Golden Poppy Awards

Celebrating Community

The Golden Poppy Awards began in 2004. Board member Paula Walker initiated the idea, a set of beautiful heavy bronze plaques were made and judging districts and criteria were developed. 

The Golden Poppy Awards recognize gardens that “give to the street” and beautify their neighborhoods, enhancing the community for everyone. Altadena Heritage presents these awards each spring at a garden party held at one of the many special places in this diverse and unusual community.

Criteria

The Gold Poppy Awards are presented to gardens that “give to the street”.  They are gardens that enhance the beauty of Altadena’s neighborhoods and contribute to the community. Although the rules are not extremely strict, we aim to highlight gardens that are environmentally sustainable and many that utilize drought tolerant and native planting.

Process

Each spring, members of the Altadena Heritage Board tour every street in Altadena.  Dividing the community into electoral districts they draw up a shortlist of 2 or 3 gardens from each. 

A judging committee gets together to debate and collaborate all the choices and a final list of four winners are selected.

Awards and Celebration

Each May,  members of Altadena Heritage and their guests gather together for their annual garden party and awards ceremony. 

Winning gardens and gardeners are celebrated, the famous plaques are distributed for a two year period and members of the Altadena community socialize and have fun.

Altadena Gardens

Gardens all over Altadena have received this wonderful award over the years.  Please use this interactive map to find the winning gardens by year.  We encourage you to walk or drive past these gardens that have “given to the street” over the years.

Golden Poppy Winners Interactive Maps

Currently Displaying 2021. Click toggle icon to view other years.

Currently Displaying 2012. Click toggle icon to view other years.

Golden Poppy Awards 2021

Despite the Covid restrictions winding down, we were not quite ready to have an in-person event for the second year running and the Golden Poppy Awards were held online for the second year. As in 2020, our 2021 winners allowed us to record interviews and videos about their gardens which are available here.

Chair Sharon Sand introduced the event and Val Zavala conducted short interviews with each winner. Altadena Heritage members were treated to short presentations from Eric Callow, incoming President of the Theodore Payne Foundation, on California native plants, and Joy Walters, coordinator of CHA CHA, about ecologically beneficial garden maintenance.

Eric Callow also generously provided a $200 gift card from the Theodore Payne Foundation for one lucky attendee to buy some native plants for their garden. Joan Kaplan was the lucky winner.

State Senator Anthony Portantino presented the Golden Poppy winners with certificates, as did the office of LA County Supervisor Kathryn Barger.

Roland Percey

1615 Loma Alta Drive 

Saro, Maral, Clara and Hratch Khajikian

1825 Alta Crest Drive

Katie, Tito, Noemi, Lucas and Isela Villanueva

23 East Manor Street 

Lisa Laumann

2319 Garfield Avenue

Golden Poppy Awards 2020

Well 2020 just wasn’t like other years!  With Covid-19 closing all public meetings, Altadena Heritage took the Golden Poppies online for the first time ever.  We ‘zoomed’ the event to our members and were joined online by over 70 households who were “sheltering at home” together. Our 2020 winners were even more accommodating than usual, allowing us to film their gardens and record interviews, which were compiled into short video presentations that can be found here on the website.  Michele Zack introduced the winners and Val Zavala moderated a short Q&A with each.  Savannah Moore from Kathryn Bargers office, presented LA County Certificates  of recognition and Chairman Sharon Sand looked forward to seeing everyone again in person next year!

Gil & Joan Acosta

2951 Santa Rosa Avenue

Maita Prout and  WIll Gaskill

2787 Highview Avenue

Paul Schimley

2122 Grand Oaks Avenue

Taylor Jacobson & John Knuth

471 W. Mariposa Street

Golden Poppy Awards 2019

Our 2019 party was held on the wild edge of Millard Canyon, at the home of Tim Cantwell and Stephani Hardy, 832 Millard Canyon Road, Altadena, CA. This home is in LaVina at the top of Lincoln Avenue.

Honor this year’s Golden Poppy winners and enjoy music and food with a view to the Owen Brown gravesite, now being protected from development.

Jaymie & Niki Bridges 

487 East Mariposa Street

Linda Marais & Derek Japha 

2060 Mar Vista Avenue

Catherine & Tim Cadogan 

2210 Midlothian Drive

Michael Hanna 

1917 Oakwood Street

Golden Poppy Awards 2018

This year’s Golden Poppy was held at the home of Michele Zack and Mark Goldschmidt. Their Mediterranean-revival house was designed and built in 1922-3 by noted artist of the Golden Age of Illustration, Frank Brown. It is on the former grounds of the West India Gardens, operated from 1906 to 1920 by the Popenoe family. 

