The Beloved Wisteria Garden of Ocean Beach

by on March 26, 2021 · 0 comments

in History, Ocean Beach

Wisteria Garden Goes Online!

By Kathy Blavatt

One of the best things about living in Southern California is that you can have a usable yard. Many locals in Ocean Beach and Point Loma are very proud of their yards. They use it as outdoor living space, edible gardens, socializing, working-out, sunbathing or relaxing in the shade, planting, playing with pets, and hundreds of other uses.

In addition, as COVID has proven, a garden can improve your health and mental state. Many gardeners these days are looking to personalize their gardens to their specific needs and wants.

Ocean Beach’s best-know garden is the historic Wisteria Garden on Niagara Avenue just up the block from Sunset Cliffs Blvd. on the southside.

The Wisteria Garden sits next to a cottage built in the early 1900s. Over the front porch drapes two Wisteria vines over-a-century-old. Also, Wisteria vines canopy the large side yard, which sends out fragrant blooms of purple every Spring.

Ned Titlow owned the property and started the Ocean Beach Historical Society’s (OBHS) popular Wisteria Garden Parties. Since Ned passed away, Pat and Susan James live in the cottage and take care of the parties and garden.

Pat and Susan have been exceptional caretakers of both the cottage and garden. Besides being their home, it has also become an unofficial outdoor museum displaying many of O.B.’s signs. It feels like you have stepped back into time, as those of us that can remember many of the signs the graced the former Ocean Beach businesses and walls.

Ocean Beach Historical Society Board Members Kitty McDaniel and Terry Beddoes stand in front of signs.

Enclosed behind a glass window is the old Strand Theater projector. Other O.B.  memorabilia, art, antiques, and nick-knacks fill the yard.

Pat has quite an extraordinary green-thumb. He has added many lovely plants and an edible garden.

Since COVID hit in 2020 and 2021, the Ocean Beach Historical Society had to cancel the Wisteria Garden.

I felt glum about another year without the party, especially since the rain brought lush new blooms onto the Wisteria trees that people wouldn’t see. I decided we needed to have a safe way to go online for Ocean Beach Historical Society members and residents to see Wisteria Garden as a historic short movie.

I spent the last couple of months digging through old computer photos and videos showing the wonderful times over the many years as we partied in this beautiful garden.

I created a film from my pictures and clips. Steve Rowell and others’ photos were also used. My husband Ray helped with the film editing.

The film “The Beloved Wisteria Garden” is now up on the OBHS website. It gives viewers a chance to enjoy an online film of the history of the Wisteria Garden and its fun parties.

The hardest part of the making of the film was what to show. There were so many images of the wonderful times in the garden.

The clips show some well-known locals that have passed away, but it nice to see their smiling faces once again.

Also, the film shows many of O.B.’s characters that are a part of our colorful community history.

A classic and funny Ned Titlow historical clip about the cottage and Wisteria shows how much he loved his home.

Music by local musicians has been a significant part of the parties’ charm. Clips from a couple parties include singing by T.J. (Antonio Johnson) accompanied by Rose 3, and Billy Lee Corwin’s “Wonderland” song, which he wrote. Also, Claire Roberts, age 15, played cello music to accompany the photos.

Celebrate the history of the Wisteria Garden and enjoy the flashbacks of our friends as they party only as OBceans can! The online film is FREE at (select the link to O.B.’s Beloved Wisteria Garden).



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