The SCSH Desert Gardeners Club recently took a fun field trip to the Gubler Orchid Farm located in Landers. If you’ve never visited the farm, I highly recommend you give it a try, but be sure to wear closed-toed shoes, as NO SANDALS are allowed. Our group of 19 members traveled to the high-desert locale via carpools and were met there by Gubler employees who led us on a very informative tour of their entire operation which has been in the Landers facility since 1975. This family owned and operated orchid farm has been selling their orchids exclusively to Trader Jo’s and Lowe’s for many years.
Their farm is open to the public and you may tour their premises every half-hour during normal business hours. On the day we toured there were over 1700 different varieties on premise, all available for purchase. The ladies there were so helpful and willing to package up our plants for safe passage home, as well as give us hints for the proper care and feeding of our purchased orchids. For more information visit www.gublers.com.
Next, was lunch at Pappy & Harriet’s in Pioneertown. Another must visit locale in the high-desert. Pioneertown is an Old West town built as a 1940’s movie set, where The Gene Autry Show was filmed for five years. In 1946, Pioneertown was founded by a group of Hollywood investors, including actors Roy Rogers and Gene Autry. They dreamed of creating an Old West set that was actually a town worth visiting, with 1880s-style false-front facades but interiors that had stuff for visitors to see and do, too. Up went (from the outside) frontier stables, saloons, and jails; inside, they housed ice cream parlors, bowling alleys, and motels. More than 50 films and television shows were filmed here in the 1940’s and ‘50s.
While location shooting and businesses here have dwindled, you can still see mock gunfights on Mane Street (pun intended). But the most happening place by far is Pappy and Harriet’s Pioneertown Palace, with surprisingly good live music (Paul Mc Cartney, Robert Plant and Leon Russell have played here) in a seemingly unlikely setting. This must-see desert find also serves up awesome ribs, plus classic Santa Maria barbecue, burgers, sandwiches, and salads.
If you haven’t visited Pioneertown, I highly recommend you take the drive to Yucca Valley and find this little gem of a town and while you’re there try Pappy & Harriet’s for a libation or two and come hungry because the servings are hearty!!! For more information visit www.pappyandharriets.com.
Next, the group moved along Highway 62 into Morongo Valley where we visited the Cactus Mart. The Cactus Mart is a plant emporium featuring cacti, succulents, tools, supplies, decor, and more! Travelers from around the world have had the opportunity to experience Cactus Mart as a “go to” destination or as a stopping point during their travels. Some have found the perfect compliment to their landscape. There we met owner, Nicole Holland who personally lead us on a tour of her property. Plants and design are her passion. She loves to help homeowners turn their desert homes into a tiny piece of paradise, all the while using plants conducive to our severe climate. "Working with plants and homeowner's personal style to help them achieve a landscape that is both desert adaptive and functional with their needs." Nicole has worked with all ranges of clientele from high end to DIY and loves each project as her own. For more information visit www.cactusmart.com.
A special shout out goes to Amy Tomlinson for organizing such a fun event for all of us to attend!