the urban horticulturist.
Summer 2012  Volume 28 Number 2  

This publication is made possible through a grant from the Rice Family Foundation.

For more information, please visit our website at

Online edition    

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Inside this issue

Students Awarded Scholarships

Thanks to Scholarship Donors


Meet Andrew Lau, Rice Family Foundation Intern

2012-13 Interns


2012-13 CCBS Officers 


Welcome New Instructor Patrick Crais  


OH Nursery Sells 31 Pollarded Sycamores  


Spring Festival Draws Crowd to OH Nursery 


Pinot & Pints - Introducing the OH Alumni Network 


Aggie Open Golf Tournament      

Schedule of Events

Pinot & Pints
OH Alumni Network Kickoff

Thursday, Oct. 4 

5 to 8 p.m.

Water Conservation Garden at Cuyamaca College

16th Annual Aggie Open Golf Tournament

Friday, Oct. 26 

10:30 a.m. Registration

Noon Tee Time 

Bonita Golf Club 


5th Annual Sustainable Urban Landscape Conference

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Cuyamaca College


20th Annual

Spring Garden Festival

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Cuyamaca College


32nd Annual Scholarship and Awards Dinner

Thursday, May 16, 2013

This publication is made possible through a grant from the Rice Family Foundation.

The Urban Horticulturalist is published by the Cuyamaca College Ornamental Horticulture Department and the Cuyamaca College Botanical Society. It has a circulation of more than 9,000 industry members and horticulturists in Southern California and the United States. Correspondence regarding this publication should be addressed to:


Cuyamaca College Ornamental Horticulture Department


900 Rancho San Diego Parkway El Cajon, CA 92019


(619) 660-4262


Email address:


Community College District
Governing Board Members

Bill Garrett
Mary Kay Rosinski
Edwin Ramon Hiel

Greg Barr
Debbie Justeson

Student Members 
Samantha Elliot
Mohammed Alyasini

Cindy L. Miles, Ph.D.

Cuyamaca College President 
Mark Zacovic, Ph.D.

Urban Horticultural Staff

Joan Tammariello, Editor
Don Schultz, Adviser

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$30,000 in Scholarships Awarded Scholarships
Scholarship winners - May 2012
OH scholarship recipients for 2012 are pictured at the 31st annual awards dinner. See below for a complete list.

The Cuyamaca College Botanical Society (CCBS) recently hosted its annual scholarship dinner and celebrated the retirement of Ornamental Horticulture Program Coordinator Brad Monroe.


More than $30,000 in scholarships were awarded to 39 students at the 31st Annual Scholarship and Awards Dinner at the Estancia Hotel and Spa in La Jolla on May 16.


Scholarship donors, recipients and guests also were treated to a presentation by Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College District Chancellor Cindy Miles, who anointed Brad the Garden Guru and presented him with a ceremonial hat. Brad, who came to Cuyamaca in 1979 and took the lead in building the OH program, has vowed to remain active in the OH community and is spearheading a new group, the Ornamental Horticulture Alumni Network.


CCBS President Louise Parks hosted the festivities, and OH instructor Steve Jacobs presented the scholarships. Along with Chancellor Miles, District Board President Bill Garrett attended the event. Cuyamaca College President Mark Zacovic, former college President Samuel Ciccati and Division ll Dean Danene Brown also attended.  

Brad Monroe at scholarship dinner May 2012
Retiring OH Program Coordinator Brad Monroe tries out the Garden Guru turban presented to him by Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College District Chancellor Cindy Miles as a cardboard cutout of Brad looks on.
ScholarshipListThank You to All of Our Scholarship Donors                         Back to Top
2012 scholarship winners - screen pic
Plant Geek a Perfect Fit for Rice Nursery InternshipAndrewLau

By Andrew Lau
Andrew Lau, Rice Family Foundation Intern
Andrew Lau

Growing up in Hawaii, I have loved plants from an early age. I grew things like chocolate, vanilla, coffee, tea, cinnamon, nutmeg, black pepper, sugar cane, pineapple and other tropical plants. I also went through a period of collecting and growing old garden roses or heirloom roses. It was a challenge to get them to grow in a tropical climate, but I did have limited success with a few. I was delighted when I was able to grow the Sweet Briar Rose (R. eglanteria) in Hawaii. This single-petal rose with apple-scented foliage is native to the British Isles and was mentioned by Shakespeare in the 1500s.


