Garden Tour – May 18, 2024

April 1, 2024

The Noe Valley Garden Tour 2024 is set and ready to go!

Friends of Noe Valley is pleased to present the 18th  annual Noe Valley Garden Tour on Saturday, May 18th. The 2024 tour has 10 gardens that will be open from 10am-4pm all around the Noe Valley neighborhood. Gardens are open to the public who can view the them independently at their own pace. Owners will be on hand to talk about their plants and answer your questions. Music and Art can be seen in several gardens as well.

New this year is a PLANT SWAP to be held at the Noe Cafe. Bring cuttings or seedlings and swap plants with your neighbors! Friends of the Urban Forest will also be on hand to discuss the ins and outs of installing Sidewalk Gardens.

The Garden Tour is a fun event for all ages and a great way to not only see what’s growing in the neighborhood but to spend time outdoors with friends and family.  

Garden Tour tickets are $20 Adults • $18 Seniors • Kids FREE. 

Tickets will be sold on Saturdays at the Noe Valley Farmer’s Market from 9am-1pm on:

  • April 27th
  • May 4th
  • May 11th
  • May 18th

Tickets can also be purchased at:

  • When Modern Was – 4001 24th Street
  • Just for Fun – 3982 24th Street
  • Olive This, Olive That – 304 Vicksburg Street
  • Omnivore Books – 3885 Cesar Chavez Street
  • Online at –

Raffle tickets will also be sold and among the prizes are gift certificates from Flora Grubb, Sloat Garden Center, Flowercraft, Urban Scout, Flowers of the Valley and Love and Stem. Additional prizes include goodies from Skin Spirit, Small Frys and the Noe Valley Public Library! Raffle tickets can be purchased at the same locations as Garden Tour tickets. Raffle tickets are $1 each or 30 for $20.

As always, a donation to a beautification project in the neighborhood will be made with Garden Tour proceeds.

Featured gardens will showcase a variety of styles. Among them are:

This tranquil space has a stream running through the garden which is surrounded by ferns, bamboo, vines and trees. Flagstone pavers, micro gravel and stones are used to create paths that follow the stream throughout the garden. You will find multiple locations with redwood benches that provide peaceful seating areas. There is a private area where one can relax in a hot tub and listen to the running stream. When you are in this garden you would never know that you are in a city.

Three guardians greet you as you come up the front stairs to this magical garden. A pathway enhanced by carvings and sculpture leads you into an inspired oasis. An eclectic mix of found objects, carvings, handcrafted buildings and beautiful stonework lead you into a garden that has been 40 years in the making. It is enhanced by a stately California Oak and native plants that make it a magical sanctuary for the owners and resident bees (Who happily live in the back of the garden).

This large shade garden was redesigned by the owner during the past two years. A view of the garden is seen from multiple decks which provide a nice entertaining space. Stairs lead down to the lower garden where you will find a pond surrounded by grasses, shade plants and a new water feature. Hostas, Japanese maples and espaliered apple trees grace the borders of the garden water feature. A large mature avocado tree provides ample shade for the garden. Azaleas and rhododendrons bring spring color while large roses cascade from the upper deck in the summer. *There are 2 sets of stairs to enter this garden.

Perched on a hill with dizzying city skyline and bay views, this urban oasis on a double-plus-sized lot is deeply rooted in the English country garden tradition but with sustainability designed into its heart. Blessed by rich soil and underground natural springs, 80-year-old boxwoods and camellias thrive on their own from the garden’s first period, 1939 to 1992. In 1992 the current owners challenged the landscape architect to incorporate in-situ specimen shrubs to anchor a fresh design that included a new bluestone patio and a freestanding heated all-glass conservatory. The hardscape design now echoes the sweeping curves of the Art Deco architecture of the home. Over the last 30 years, the landscape has evolved into a bird sanctuary and perennial garden featuring wisteria trained upright. The central recirculating water rock is a year-round magnet that draws in resident hummingbirds, finches, and sometimes even red-tailed hawks for their daily bath. Native hawthorns, propagated from the original mother, now bloom plentifully throughout the garden in dense stands, as trees, and in bonsai forms. Starting in late June when the hawthorn nuts ripen, they provide a daily feast for a pandemonium of the city’s famous wild parrots!

