Palisadians can embark on this year’s self-driving Spring Garden Tour, hosted by the Pacific Palisades Garden Club, on Sunday, April 14, from 12 to 4 p.m.
This year’s tour features five private residence gardens, a condominium association’s garden installation and docent-led tours of the N/E/X/T/Garden in Temescal Canyon, a drought-tolerant garden with California-native species supported by Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks and Palisades Beautiful.
The Garden Tour will allow green thumbs and nature lovers to discover some of the most beautiful gardens throughout Pacific Palisades, Santa Monica and Brentwood, with Mission-style, Japanese and Mediterranean spaces.
Some special features of this year’s tour include views of the Pacific Ocean, children-friendly spaces, including an in-ground trampoline and a hewn rock pool designed to resemble a lagoon, bonsai trees, succulent gardens, and more.
A vendor new to this year’s tour is west Los Angeles-based Wild Birds Unlimited.
This year’s garden designs focus on creating spaces families and friends can gather to spend time in nature together.
“Each garden has a different mood that it evokes,” said Mary Schulz Shanahan, Pacific Palisades Garden Club president. “The homes are very distinct, with different kinds of shade-based and drought-tolerant plants, garden architecture, and kid-friendly features.”
This year’s El Niño rains have fed the water table, rewarding hillside flowers with rich nutrients that have provided their dazzling colors.
“The flowers have had a lot more nourishment this year because of the rain,” Schulz Shanahan said. “The rain has really given us a lush, green, clean county with lots of colors popping out. The plants are able to actually reach the water table and draw sub-nutrients, creating the robust pinks and deep purples we’re seeing.”
One of the gardens on the tour belongs to Roger’s Gardens co-founder Lew Whitney, whose garden incorporates stained glass sculpture into its design.
“This year’s collection of gardens really offers a great juxtaposition,” Schulz Shanahan said. “The niches they fill really allow you to sink into whatever garden fits your mood. They’re all very unique.”
Another facet of this year’s tour is its focus on environmentalism and the incorporation of water-wise and California-native plants into its garden selections. Another aspect of the tour focuses on gardens used as spaces to create food.
“We wanted to have people see there are ways to incorporate those things into their gardens,” Schulz Shanahan added. “They’re spaces for relaxation and meditation, but also sometimes food production, with citrus trees and raised beds for vegetables and fruits.
“Summer’s coming, so we have our tomatoes, zucchini, watermelon, strawberries. We’re trying to bring more nature into our Spring Garden Tour, so it’s about landscaping and flowers, but also about the environment, our global environment and the one we create for our friends and family and our wildlife, including our household pets.”
This year’s tour will also include special prize drawings for some lucky ticket holders.
“We don’t want to reveal the prizes yet, but we want to make sure everyone gets their ticket,” Schulz Shanahan shared.
Tickets are $30 per person. Children can attend free accompanied by a ticketed adult. Tickets can be purchased at the following vendors: Gift Garden Antiques in Pacific Palisades, Merrihew’s Nursery in Santa Monica, Wild Birds Unlimited in West Los Angeles and Yamaguchi Bakery in West Los Angeles.
Purchase tickets online at pacpalgardenclub.org.