Patches of Purple: Village Garden Club of La Jolla salutes donors to jacaranda tree project

• PHOTO GALLERY:

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By Ashley Mackin

If you’ve ever driven past a jacaranda tree blooming with purple flowers throughout La Jolla and San Diego, odds are it was one of the 2,200 planted by the Village Garden Club of La Jolla since its inception in 1986.

On June 4, 2014, members of the Village Garden Club of La Jolla gathered at Kate Sessions Park to publicly recognize the donors who make it possible for the club to purchase, plant and care for the trees.

Those recognized donated money in someone’s memory or in honor of an anniversary, graduation or birthday. The person for whom the money was donated was also acknowledged.

The club presented a certificate of appreciation to City of San Diego grounds maintenance worker Angelo Sardina, who plants and maintains the trees.

The two most recent plantings are at Kate Sessions Park and had their first blooms just in time for the ceremony. Because they flower in May, June and July, jacaranda trees were selected by club members to help brighten up the “May gray” and “June gloom” in San Diego. The jacaranda was designated as the official tree of the City of San Diego in 2000.

Citing this year as their best yet, the club received almost 300 trees from May 2013 to April 2014. At the last minute, the club also received a donation of three trees in honor of the late Padres announcer Jerry Coleman, one of many donations in Coleman’s memory.

Donations for a jacaranda tree start at $50, which the club takes and adds to an account that pays for the trees. Although it costs more than $50 to plant a tree, the club has chosen not to increase its suggested donation amount.

Although no tree is named after a particular person, the donation used to pay for the tree can be. The Village Garden Club of La Jolla’s website is under construction, but Jacaranda Civic Beautification Chair Dorothy Carroll can be reached at

DCarroll92109@yahoo.com

Fun facts about jacaranda trees

• The

jacaranda

is native to South America, particularly Brazil, Argentina and Uruguay, as well as Central America, particularly Mexico.

In Australia

, people believe students will do well on their exams if they start studying when the jacaranda tree is in bloom, so many are planted near schools and universities.

• An

Amazonian legend

has it that a bird landed atop a jacaranda tree, bringing with him a beautiful woman. The woman was a priestess of the moon sent down to descend from the tree and live among the villagers, to share with them her knowledge and ethics.

• The name comes from the indigenous

Guaraní

word for “

fragrant

.”

   
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