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A community that’s blooming in Cayucos

How do gardens grow in Cayucos? Odds are that each bloom, bulb, tuber and cactus that springs up in Cayucos’ flower beds, vegetable gardens and streetscapes was originally potted and planted — and maybe even sold — by a Cayucos Garden Club member.

Chartered in 1966, the club’s first president was Mitzi Steward; the 21st and current president is Margaret Bretz. The 38 active members enjoy a variety of garden-related meetings and socials from September through May, but behind the scenes, members dedicate much of their year preparing pots and plants for the annual Memorial Day scholarship plant sale.

The goal is to award three $500 scholarships to Cayucos seniors graduating from Coast Union High School.

Betty Hall, who was president in 1991-92, said, “The first $100 scholarship went to Mary Miller’s daughter, Maureen Carlson. She still lives in Cayucos and reminds us how much help it was. When Elaine Thompson was president, she made a decision that saved us time and we still made more money. We stopped pricing the plants. People donated what they felt they could. They’ve been very generous.”

Thompson is a current co-chair along with Marjorie Reinhart and Martha Fasching.

Bretz reported the club sold 900 plants last year. “This Friday and Saturday, the sale is at 921 South Ocean from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. We’ll have wheat grass, succulents, geraniums, cactus and a variety of orchids, just to name a few.”

Members have a common interest in gardening and enjoy making new friends.

Pat Moon likes how they help the community. They planted 100 daffodil bulbs at the Veterans Hall and give holiday baskets to needy Cayucos families.

Who’s that weeding and watering the triangle planter at Old Creek Road and Highway 1? The driving force is Betty Hall.

Meetings are on third Wednesdays. Past President Betsy Watts, who moved here from the Central Valley, said, “Sometimes we’re learning at meetings. The dirt is different here. Sometimes we tour gardens. We’ve been to the bonsai gardens in Nipomo, Hearst Castle and the Pasadena Showcase.”

Like Watts, Dixie Lindquist is from the Valley and discovered everything grows year-round and well in Cayucos. She and neighbor Kathryn Eckle became friends sharing garden discussions over their fence.

Watts is proud of the younger members.

“They have really made a difference,” she said. “We’re now active with other clubs. ... They know how to create events to raise more for our community.”

Bretz suggested visiting the club’s website at to learn more.

“I have a friend who says she loves to look at our website because it is just so pretty.”

Reach Judy Salamacha at or 801-1422.