By Karen Brainard
For the sixth consecutive year, Ramona landscaper Scotty Ensign was invited to participate in the Garden Masters exposition at the San Diego Spring Home and Garden Show and, as in the past, he walked away with awards.
“I’ve won a different award every year,” said the owner of Scotty’s Plantscapes.
For his Italian-themed garden at this year’s show, held Feb. 28 to March 2, Scotty won Best Intimate Garden and Best Educational Signage, along with Perfect Nomenclature recognition.
Participation in the Garden Masters is invitation-only.
This year 17 landscapers were in the exposition, featuring full-scale individual-themed gardens. The landscapers have only 3 1/2 days before the show to assemble their gardens.
“It’s a lot of work. You have to be a master at what you do to be able to create a garden that we produce in three days,” said Scotty.
“Scotty was born to do this,” said his wife, Rose, who assists him each year. “I love it. It’s a wonderful thing to dive into because it’s creative.”
The couple’s garden this year was titled “Bella Vista” and included a sunken entertainment area with a home theater.
“Let yourself take in the flavors of Italy and let it inspire your creativity to come out,” the Ensigns wrote about their design. “This year’s display reminds us to take in our surroundings and let it inspire us to feel like we do when we’re travelling on vacation, when we let our hair down, play and express our creative side.”
Incorporated into Bella Vista were a wooden pergola with bougainvillea climbing the posts, a fire ring, a water feature with a disappearing pond, country manor walls and a stone-top tumbled paver patio, a flagstone walkway with Dymondia groundcover in its joints, landscape lighting, and Italian-themed drought-tolerant plants.
The show is hosted by the San Diego Horticulture Society so education is a important part of the display, noted Rose. Landscapers must meet certain criteria with signage identifying plants. Besides including the genus and species names of each plant, Rose added information such as care and growing habit.
The extra effort paid off as the Ensigns were recognized for “Perfect Nomenclature.”
Although setting up the garden is a lot of work, Rose noted that they have involved other family members and it becomes a special time for all of them to work side by side for three days.
Scotty seems to thrive on developing innovative gardens.
“Last year I built a gold mine,” he said, explaining his garden focused on the gold rush days and even included a Model T.
Even more unusual was his creation in the 2012 Garden Masters when he took his inspiration from “The Hobbit” by producing the home of Bilbo Baggins.
Among the Ensigns’ contributors this year were Ramona businesses Ransom Brothers Lumber and Rudi Stockalper Company.