There is a home in the heart of Fullerton, California which has an amazing garden. I have passed the house many times, because I was commuting to college at Cal State University Fullerton. Somehow, this house and the garden beckoned to me, and I wanted to find out more about it.
It is called the "John Hetebrink House" and it was built in 1908 in the "heart" of Orange County. It is a huge home, but the garden is what amazed me the most. There are so many different varieties of trees. The orange trees, pomegranates, and lemon trees smelled just heavenly that day. All around the circular driveway are trees- orange, kumquat, peach, avocado, and pomegranate. Even though it was very hot (and very humid), it didn't detain me from walking over to the gate. I wanted a closer look!
The trees stretch their branches high; as I stood there admiring them, a woman waved at me. I waved back and yelled, "Can I come in and ask you a few questions?" Eventually, she yelled back, "sure!" and I could see a pruning tool in her hands. As she snipped off branches from the pomegranate tree, she told me about the history of the "Hetebrink House."
She was in her sixties; she was the granddaughter of Mr. Hetebrink. Her story was beautiful. She explained about how the garden and trees are watered by "deep ground water" which was also pumped and used to irrigate the groves of walnut and orange trees. That was also the reason why all of the vegetables grew well.
As I walked next to her, a sound of buzzing bees was heard. Sure enough, the bees had found the pomegranates. I also noticed that a hummingbird had flown past the woman, to stop for a moment to suck nectar from a hibiscus bush. In my mind's eye, I could picture row upon row of walnut trees, along with fields growing lush bushes of tomatoes, and chili peppers. Unfortunately, the acreage is gone and has been replaced by Fullerton Junior College. As Orange County grew from fields to suburbs, the orange groves and gardens were plowed under. My friend, ( we chatted for half an hour) wanted to go indoors for a drink of water. Did she live there, in the Hetebrink House, or was she just visiting? I never did find out that information. My curiosity was aroused by this vintage "gem" in the heart of Fullerton. Maybe your curiosity will be aroused, too.
When I visited the "Hetebrink House" and the garden, my main objective was to look at the house. But instead of the house, the garden with its plants and trees captured my attention. The lawn in front of the house would make a beautiful setting for an informal wedding reception. Especially in the Spring and Summer, the trees and the flowers are delightful. With the old home in the background, the photographs would be stunning.