I received my announcement invite from Kathy Kramer yesterday – the tenth anniversary of her tour is taking place this may. Here is some info on what’s happening and how to register:
A variety of bird- and butterfly-friendly, pesticide-free, water conserving, low maintenance gardens that contain 60% or more native plants will be open on Sunday, May 4, 2014, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at various locations throughout Alameda and Contra Costa counties. More than 40 garden talks will be scheduled throughout the day.
Music in the Gardens -This year, to celebrate the Tenth Anniversary of the Tour, a Music in the Gardens feature has been added. Come and hear the Appalacian dulcimer, lutes, flutes, banjos, guitars, Renaissance and folk music, and the a cappella Berkeley Community Chamber singers. Free, of course! See the garden guide for details.
Plant Sales – Native plants will be sold at numerous locations over the course of the week-end of May 3 and 4 during the Tour’s Native Plant Sale Extravaganza.
Workshops – In addition to the Tour and plant sale, a series of workshops will be offered this spring. Learn how to sheetmulch your lawn away, or how to design a native plant garden that contains color throughout the year. Judy Adler will be leading three tours of her amazing Walnut Creek garden (think chickens, pond, rainwater harvesting, native plants, fruit trees, seed collection, and more!).
Volunteers are needed to spend a morning or afternoon greeting tour participants and answering questions about natives. Complete the Volunteer section of the registration form if you would like to help out this year. Benefits to volunteers include invitations to Garden Soirees, in which tour gardens are open to hosts and volunteers; a pre-tour meeting with the owner and private tour of the garden you will be staffing; a guaranteed tour reservation for the half day you are free; a Bringing Back the Natives Garden Tour t-shirt, and, perhaps best of all, heartfelt thanks for helping to educate the general public about the many pleasures and benefits of gardening with California native plants. Prior to signing up to volunteer, browse the gardens to choose the garden you would like to be assigned to. Click here for more information on volunteering.
2015 Tour -Applications for the 2015 Tour are now being accepted. You can download the application form from the Tour website. Garden visits will be made in May and June. (Please note that gardens must contain at least 60% or more native plants.)
Donations – This year, please join your fellow guests in supporting the Bringing Back the Natives Garden Tour. Given decreasing public agency support, we find it necessary to turn to Tour participants to help keep the tour going and to keep it free for those who cannot afford to pay. Please follow the instructions in the registration form to make your contribution, or you can donate here.
Facebook – “Like” the tour on Facebook! This spring the Garden Tour’s Facebook page will run articles such as “What to do in your native plant garden each month;” and “What’s in bloom now?;” describe the spring workshops; feature specific gardens; show you before-and-after garden photos; and just generally provide a behind-the-scenes look at the Bringing Back the Natives Garden Tour.
Know of any other native plant Garden Tours coming up? Let us know.