In later years, I learned that gardening can be done almost anywhere. I was an apartment dweller on the East Coast for a couple of years and managed a nice collection of unusual orchid species. I also had a collection of more than 30 amaryllis, all on windowsills. I am currently collecting and growing plumerias and vintage chrysanthemums.


I have a B.A. degree in Art from the University of Hawaii, but I have worked at various corporate jobs in the past. None of them was satisfying. Because of the bad economy in recent years, it seemed like the good time to go back to school and study horticulture. I have always been a plant geek and a passionate gardener, so I wanted to explore horticulture as a potential career path.


Taking horticulture classes at Cuyamaca College has opened up many more options for my future career path. I have really enjoyed working at the OH nursery for the past year. Not only does it beat being cooped up in an office, but you get to interact with fellow plant lovers, including customers who are avid gardeners with years of experience. What fun!


My eventual goal is to establish my own backyard business as a grower specializing in rare, exotic and tropical plants. However, working at OH nursery is a valuable experience since it is like being on the front line. It puts you directly in touch with how customers are thinking about plants and gardening - more people are considering xeriscaping and a sustainable approach to gardening. This information will go a long way in helping me establishing my own business after I graduate.                     


Andrew Lau, a Rice Family Foundation intern, is assistant retail manager of the Cuyamaca College Nursery.                                                                                                                                 Back to Top 

2012-13 OH Department Interns InternsList

We are grateful to the donors who make internships in the Ornamental Horticulture Department possible each year. Thanks in no small part to their generosity, OH students are able to gain the expertise and experience they need to succeed. 


Rice Family Foundation

Edwina Perez - Retail Nursery Manager

Andrew Lau - Assistant Retail Manager

Steve Zampanti - Head Nursery Grower

Pat Brazell - Assistant Grower


Mission Hills Garden Club

Tyler Hajosy - Arborist


Bernardo Gardeners Club

Joanne Brannigan - Retail Nursery Associate


Southern California Plumeria Society

Cris Falco - Plumeria Grower


California Rare Fruit Growers, San Diego Chapter

David Boggs - Fruit Orchard Manager


Other Student Interns

Amanda Tarantino - Retail Nursery Associate

Alesha Turner - Retail Nursery Associate

Arron Robinson - Assistant Grower

Todd Walker - Landscape Technician

Kandyce Pequignot - Landscape Technician

Barbara Bender - Office Assistant

Nick Sousa - Weekend Waterer                                                                                          Back to Top 

OH Alumni Network to Kick Off PinotAndPints
Pinot & Pints poster Alumni and friends of the OH Department will gather in October for Pinot & Pints, a premier event to launch the new Ornamental Horticulture Alumni Network. The Foundation for Grossmont and Cuyamaca Colleges is hosting Pinot & Pints, which will feature wine and beer tasting, live entertainment and an opportunity drawing.

Participants will be able to network with current and former students, faculty, staff and industry leaders. Pinot & Pints will also be a retirement celebration for longtime OH Program Chairman Brad Monroe.

The event will be from 5 to 8 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 4, at the Water Conservation Garden, 12122 Cuyamaca College Drive West, El Cajon, CA 92019. The cost is $35 per person through Sept. 27 or $45 at the door. Those 21 and older are welcome. For more information and for tickets, go to or call the foundation at (619) 644-7357.                                                                                         Back to Top


Golf, Anyone? Here Comes the Aggie OpenAggieOpen

Aggie Open Logo  

The 16th Annual Aggie Open Golf Tournament is coming up fast. Tee-off time is noon Friday, Oct. 26, at the Bonita Golf Course. The event includes lunch, dinner, golf and free range balls along with other special activities on the course and during the awards dinner. 


The Aggie Open attracts more than 130 industry professionals from the landscape, golf and related green industries as well as students from OH Department. 


Horizon is once again the corporate sponsor, with many other companies, organizations and individuals joining in to support the tournament. The four-person scramble is open to the public and is billed as a fun day on the links to benefit the Cuyamaca College Botanical Society Scholarship Fund and OH Department programs.


Please join Horizon Logo us in supporting the Cuyamaca College Ornamental Horticulture Department and Cuyamaca College Botanical Society. Registration and sponsor information is available at                                                    Back to Top 



2012-13 Cuyamaca College Botanical Society OfficersCCBSOfficers
CCBS officers 2012-2013 in Idyllwild, June 2012
The 2012-13 Cuyamaca College Botanical Society officers take a break in their June planning meeting in Idyllwild. The new club officers have already been very busy this summer helping to organize the Aggie Open Golf Tournament and will continue to add valuable support to the department's many activities. From left to right, first row, are Anthony Galvan, Joanne Brannigan and Kjersti Hoyer; second row, David Boggs, J.T. Tomaschke, Kandyce Pequignot, Pam Weinisch and Zeek Magallanes. See below for a full list of officers and their titles. 

2012-13 CCBS Officers

Zeek Magallanes, President

David Boggs, First Vice President

J.T. Tomaschke, Second Vice President

Kjersti Hoyer, Treasurer

Kandyce Pequignot, Secretary

Tyler Hajosy, Activities Coordinator

Joanne Brannigan, Assistant to the President 

John Hervan, Assistant to the First Vice President

Anthony Galvan, Assistant to the Board 

Pam Weinisch, Assistant to the Board                                                                            Back to Top 

Patrick Crais Joins OH Instructional StaffNewInstructor

Patrick Crais, new instructor
Patrick Crais

Patrick Crais is the newest member of our Ornamental Horticulture instructional staff, who is teaching Business Practices for Ornamental Horticulture (OH 278) in the fall 2012 semester.


Along with his MBA degree from California State University at San Marcos, Patrick has more than 12 years of horticulture experience, working with Hunter Industries as a research engineer and his own company, Blue Watchdog, which he founded in 2009.

We extend a hearty welcome to Patrick and look forward to working with him.

Back to Top 


OH Nursery Sells 31 Pollarded SycamoresPollardedSycamores

Big Trees Nursery readiespollarded trees to transplant
Workers from Big Trees Nursery place a pollarded sycamore in a box as part of the transplant process.

About 12 years ago, the OH Department planted a grove of sycamores and began pruning them in a style called pollarding, with the intent of selling them to landscape projects. This pruning tradition is more common in Europe and dates to medieval times.


The recent sale of 31 pollarded sycamores to the city of Santa Monica represents the largest single sale of these trees to date. A previous sale two years ago saw trees going to pro football quarterback Tom Brady's estate in the Los Angeles area.


Big Trees Nursery of Escondido is in the process of preparing our recent sale for transplanting in the next few months. The rooting area near the trunks has been trenched and boxed, and trees will be allowed to recover before being transported. Many OH interns and staff have pruned these trees over the years, gaining valuable experience and contributing to our department's success.                          Back to Top 

Big Trees Nursery readiespollarded trees to transplant
Students watch as a pollarded sycamore is trenched and boxed in preparation for transplant.
All Hands on Deck for Spring FestivalSpringFestival

Spring Festival 2012 in the nursery
Some of the many OH Nursery volunteers at this year's Spring Garden Festival in May pause for a photo, above, as the festival gets under way. Below, volunteers fan out to assist some of the many shoppers who descended on the nursery during its biggest one-day sales event of the year. Other volunteers helped at informational booths on the Grand Lawn at the daylong festival. Back to Top  
Spring Festival 2012 in the nursery