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Diggin’ Our Medians
The Del Mar Way
Claire McGreal | Stratford Court

(L to R) Arline Paa, Gale Bakker, Eric Minicilli, Linda Teague and Mary Friestedt. Photo Claire McGreal.
Click on image to enlarge.

Have you noticed the replanted medians on Jimmy Durante Blvd., 15th St. by the Plaza, or on 12th St.? How did this transformation come about? Four members of the Del Mar Garden Club (“DMGC”) did all that work, digging well over a thousand holes, and planting beautiful drought-tolerant succulents!

Originally, the medians were planted by the late Bill Teague, a horticulturalist who lived in Del Mar and worked at Quail Gardens, now known as San Diego Botanical Garden. Bill’s widow Linda Teague is also a horticulturalist and a founding member of the DMGC. Linda Teague is the designer of the newly replanted medians, as well as the propagator of many of the succulents used in the medians, and hole-digger-in-chief. Linda drew three accomplices from the Club to help her in beautifying the medians: DMCG President Gale Bakker, Mary Friestedt and Arline Paa. Gale Bakker describes Linda as “the Kate Sessions of Del Mar…researching plants, visiting nurseries, and hand selecting the species” for the medians.

After spending eight hours in one day digging and planting on Jimmy Durante Blvd., Mary Friestedt recalled that Bill Teague had originally built up the mounds of soil on the medians, and that the soil was still in good shape. “This might sound corny,” said Mary, “but every scoop of dirt I dug up, I thought of Bill.”

Linda Teague worked with the Parks and Recreation Committee (P&RC), the City’s advisory committee which interacts with the Public Works Department (PWD) in maintaining the city parks, walking paths, medians and other public spaces. The P&RC allowed Linda free rein in selecting her rock and plant palette. Linda utilizes a “plein air” design style, whereby she sets out the potted plants on the ground, rather than creating a drawing. Once planted, the area takes on a beautiful paisley design effect, with a variety of colors and shapes.

Public Works’s Paul Thomas worked closely with Linda on the median projects, and Director Eric Minicilli thanked Linda, Mary, Gale and Arline for their work in transforming the medians.

The Del Mar Garden Club was founded 27 years ago to educate and beautify Del Mar. The Club planted and maintains six public gardens in the city, located at the Post Office, the Del Mar Library, Crest Rim, the Community Building, Lifeguard HQs, and “The Bill Teague Garden” at the entry to the main beach.



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