garden tour season 2019

  • Upcoming garden tour:
  • APLD S.E.E. garden tour Saturday, April 13, 2019, 9-4 p.m.
  • tickets @

One’s own garden is never enough. One’s friends’ gardens are never enough. Seeing lots of other gardens is essential sustenance for this peculiar obsession, and the opportunities don’t arise often enough. The spatial possibilities we’ve overlooked, the exposure to previously unknown plants and practices (and plant people!) — to confront lurking design prejudices and blindnesses that have stealthily accumulated, to shake off the sloth of winter, to renew vows to do better, dig deeper, for all these reasons and more, take a garden tour.

 photo 2019-04-07 12.35.45-1.jpg
Wisteria-outlined front porch of Duvivier/Tipton house in Venice. The small front garden of edibles in raised beds is hidden by a privacy fence

These are scenes from last weekend’s 16th Annual Theodore Payne Native Plant Garden Tour. Saturday the tour visited gardens in foothill communities like Pasadena, Altadena, and Sunday the gardens were located on the Westside.

 photo edited-image_5.png
Back garden of Duvivier/Tipton — “water is made visible with rain chains, a steel cistern, and a bespoke water wheel that feeds a creek. A dry hill is planted with giant coreopsis. Native trees include western sycamore, Fremont’s cottonwood, and Santa Cruz Island Ironwood.”
 photo edited-image_4.png

And while on the subject of prejudices, perhaps you’ve assumed a garden tour built around the use of California native plants and water-wise practices might be on the quiet, homespun side. Perhaps you would be surprised to find that these are rambunctious, contemporary, stylish urban gardens overflowing with cutting edge ideas and experimentation.

 photo edited-image_8.png
Fence behind the water wheel is espaliered with ceanothus.
 photo 2019-04-07 12.13.51-1.jpg

On the tour you’ll find gardens large and small that encompass a myriad of activities, including beekeeping on the roof.

 photo 2019-04-07 12.25.43-1.jpg
the dry hill planted with giant coreopsis
 photo edited-image_13.png
on Saturday’s itinerary, the Bonfigli/Hessing garden in Altadena, which i also visited in 2010

The winter rains have unleashed an amazingly fecund spring show. The intoxicating scent of our native sages, Los Angeles’ heady spring perfume, clings to the warming air.

 photo edited-image_14.png

I’m thrilled that garden tour season is upon us once again. For those with crowded windowsills, starved for their own gardens, these tours are an absolute feast of ideas to file away for the future. Kudos to all the owners and volunteers who make these garden tours possible. Check Dates to Remember under the masthead for more upcoming tours.

This entry was posted in garden travel, garden visit. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to garden tour season 2019

  1. Kris P says:

    I love the water wheel!

  2. Jeremy says:

    I recently heard Ben Dark from the Garden Log podcast describe espaliered ceanothus in an English garden context, and thought it was such a strange application (I often think of it as an untidy habitat plant). So interesting to see it with this formal structure here.

  3. I need to crack open my HPSO Open Gardens book and start planning my stops for this summer’s weekends!

    (btw your comment did appear in n my blog today…)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *