|The Dallidet family lived on the property for over a century. In that time the gardens evolved: first, home to native plants and food crops; later, welcoming a broad spectrum of plant species. Native plants such as toyon, sycamores, coast live oak, elderberry and willow flourished along the margins of creeks, springs and marshes that rarely ran dry. Other species came with the early Spanish explorers and padres and Mexican settlers. Thanks to the diary of one of the Dallidet sons, Louis Pascal, we know that the family farmed artichokes, melons, corn, parsley, passion vine, potatoes and other food crops. They also had 14 acres of wine grapes, 3 acres of table grapes and 2 acres of peaches included on their farm. They processed and made table wines and brandy, having established the first licensed distillery in the county.
When settlements on the Central Coast became more established and stable, plant experimenting and plant crazes influenced local farmers and gardeners. Botany and exotic plants interested the Dallidet family, as evidenced by the books on botany and gardening in their personal library. Today, the Dallidet garden has evidence of this Victorian and early 20th century interest in “new species” from exotic locations as well as those native to or previously established in this area.
THANK YOU!!! – The gardens have been maintained and cared for over the years by dedicated volunteers from the History Center, San Luis Obispo Noontime Kiwanis Club, Explorer Scouts and Eagle Scouts. The SLO Gardeners have helped with the upkeep of the garden since 1988. Many student groups from Cal Poly have contributed many hours to assist with garden and maintenance projects.