Golden Poppy Awards Presented by Altadena Heritage

Altadena Heritage Preservation Chair Bill Ellinger tells the story behind the 1905 Casa RocaGolden Poppy Awards Presented by Altadena HeritageEd Ellis, 2nd left, chats with Golden Poppy guests.Vice chair Linda World, left, discusses wine selection with Helena Davies and Board Member Gail Casburn.Megan Berkessel and Phil Esra, proud Golden Poppy Winners for their drought tolerant garden. Board members Michiko Lynch (Sustainability Chair), left, with Lili Etezady (Events Chair), and Camille Dudley, (Volunteer Coordinator) prepare for the Golden Poppy CelebrationGolden Poppy winners Jeri Huston and Mark Rizuto receive Golden Poppy bronze plaque from Chair Michele Zack.

STAFF with hanks to Michele Zack

11:59 am | June 8, 2015


About 110 people attended the 11th annual Golden Poppy Awards and Garden Celebration on the Old California style grounds of Ed Ellis’s home by Millard Canyon. Altadena Heritage served a groaning board of sandwiches, snacks, curry, and desserts. Mark Jilg of Craftsman Brewing Company graciously sponsored and poured his famous handcrafted Poppyfields Ale. Board member Gail Casburn presided over a selection of delicious French wines from her Altadena Wine and Ale House.

Bill Ellinger gave a brief talk on the history of Mr. Ellis’s property, Casa Roca, built in 1905 by bicycle visionary Horace Dobbins, and visited by famous aviatrix Pancho Barnes, a family member of his.

Chair Michele Zack presented the Golden Poppy Awards. Three of this year’s four recipients were present and briefly described their gardens to the crowd: Megan Bergkessel and Phil Esra; Jeri Huston and Mark Rizuto and Denise Rae Johnson. Kevin Otuska was not present to receive his bronze Golden Poppy plaque, which winners keep in their gardens for two years before circulating on to new winners.

Sustainability Chair Michiko Lynch presented our inaugural “Big Tree” awards. Two were present : Waldorf school for the Scripps Torrey Pine and the private owners, Peter Doms and Brenda Hurst, of the “Duke of Eucs.” Our third winner, the Woodbury Moreton Bay Fig is on the County Sheriff’s property wasn’t present, but Bill Ellinger told us about the tree.

It was a lovely day, captured in many pictures.