Corona del Mar Today: Secret gardener converts empty tree wells into mini gardens

Editor's note: Former columnist Amy Senk, who publishes the Corona del Mar Today blog, has returned to the Sunday Daily Pilot. Read her work daily at


A Corona del Mar man has cultivated several sunflower and corn crops in formerly empty tree wells along Orchid Avenue near Rose Bakery Cafe.

"He started in the back parking lot three or four months ago," said Rose Bakery Cafe co-owner Dai Lim. "It wasn't really in good shape back then, and he pulled weeds and cleaned it up. Soon he was planting flowers closer to the restaurant. I asked him about it, and he said he just wanted to do it."

The man brings his own bucket and waters the plants and flowers using a tap on the back of the bakery building, she said.

"We really love them," Lim said. "It's so wonderful. Everyone loves it."

Rose's owners give the man a discount on every order and presented him with a $50 gift card.

The man declined through a friend to be interviewed or named for this story.

"He is on a mission to beautify his surroundings, hoping others will follow his good example, and to promote kindness at the same time" said Jacqueline Wittmeyer, a friend of the man. "It's a good thing."

The man also may be responsible for adding flowers by the Corona del Mar post office and a nearby bank, Lim said.

"I just wonder how it all grew so fast," she said.


Bicycle Master Plan Committee to meet Monday

After a year of work, the city of Newport Beach's Bicycle Master Plan's first draft has been released, a city webpage states.

The plan will be the main topic of discussion at the next Bicycle Master Plan Oversight Committee, which will meet at 5 p.m. Monday in the Civic Center's Community Room.

The 200-plus-page draft plan was released this week and can be viewed on the city's website.

The draft includes maps, information on sharrows and bike racks, safety improvement suggestions and more.

The public may review the draft and make comments through July 30, the city website states. Comments may be made in writing and sent to Brad Sommers, the city's project manager, at

The public may attend the Monday meeting and make comments. The Civic Center is at 100 Civic Center Drive.


Girl reports indecent exposure at Little Corona

Newport Beach police searched the Little Corona Beach area after a report Monday evening of indecent exposure, police said.

The incident was reported at 6:58 p.m., about a half hour after a mother and her two daughters left the beach for the day.

"One of the girls said that she had witnessed indecent exposure half an hour earlier, at approximately 6:30 p.m.," said police spokeswoman Jennifer Manzella. "The mother called us and officers responded to the scene to search for anyone matching the given descriptors (which were provided by the child; the mother never saw the man)."

Police found no one in the vicinity who matched the girl's description.

Witnesses said a helicopter and three police cars, as well as officers on foot, were in the area at the time.


Splash of Color event planned at Crystal Cove

Tickets are now on sale for an opening reception for an art show and sale that will take place the weekend of July 18 at Crystal Cove State Park, according to a news release.

"A Splash of Color," presented by the Crystal Cove Alliance, will feature more than 20 California Plein Air artists' paintings of the ocean at Crystal Cove, the release said.

There will be a preview and opening night reception from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. July 18, and tickets cost $50 for the public and $40 for Crystal Cove Alliance members. If you buy a painting, the cost of your ticket will be deducted from the sale price.

On July 19 and 20, admission is free for visitors to view remaining works of arts. The works will be displayed from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the park's Education Commons in the Historic District.

Half of the proceeds from weekend art sales will benefit restoration, conservation and education at Crystal Cove, the release said.

For more information or to buy tickets for the reception, visit or call (949) 376-6200 ext. 201.

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