Wouldn’t it be nice if you could get some exercise, see pretty flowers and do some good for the neighborhood? You can! Just buy your ticket to the 8th Annual Noe Valley Garden Tour.
The Garden Tour happens Saturday, May 11 from 10am to 4pm. Twelve private gardens are open that day for you to see. Geographically, they range from 20th Street on the north to 30th Street on the south. Visually, they include almost any kind of garden you’d want to see, from a jewel box garden of succulents and leafy perennials to an elegantly contemporary backyard oasis to a sunlit garden with a large koi pond.
The Garden Tour theme this year is “Gray to Green”. That’s also the San Francisco program where property owners can convert a portion of their sidewalk into an attractive landscaped area with expansive green and colorful swaths along the street. Noe Valley is a hotbed of gray to green, and several projects will be featured along the way between the private gardens.
A third Garden Tour activity will be container gardening demonstrations all day, 10am to 4pm, at the Noe Valley Library on Jersey between Castro and Diamond.
Tickets are just $15 if you’re under 65, $12 if you aren’t and free if you volunteer to be a Garden Greeter. GG’s take a shift at one of the gardens to welcome visitors, check for tickets and sell tickets as need be. But wait! There’s more! All volunteers get invited to the Garden Tour Thank You Party on the Thursday night before the Tour. To volunteer, leave an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Shifts are 9:30am-12noon, 12noon-2pm and 2-4pm.
You can buy tickets online here or at neighborhood shops and stores and Saturday mornings April 27, May 4 and the day of the tour May 11, at the Noe Valley Farmers Market on 24th Street. Tickets come with a map and guide. Merchants selling tickets include Cliché Noe Gifts, Independent Nature Garden Store, Just For Fun, Olive This Olive That, Omnivore Books on Food, Phoenix Books, Small Frys, Taylors Home & Garden, Video Wave and Wink gifts and cards.
Merchants and professionals are also participating as sponsors of the Garden Tour. Platinum level sponsors ($1000) include DAVIDsTEA, Umpqua Bank and Duncan Wheeler of Vanguard Properties. Gold sponsors ($500) are Dennis Otto of Pacific Union, Sloat Garden Centers, the Valley Tavern and Zephyr Real Estate. The Silver list is Dirty Hoe Landscapers, The Droubi Team/Coldwell Banker, the Noe Valley Association (our community benefits district), Noe Valley Merchants & Professionals and Urban Farmer supplies and irrigation systems. Cliché Noe Gifts, Flora Grubb Gardens, Independent Nature Garden Store and Noe Valley Law are Bronze sponsors ($100).
Sponsors are getting into the spring of things too. DAVIDsTEA will be handing out tea samples at each of the gardens on the Tour, Dennis Otto will hand you a lovely plant at his listing in Noe Valley on Tour day and Cliché Noe Gifts is hosting a wine and cheese party at the store during the Tour. All sponsor activities will be listed on the Tour map.
Duncan Wheeler of Vanguard Properties has donated a $500 anywhere airline ticket, which will be raffled off $3 a ticket, 4 for $10. You can buy tickets online at friendsofnoevalley.com, at each of the Tour gardens and at ticket tabling in front of the Farmers Market. The drawing will be held at noon, Saturday, May 18 at the Farmers Market. You don’t have to be present to win.
A donation from proceeds is made each year towards neighborhood beautification by the Friends of Noe Valley, which produces the Garden Tour. This year the beneficiary is the garden at the Noe Valley Library on Jersey, a place you can enjoy even if you read e-books.
So buy your tickets, lace up your walking shoes and get ready for flowery, ferny, fibrous fun on Saturday, May 11. Everyone who checks in at all 12 gardens gets to vote for Noe’s Favorite Garden. And, if you’re not into walking, a free shuttle van will toodle from garden to garden, once again thanks to the Noe Valley Association and Noe Valley Merchants & Professionals for providing the shuttle.