Frank Brown’s artwork is included in many anthologies; locally he was well-known for designing the covers of Tournament of Roses programs. He built his home for entertaining, with a few large rooms and many French doors to facilitate indoor/outdoor circulation. Mark and Michele have expanded on Brown’s vision during their 32-year occupancy.

Nancy & Steve Ward

788 Florecita Lane

Debra & David Anderson

2108 Glenview Terrace

Nikki and Jayme Bridges

487 E. Mariposa Street

Stephanie & Pete Summers

111 West Manor Street 

Golden Poppy Awards 2017

More than 130 people gathered at the distinctive Green Man Lodge on May 21 for Altadena Heritage’s 13th annual Golden Poppy Spring Garden Celebration and Awards. Steve Pribyl provided shimmering live music on his uilleann pipes, an Irish folk woodwind related to bagpipes. The usual abundance of food came with wine and bubbly supplied by board member Gail Casburn of the Altadena Ale & Wine House, and beer donated by member Mark Jilg of the Craftsman Brewing Company.

Host Rover Singer presented a brief history of the original property’s owner and builder, Louis Steinhauser —contractor, woodworker, and master carver. Steinhauser retired to the property in the 1940s and hand-carved the intricate woodwork that abounds on the 1.1 -acre site, including the many images of the leafy-faced Green Man indoors and out. Rover and his partner, Cal Smith, are the third owners of the home that long-time Altadena realtor and one of Altadena Heritage’s founders, Astrid Ellersieck, described as “a masterpiece of residential folk art.”

Zapata Espinoza 

125 West Manor Street

Joseph Lane & Jay Framson 

527 East Woodbury Road

Heather & Luc Mayrand

1847 North Hill Avenue

D’Arcy & Craig Sloane

1955 Mendocino Lane

Golden Poppy Awards 2016

Greg DeDeker

1745 East Calaveras Street

Kazi Pitelka

3404 Canyon Crest

John & Nick Robles-Guerrini

1701 Pepper Drive

Michelle Leonard

1478 Pepper Drive

Altadena Heritage’s celebration of Spring 2016 was held on Sunday, May 22, at the lovely Craftsman home belonging to long-time AH member Robin Williams, located at 562 East Mendocino Street from 3 to 6 pm for an afternoon. A celebration of festive food, luscious libations, mellow music, captivating conviviality … 

and, of course, AH’s 2016 Golden Poppy Awards, which honor Altadena residents whose water-wise street-oriented gardens enhance our neighborhoods. Docent-led tours of the new Waldorf School campus next door, featuring its preschool and biodynamic gardens were conducted. 

Golden Poppy Awards 2015

Greg DeDeker

1745 East Calaveras Street

Kazi Pitelka

3404 Canyon Crest

John & Nick Robles-Guerrini

1701 Pepper Drive

Michelle Leonard

1478 Pepper Drive

More than 100 people attended Altadena Heritage’s 11th annual Golden Poppy Awards and Garden Celebration on Sunday, May 31, 2015, from 3 to 6 pm. The event was held on the Old California-style grounds of Ed Ellis’s home near Millard Canyon, and featured a groaning board of sandwiches, snacks, curry, and desserts. Mark Jilg of Craftsman Brewing Company graciously sponsored and poured his famous handcrafted Poppyfields Ale, and board member Gail Casburn presided over a selection of delicious French wines from her Altadena Ale & Wine House. 

 

Board member Bill Ellinger gave a brief talk on the history of Mr. Ellis’s property, Casa Roca, built in 1905 by visionary Horace Dobbins. Dobbins’ plan to build an elevated bicycle-way from Pasadena to Los Angeles was thwarted by none other than Henry Huntington, who, smelling competition, got a court injunction to halt construction that he claimed violated his trolley line’s right of way. Casa Roca — located at 3535 Canyon Ridge Drive — was as visionary as its original owner, featuring a number of architectural elements that were advanced for their era, 

including steel-reinforced concrete, a dome for water capture and storage, and solar water heating. Among the visitors to Casa Roca during Dobbins’ tenure was famous aviatrix Pancho Barnes, a family member. 

Board chair Michele Zack presented the Golden Poppy Awards. Three of this year’s four recipients were in attendance 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 AH’s inaugural “Big Tree” awards. Representatives of Waldorf School accepted the award certificate for the Scripps Torrey Pine on its property, and Peter Doms and Brenda Hurst, private owners of the “Duke of Eucs,” accepted on its behalf. The third winner, the Woodbury Moreton Bay Fig, is on the County Sheriff’s property.

Jaymie & Niki Bridges 
87 East Mariposa Street 

Linda Marais & Derek Japha 
2060 Mar Vista Avenue

 Catherine & Tim Cadogan 
2210 Midlothian Drive

 Michael Hanna 
1917 Oakwood Street

Nancy & Steve Ward
788 Florecita Lane 

Debra & David Anderson
2108 Glenview Terrace

 Nikki and Jayme Bridges
487 E. Mariposa Street

Stephanie & Pete Summers
111 West Manor Street 

Zapata Espinoza 
125 West Manor Street

Joseph Lane & Jay Framson 
527 East Woodbury Road

Heather & Luc Mayrand
1847 North Hill Avenue 

D’Arcy & Craig Sloane
1955 Mendocino Lane

Greg DeDeker
1745 East Calaveras Street 

Kazi Pitelka
3404 Canyon Crest

 John & Nick Robles-Guerrini
1701 Pepper Drive

 Michelle Leonard
1478 Pepper Drive

Jeri Huston & Mark Rizuto
384 East Calaveras Street

Denise Rae Johnson
182 Figueroa Street

Kevin Otsuka
2343 Glen Canyon Road

Megan Bergkessel & Phil Esra
172 West Harriet Street

487 Alberta Street

 2425 Galbreth Road

Hen’s Teeth Square
2057 Los Robles Avenue

 Elline Lipkin & Richard Horowitz
468  East Marigold Street

 668 East Mendocino Avenue

 1531 Pepper Street

 Herme Britton
2936 Glenrose Avenue

James & Chantal Giddens
2174 Midlothian Drive

Jan Martin
2320 Oliveras Avenue

 Patrick Rand
456 West Poppyfields Drive

Charles Hay
1838 Vistillas Road

2200 North Altadena Drive

 Carol L. Blake
473 Concha Street

 Mary Copperud
2782 McNally Avenue 

Mary Anne Yeager
1722 Morada Place

Sylvie Andrews
451 East Poppyfields Drive

 2420 Catherine Road

 734 West Harriett Street

 Doug LaLonde
2564 North Altadena Drive

Dimitri Bovaird & Margaret Edmondson
1542 Morada Place

 Walter Hubert & Mark Saltzman
2860 Windfall Avenue

Karen Bowers
1441 East Altadena Drive

 2494 El Molino Avenue

 Kate Sullivan & Ed Verreaux
2487 Highland Avenue

Michael Gregory
78 West Las Flores Drive

Loren & Avelina Moeller
1833 Midlothian Drive

Dennis & Margaret Bridwell
4554 Risinghill Road

Jane Yoo & Jason Chuan
1548 East Altadena Drive

 1005 Athens Street

 3075 Glenrose Avenue

 2805 Highview Avenue

1025 Alta Pine Drive

3346 Canyon Crest Road

2098 Crescent Drive

3678 North Fair Oaks Avenue

46 West Manor Street

119 West Mariposa Street

1231 New York Drive

2687 Vista Laguna Terrace

2603 Boulder Road

4118 Canyon Crest Road

 1473 Carroll Drive

 3678 Fair Oaks Avenue

 2768 Highview Avenue

 1627 Roosevelt Avenue

 3023 Santa Rosa Avenue

 1234 Sunny Oaks Circle

 680 Ventura Street

 1175 Woodbury Road

2603 Boulder Road

3678 Fair Oaks Avenue

3500 Glenrose Avenue

2800 Highview Avenue

3043 Maiden Lane

2319 Mar Vista Avenue

1873 Pepper Drive

2927 Santa Rosa Avenue

313 West Terrace Street

331 Wapello Street

413 East Calaveras Street

4416 El Prieto Road

3304 Fair Oaks Avenue

3686 Giddings Ranch Road

967 Kent Street

3147 North Mount Curve Avenue

1903 Pepper Drive

2415 Porter Avenue

685 Alameda Street

3030 El Nido Avenue

35 West Mariposa Street

1215 East Mendocino Street

3208 North Mount Curve Avenue

48 Reever Way

1915 Roosevelt Avenue

2831 St James Place