Michael Hepworth







Rodger’s Garden

Beautiful Environments that Celebrate Nature, Habitats and Sustainable Living


Featuring The Ecology Center’s Grow Your Own Program


By Kay Schroeder


Corona del Mar (Perfect Meal Today) 3/28/17/–What is the first image that comes to mind when you hear the word spring? Flowers, of course, and at Roger’s Gardens, it means an abundance of gorgeous flowers and the many glorious seasonal floral displays that personify what Roger’s Gardens is all about. On March 23, Farmhouse Restaurant, Owner and Executive Chef Rich Mead, welcomed media guests to a Special Media Tasting at the Farmhouse Bar to experience RG’s Spring Menu and artisanal cocktails. Wow! First recorded in 1924, the word wow was described as being a verb meaning to overwhelm with delight or amazement. However, the definition falls short when describing the numerous spring flowers, bursting with color and fragrance, which were designed and arranged into stunning displays by RG’s very talented staff.

As guests strolled through the gardens, every little alcove featured something wonderful to enjoy. Features like stands with ebullient men and women offering specially made artesian cocktails while sharing their expertise in the techniques and ingredients used. Interspersed along the walking paths were tables adorned with bouquets of freshly cut flowers of many species and the colors of spring: pink, yellow, blue, purple and lust green foliage. One standout table held an impressive array of cheeses, including goat, blue, brie, and other wonderful cheeses accompanied by prosciutto and salami.

Kay and The Easter Bunny
Rodger’s Garden Gift Room
Rodger’s Garden Jams Room

Wait staff circulated throughout the gardens offering sumptuous hors d’oeuvres that represented virtually all of the items on the new Spring Menu. The Macaroni and Cheese Pops were a big hit as the mac and cheese were enrobed with a roasted bread-crumb coating, secured on a stick, thus resembling a lollypop. The secret to the Shrimp Cocktail was in the sauce – the chef made the seasoning spicy, but not overpowering. The low viscosity (consistency) of the sauce made it easy to eat and walk at the same time. The Mushroom Tart was a “go back for seconds” for many guests. Even desserts had their opportunity to impress with the shortbread cookies and lemon bars, just to name a few.

Photographer Tom Wright and I were fortunate enough to encounter someone very important to the Gardens, the official mascot, Roger. Roger entertained us by demonstrating his ability to respond on cue to his trainer’s commands.

Blood Orange/ Organic Gin
Blood Orange with Organic Gin
Farmhouse Champagne
Chef Mead’s sweet potato roasted
Mac and Cheese Bites 




Mushroom Toasted

After the tour of the gardens, innovative cocktails, and awesome hors d’oeuvres, it was time to walk the short distance to the Farmhouse Restaurant to enjoy champagne (and more tantalizing food) with Chef Mead and his staff, and to learn more about the Farmhouse Restaurant and its mission, purpose, and direction for the future.

Shrimp Cocktail

Chef Mead and the Farmhouse Restaurant dedicated a portion of the proceeds from the evening to benefit the Ecology Center’s Grow Your Own program.

A series of Farm Dinners celebrating the Farmhouse Restaurant’s sustainable food community will feature the farmers and chefs leading the movement. Events include:


  • Eco-App Off on Saturday, June 24 – A friendly culinary competition for leading local chefs.
  • Community Table on Sunday, July 23 – With Drew Deckman, Deckman’s at Mogor, B.C. Mexico.
  • Community Table on Sunday August 13 With Carla Malloy, Central Coast, CA.
  • Green Feast on Saturday, September 16: 9th Annual Green Feast with chefs-in-residence, Jennifer Sherman (Chez Panisse), Drew Deckman (Deckman’s at Mogor), Carla Malloy and Gina Galvan – in partnership with local community of celebrated chefs.


