have to have a whole lot of drinking water, in particular in the wintertime months. Different species flower throughout the 12 months and catch the attention of hummingbirds and bees.

Like the Banksias, most species of the Grevilleas are from Southwestern Australia and can array from groundcovers to little bushes to trees. Grevilleas are very low servicing and deliver vibrant, spiderlike or toothbrush-shaped bouquets.

Southern and central California places are amongst only 3 per cent of the earth that has a climate wherever proteas can mature and prosper, MacDonald stated. Other spots are Chile in South The usa, Southwest Australia, the Cape region in southwest South Africa, and the Mediterranean.

In addition to Mt. Woodson Flora, proteas can be bought at Gnosis Nursery and Farmstand 67 in Ramona, at Walter Andersen’s Nursery in Poway or on-line at eBay or Etsy.

For additional info, MacDonald suggests the publications “A Guideline to Cultivated Species and Kinds of Protea,” by Lewis Matthews, and “Proteas of the Globe,” by Lewis Matthews with illustrations by Zoe Carter.

To purchase proteas from MacDonald and Leonard by appointment, simply call 760-315-2260 or electronic mail them at [email protected]