Walking up the stairs of this house you arrive at a lovely front patio surrounded by mature trees and plantings. Aeonium and grasses line the passage leading to the back of the home. Here you will find an intimate garden, perfect for entertaining. Deep red leucadendrons, a camellia and a Chinese pittosporum can be found lining the patio and in pots scattered throughout. A viewing deck is located up a flight of stairs where you will find that the use of potted succulents creates a lovely and peaceful seating area.

Our neighborhood middle school has undergone a remarkable transformation with the makeover of their two gardens. Led by PTSA garden beautification volunteers, the garden was pruned, weeded and landscaped. Logs were removed, mulch was added, and a community planting day was held in March where a lovely usable space was created. The focal points of the makeover are raised beds and wine barrels where scented and drought-tolerant plants, along with a variety of herbs and flowers are planted. Additionally, colorful bulbs in several mounds can be seen. JLMS students will be on hand to guide you through the delightful gardens and share information about the plants.

At our local library you will discover both sun and shade gardens. This inviting space awaits exploration and allows patrons to enjoy a western shade garden filled with cyclamen, clivia, azaleas and rhododendrons.  As you move to the east side, a path of ferns and camellias leads the visitor to a large espaliered plum tree. Here you encounter a sunny garden filled with a riot of color enhanced with California natives and a large lemon tree. Master Gardeners will be on hand to answer all your garden and plant related questions. 

This lovely back yard south-facing garden has both shade-loving plants and sun loving flowers, and is perfect for entertaining. The garden was professionally designed and has been beautifully maintained. It features a dwarf Japanese maple, camellias, red flowering maple, abutilon, and an abundant meyer lemon tree. Stepping stones lead you past lemon chiffon peonies, ivory prince hellebores, yellow clivia lilies, and ferns into a shaded sitting area near the back of the property. A bonus: the Liberty Street Band will be performing on the deck from 11am-1pm!

Take a stroll back in time to visit this verdant victory garden located on historic Comerford Alley. This rustic alley runs from Church to Sanchez Street and is nestled between 27th and Duncan Street.  Look for signage that marks the spot of this fertile vegetable and herb garden growing scarlet runner beans, dino kale, broccoli, Thai basil, swiss chard, scallions and many other veggies and herbs stretching towards the sun.  This garden is dedicated to urban agriculture as we try to remember what our grandparents knew, and what we have forgotten.  Linger longer and chat with the owner to learn about the garden as an experiment dedicated to urban agriculture, and how it not only serves as a reminder of WWII Victory Gardens but is a call to action. 

Sanchez neighbors partnered with Friends of the Urban Forest on a project to transform a bleak intersection from a concrete jungle to an urban oasis. This garden features a series of sidewalk planters populated by low water plants and street-friendly trees. Be sure to check out the kids garden planted and maintained by budding gardeners at Hola Kids preschool!

Join fellow neighbors and gardeners at the first Noe Valley Plant Swap! Bring your cuttings or seedlings and swap them with plants from your neighbors. Kids who bring plants (or plant drawings) get a free succulent courtesy of Urban Scout! Bring healthy cuttings or seedlings, end up with cooler plants than you came with and get to know your fellow Noe gardeners! The main plant swap will go from 10-12 so come early for the best selection.

Friends of the Urban Forest will be on hand with information on installing your own sidewalk garden. They will share how they can help with inspections, utility checks, garden design, submitting permit drawings, conducting site walkthroughs, removing concrete, installing permeable pavers, sourcing plants and other material, prepping the soil, and hosting community planting events. They can also provide a cost estimate for your project and answer any questions that you may have.

We look forward to seeing you on May 18th!

Nathalie Fabri•