All of the above events will take place at The Ecology Center at 32701 Alipaz St, San Juan Capistrano, CA 92675 – –  (949) 443-4223.   (The Ecology Center is a non-profit eco-education center focused on creative solutions for thriving on planet Earth. Their holistic approach to change-making is based on their core belief that we are a part of nature, intimately interconnected to each other and our shared environment. Through daily action, we can transform our schools, homes, workplaces, and communities into vibrant spaces. The Ecology Center works to inspire communities around simple solutions that empower individuals everywhere to be part of the solution. Together, we can create a healthy, abundant future.)


Farmhouse offers twelve “Think Outside of the Glass” cocktails:


  • Butter What? (Egg White, Butternut Squash, Allspice, Rum)
  • Wedding Crasher (Spice, Apple, Brut)
  • Farmhouse Signature Bloody Mary (Beets, Tomato, Horseradish, Vodka)
  • Love Tender Lavender Colins (Lemon, Lavender, Fever Tree, Gin)
  • All Up Piña (Pineapple Guava, Lime, Pomegranate, Tequila)
  • Signature Mule (Ginger, Angostura, Fever Tree, Bourbon)
  • Gunsmith (Honey, Grapefruit, Lime, Aperol, Mezcal)
  • The Dive & Diverse (Vermouth, Amaro, Rye)
  • The Answer (Benedictine, Carpano Antica, Rye)
  • Parisian Proposal (Angistura, Lemon, Chartreuse, Cognac)
  • Dark Ages (Amaro, Carpano Antica, Bourbon)
  • Farmhouse Whim (MP) (We Made it on a Whim)


Be sure to checkout’s+gardens+events&* to view the many classes/demonstrations/lectures coming up at Rogers Gardens Seminar & Events. These events span March through June. Below is a list showing the titles of each of the events. Click on the link above to view the dates, times and all of the descriptive details of these comprehensive, interesting, informative, and fun events. Some require a fee, however, the vast majority of them are entirely free.


  1. California Friendly Gardening Solutions / Contest
  2. Christopher Radko Spring Trunk Show (Christmas Ornaments)
  3. Landscaping with California Native Plants
  4. Landscape Design Studio Open House
  5. Cooking with Chef Rich Mead Series – Spring Salads
  6. My Edible Garden Series
  7. Miniature Garden Workshop
  8. “Heaven Scent” Planter Workshop
  9. Spring Rose Care
  10. Raised Bed Seminar
  11. Natural & Organic Gardening Practices
  12. The Sweet Pea Show and Contest
  13. Moss Basket Workshop
  14. Cooking with Chef Mead – Cooking with Grains
  15. Cinco de Mayo Give-Away
  16. My Edible Garden
  17. Mothers’ Day Gift Baskets Workshop
  18. Mothers’ Day Complimentary Rose Give-Away and Photo
  19. Small Space Design
  20. Cooking with Chef Rich Mead – Wild Salmon
  21. The 24th Annual Amateur Rose Show & Contest
  22. My Edible Garden
  23. Summer Floral Workshop
  24. Miniature Garden “Beach Theme”
  25. Fresh Cut Floral Arranging from Your Garden
  26. Growing Hops for Beer Brewing
  27. Designing with Succulents
  28. Ikebana Demonstration
  29. How to Grow a Salsa Garden
  30. Cooking with Chef Mead and Steve Goto – Salsas and Relishes


Now folks, with all of these events and seminars to choose from, you have no excuse for not having a great, sun and fun-filled spring, while making our community more beautiful and more sustainable for us and for future generations.


A special thank you goes out to Kathryn Riordan, PR & Marketing Coordinator, The ACE Agency, for her contribution to making this event a success.

Rodger’s Garden

2301 San Joaquin Hills Road

Corona del Mar, CA 92625


While you are on the Internet, check out our other informative and fun sites shown below.

Photography: Tom Wright




Michael Hepworth

287 S.Robertson Blvd, Beverly Hills, CA 90211


Follow Me on Pinterest