Garden Tour Thank You

The weather was spectacular and the gardens were lush on Saturday, June 3rd for the 12th annual Noe Valley Garden Tour! Turnout was fabulous! More than 200 people visited the nine beautiful neighborhood gardens. While viewing the gardens, many visitors were inspired to create their own eye catching landscapes. To help them in this endeavor raffle tickets for a garden make over, donated by Noe Valley neighbor Stephanie Johnson of Pacific Union Realty, and several gift certificates donated by Flora Grubb Gardens were enthusiastically purchased by garden guests. This year a donation will be made to the Noe Valley Town Square for additional greenery and moveable planters.

The Friends of Noe Valley would like to thank all of the homeowners who graciously opened their gardens to guests this year. WELL DONE!

We want to thank the merchants who, year after year, volunteer to sell tickets to the Garden Tour. BRAVO!

  • Cliché Noe Gifts+Home,
  • Folio Books,
  • Olive This, Olive That
  • Omnivore Books
  • Just For Fun

We would also like to thank the many volunteers who manned the tables and welcomed visitors to the gardens. TAKE A BOW!

And finally, we absolutely could NOT have done it without the generous support of these big-hearted Noe Valley friends and businesses! A MILLION THANKS!

  • The Swann Group – Lead Sponsor 2017
  • BJ Droubi Team
  • Cliché Noe Gifts+Home
  • Dennis Otto, at Compass
  • Dirty Hoe Landscaping
  • Flora Grubb
  • McGuire Real Estate
  • Noe Valley Merchants and Professionals Association
  • Regent Thai
  • Sloat Garden Centers
  • Stephanie Johnson Pacific Union Realty
  • Umpqua Bank
  • Urban Farmer Store
  • Valley Tavern
  • Zephyr Realty

When you are out and about in the neighborhood, please stop by and thank these folks for helping to keep Noe Valley Great! and GREEN!

PS – If you have a garden, or know of a garden, that you would like to nominate for the 2018 Garden Tour, OR if you would like to get involved in the planning of the 2018 Garden Tour, OR if you have some good ideas or suggestions for the 2018 Garden Tour, do not hesitate. Email right away! We are waiting to hear from you.

2017 Garden Tour


Tour de Fleur is the theme for the 2017 Noe Valley Garden Tour. After much needed winter rains, the 9 gardens on the 2017 Garden Tour are bursting with greenery. Trees, plants, shrubs and flowers are thriving with vibrant colors and lush foliage. You will be amazed at what a bit of water has done for gardens this year. Come be inspired!

The tour will be held on Saturday, June 3rd from 10am to 4pm and nine gardens will be on view. Ticket prices remain the same at $18 for adults and $15 for seniors 62+. Children under 12 are free. Tickets are being sold on 24th Street at Cliché Noe Gifts+HomeJust for Fun and Folio BooksOlive This, Olive That on Vicksburg Street and Omnivore Books on 27th at Church. Tickets will be sold at the Farmer’s Market in the Town Square on Saturdays May 20th, May 27th and on the day of the tour June 3rd. You may also purchase tickets on line right here.

Gardens this year include the 30th Street Senior Center where you will find one of Noe Valley’s hidden gems. This spacious garden is bursting with color and multiple surprises such as redwoods, olives, and fruit trees, vegetable beds, bee hives and a large entertaining patio. Three rooftop gardens are featured this year – a beautiful Mediterranean rooftop garden, a backyard with a modern contemporary rooftop garden and a well engineered and designed garden where obstacles were overcome to create a perfect rooftop for entertaining, bbq-ing or just relaxing. A fabulous pet friendly garden showcases a well appointed garden perfect for humans and their furry friends. Pets have room to run while their humans enjoy a lovely green oasis. Spectacular views over Noe Valley can be seen at a well established, beautifully landscaped garden filled with giant maples, and multiple entertaining areas. In a Malaysian style garden you will step into a green retreat created from rescued palms where calmness and relaxation dominate. You are sure to be enchanted in one lovely garden space where you will find a sunny front yard oasis and a shady backyard retreat. Come and be inspired by camellias, bromeliads, roses, ferns, wisteria, and numerous sculptural elements.

Returning this year is Suzanne Bontempo, of Our Water Our World, who will share her expertise in a talk about How to Grow a Beneficial Garden for Pollinators. You can hear Suzanne at the 30th Street Senior Center at 11am and 12:30pm.  Come learn and please bring your questions!

Raffle tickets will be sold for a garden make over in conjunction with the Garden Tour. Once again Stephanie Johnson of Pacific Union Realty has donated a $300 gift certificate to Sloat Garden Center and four hours of labor in your garden as a grand prize. Two additional prizes are $50 gift certificates to Flora Grubb. Raffle tickets can be purchased at the same locations as the Garden Tour tickets and at the Saturday Farmer’s Market.

If you would like to volunteer as a Garden Greeter, please email Shifts are two hours and Garden Greeters will receive a free ticket to the tour and a volunteer party on Wednesday, May 31st.

The proceeds from the garden tour will be returned to the community through a donation to a beautification project in the neighborhood. The Friends of Noe Valley would like to acknowledge and thank the following individuals and businesses for their sponsorship and continued support for this wonderful Noe Valley event. We could not do it without their generosity!

  • The Swann Group – Lead Sponsor 2017
  • BJ Droubi Team
  • Umpqua Bank
  • Sloat Garden Centers
  • Zephyr Realty
  • Noe Valley Merchants and Professionals Association
  • Cliché Noe Gifts+Home
  • Dirty Hoe Landscaping
  • Urban Farmer Store
  • Valley Tavern
  • McGuire Real Estate
  • Stephanie Johnson Pacific Union Realty
  • Flora Grubb
  • Regent Thai
  • Dennis Otto, at Compass

WORD WEEK 2017 Schedule of Events

Word Week is Noe Valley’s annual literary festival. This is our 11th year! Events have been set for March 19-26, 2017 all across Noe Valley. A run down of events is detailed below. All events are FREE!

Friends of Noe Valley would like to thank Martha & Bros. Coffee Company, the OFFICIAL sponsor of Word Week.

TALE SPIN: Poetry, Songs, Storytelling, and Open Mic

Sunday, March 19, 7pm-8:30pm
Charlie’s Corner, 24th St. at Castro St.

In Tale Spin, four women performers experiment with words through improvisation, gesture, text, melody, and story. They surf through the day-to-day of these tsunami times with poetic collaborations, songs, and stories. They attempt to untwist and untangle language weaving in and out of the personal and the political, engaging the audience with their fierce honesty and delightful artistry. They offer prayers, love, and humor, as they nurture our collective resilience to garner our humanity back. Susan Dambroff is a poet, performer, and teacher. Elizabeth Summers is a playwright, actor, teacher and a founding member of the Brava Theatre Center. Chris Kammler is a writer, director, performer, and drama therapist working in a psychiatric hospital. Kimi Sugioka is a poet, songwriter and educator. A free Word Week 2017 event. Read more on our Facebook page.

A Jane Austen Celebration

Monday, March 20, 7pm-8:30pm
Umpqua Bank, 3938 24th St.

Jane Austen lived and wrote 200 years ago, but her books are still avidly read and her plain life studied today. What is it about her novels and Jane herself that continue to fascinate readers? Danine Cozzens, co-chair of the Jane Austen Society, Northern California Region, will speak to this point at Word Week’s A Celebration of Jane Austen. In addition, four local authors will read from some of Jane’s finished work. New York Times and USA Today bestselling authors Cara Black and Mary McNear will read from Northanger Abbey and Pride and Prejudice, poet and novelist Marylee McNeal from Mansfield Park, and short story author Richard May from Persuasion. Jane Austen inspired door prizes will be awarded, and Netherfield punch will be served. A free Word Week 2017 event. Read more on our Facebook page.

Cleve Jones in Conversation With Wayne Goodman

Tuesday, March 21, 7pm-8pm
Folio Books, 3957 24th St.

Noted LGBTQ activist Cleve Jones will discuss his memoir When We Rise and his life in “The Movement” (as he calls it) with local author and event host Wayne Goodman. This will be Jones’s first public appearance following the broadcast of the television mini-series based, in part, on his work. Jones co-founded the San Francisco AIDS Foundation and conceived the idea of the AIDS Memorial Quilt. He worked with slain Supervisor Harvey Milk and was an aide to Mayor Art Agnos when he was in the California State Assembly. Books will be available for purchase and signing. A free Word Week 2017 event. Read more on our Facebook page.

Double Vision: Immigrant Writers on Embodying Two Cultures at Once

Wednesday, March 22, 7pm-8pm
Noe Valley Library, 451 Jersey St.

How do immigrant writers navigate multiple cultural and geographical perspectives? In this reading and panel discussion, Kirstin Chen, Ingrid Rojas Contreras, Andrew Lam, and Juliana Delgado Lopera will share how they encapsulate two—or more—sometimes radically different cultural identities in their work and the complications and opportunities that arise when those identities intermingle on the page. Moderated and co-hosted by Kirstin Chen. Copies of the authors’ books will be available for sale and signing. Free refreshments! This event is in the Library Meeting Room on the ground floor of the Noe Valley Library. A free Word Week 2017 event. Read more on our Facebook page.

Summer of Love

Thursday, March 23, 7pm-8pm
Cliché Noe Gifts + Home, 4175 24th St.

50 years ago, young men and women put flowers in their hair and headed to San Francisco for the Summer of Love. San Francisco’s Haight-Ashbury (Arcadia Press) by local author Katherine Powell Cohen, Ph.D., chronicles this and other events in the history of San Francisco’s grooviest neighborhood. Cohen compiled vintage images and stories from individual sources, public collections, and from interviews she has conducted as a columnist for the Haight Ashbury Beat newspaper. The author will appear at our event and read from and discuss her book. A book signing follows. Free admission and free refreshments. A Word Week 2017 event. Read more on our Facebook page.

Katherine Powell Cohen, Ph.D., is an English professor at San Francisco State and Golden Gate Universities and has lived in the Haight-Ashbury for over 20 years. She is the author of several other books on local history.

Night of the Graphic Novelists

Friday, March 24, 6pm-7pm
Folio Books, 3957 24th St.

For all you graphic novel fans, Noe Valley Word Week and Folio Books are sponsoring an amazing panel of ultra-talented, nationally-famous graphic novelists. Imagine having Paige Braddock author-illustrator of the Stinky Cecil series, together with Beowolf series author-illustrator Alexis Fajardo and Judd Winick, author-illustrator of the Hilo series. So much talent in the same room! Join us as they share insight as to what inspires their characters and storylines. It will be an action-packed presentation, with plenty of time for you to ask your favorite novelist some questions. A book signing will follow. Free admission and free refreshments. A Word Week 2017 event. Read more on our Facebook page.

High Spirits: The Legacy Bars of San Francisco

Friday, March 24, 7pm-8pm
The Peaks Bar, 1316 Castro St.

J. K. Dineen is the author of High Spirits: The Legacy Bars of San Francisco. The book leads readers on a neighborhood-by-neighborhood pub crawl in search of the city’s most remarkable nightspots. Atmospheric photographs accompany descriptions of each bar’s colorful history, unique architectural features, idiosyncratic owners, and quirky clientele. J. K. is a guy who can tell a great story. Drop by The Peaks Bar for a drink with J.K. and hear a few of them! Maxine Einhorn will talk with J. K. about his book and his fave bars in different San Francisco neighborhoods.

Dineen is also a metro reporter at the San Francisco Chronicle, writing about real estate development, the waterfront, housing, neighborhoods, and planning. He lives in San Francisco with his family. Free admission. A Word Week 2017 event. Read more on our Facebook page.

Noe Valley Authors Festival

Saturday, March 25, 2pm-5pm
Noe Valley Ministry, 1021 Sanchez St.

The third Noe Valley Authors Festival includes an author exhibit hall and book readings throughout the afternoon. Meet local authors and discuss their books with them. All genres and all ages. Some of the authors who have confirmed they will be on hand include David Hathwell, Erika Atkinson, Warren Rothman, Marylee McNeal, Laurie Barkin, Ann Miller, Michael Aleynikov, Ramon Sender, Judith Levy-Sender, Wayne Goodman, Michael Helquist, Bill McBride, Eveline Kanes, and Keven Bellows. Admission to all events is free. A Word Week 2017 event. Read more on our Facebook page.

Story Time Crawl

Sunday, March 26, 1pm-3pm
All along 24th Street

Ready for an adventure? Then, join the Story Time Crawl for a treasure hunt through downtown Noe Valley. Start by picking up your secret treasure map at any of the Story Time locations, follow the map to various themed story times, and collect a sticker at each stop. Surprises await! Story times run in 15-minute loops with 10-minute intermissions so you can see them all. Free admission to all readings. A Word Week 2017 event. Read more on our Facebook page.

Participants include:

Folio Books, 3957 24th Street
Meet the Author/Illustrator: Jim Averbeck, One Word From Sophia

Small Fry’s, 4066 24th Street
Noe Valley Neighborhood: Shops & Stories. Explore the people and places that make Noe Valley unique. A special surprise awaits the first ten guests.

Charlie’s Corner, 4102 24th Street
Spanish Fiesta: Stories & Snacks

Cliché Noe, 4175 24th Street
Call of the Wild: Nature & Animals
Emma Bland Smith, Journey: Based on the True Story of OR7, the Most Famous Wolf in the West

The Rabbit Hole, 800 Diamond Street
Curtain Call: Theatrical Stories
Reading A Visitor for Bear by Bonny Becker and Dragons Love Tacos by Adam Rubin, with costumes, face painting, crafts, and theater games.

WORD WEEK 2017 and Authors Festival Request to Exhibit

Word Week is Noe Valley’s literary festival, produced annually by Friends of Noe Valley, the neighborhood association.  2017 is the 11th year for Word Week. Noe Valley’s annual literary festival is held the 3rd week of March from March 19th through March 24th. Words are celebrated, whether written, spoken or sung. All genres welcome!

Friends of Noe Valley would like to acknowledge and thank Martha & Bros. Coffee Company as the official sponsor for Word Week.

As part of Word Week the third Noe Valley Authors Festival will be held on Saturday, March 24th from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. at the Noe Valley Ministry, 1021 Sanchez St. The festival includes an author exhibit hall and book readings throughout the afternoon. Admission to all events is free. Apply for exhibit space and a reading slot by emailing

Up to 40 exhibit spaces will be available. Each space is 3 feet long and 30 inches wide (half of a six-foot table). Table space and one chair will be provided. The fee is $35 for reservations received and paid for by February 28th and $45 after February 28th.

Exhibitors may also read for 12 minutes each at moderated 45-minute book readings, including Q&A, starting at 2:15pm, 3:15pm, and 4:15pm. The fee is $25. Readers will be grouped in panels of 3 by the organizers. You can also read with two other exhibitors of your choosing for $45 total. Readings will be held in a separate room, concurrent with the author exhibit.

Exhibitors are expected to handle their own sales by cash or credit card. Free wifi is available. Please be aware that children are likely to be present.

Questions and requests to exhibit and read can be addressed to

Garden Tour Wrap-up

Garden Tour Wrap-up

The Friends of Noe Valley would like to give a great big Noe Valley shout out to all the wonderful people who made the 2016 Garden Tour a HUGE success! The weather cooperated, the turnout was great and the gardens were magnificent! A donation will be made to Fairmount School for their outdoor Science and Garden program.

First off let’s hear it for the gracious garden hosts who shared their impressive gardens with us this year.

Elizabeth and Michael Shaefer
Fran and Kathllen Schlier
Jane Phillips
Jessica Bridges Mikesell
Mark Larvo
Mike and SA Underhill
Sarah Burbridge
Susan Floore
30th Street Senior Center

We also want to thank again and again and again the wonderfully generous Noe Valley individuals and businesses who sponsored the Garden Tour. Seriously, we couldn’t do it without them!

BJ Droubi Team
Cliché Noe Gifts + Home
Climb Realty
Dennis Otto/Pacific Union
Duncan Wheeler/Vanguard Realty
Dirty Hoe Landscaping
Flora Grubb Gardens
Noe Valley Merchants and Professionals
NOVY Restaurant
Umpqua Bank
Sloat Garden Centers
Stephanie Johnson/Pacific Union
Urban Farmer
Valley Tavern
Zephyr Realty

We are already planning for next year’s Garden Tour. If you liked what you saw and/or want to get involved PLEASE email And if you have a garden or know of a garden it’s not to early to let us know! Drop us a line.




Once again the Friends of Noe Valley has been invited to attend the SF Symphony’s All San Francisco Concert. This is a special program for service and neighborhood organizations. You will not find the program on the Symphony calendar! This year’s concert features Michael Tilson Thomas leading the San Francisco Symphony in a program of American and Italian favorites, from Copland to Rossini. Date: Thursday, September 8, 2016 – 8:00pm.

We have the opportunity to purchase a LIMITED number of tickets at $10 each. If you would like to attend please email and let us know how many tickets you would like. Your request MUST be received by June 27th. Requests will be processed first-come, first-served until we have filled our allotment. Make sure to include your name and a good phone number so we can contact you to get the tickets to you.