Garden Conservancy Open Day Private Garden Tour

I don’t know about you, but I love looking through people’s things. Maybe it’s journalistic curiosity, maybe I’m just nosy, but you can bet I’m paying attention to the bottles and containers you keep in your bathroom if I’m at your house using it. And for you other curious folks out there, this Saturday you’re given a prime opportunity to do some investigating of your own –– The Garden Conservancy is having private garden tours in Ross and Kentfield.

Enjoy one-day-only access to two exceptional private properties that demonstrate outstanding examples of design and horticultural practice in both cities. On the “Echoes of the Past” tour in Ross you will see the remnants of an old Japanese garden, which was previously filled with huge holly trees, enormous camellias, and a bounty of jewel-toned rhodies and azaleas. The old garden had a number of Japanese elements: a fish pond, a tea house, and one-of-a-kind Japanese maples. The main house nestles into the property in a way that creates a secluded stage for family gatherings. A recently added guest/pool house with an enormous stone fireplace overlooks an edible garden complete with rambling black satin blackberries, five kinds of golden and red raspberries, and espaliered apple and pear trees. The raised beds are replanted seasonally and host a bounty of colorful tulips in spring. This once-overgrown garden area was used as a pasture for horses long ago.

On the “Clipped Perfection” tour in Kentfield, you’ll get to experience an organic garden that was featured in Garden Design magazine and includes an orchard and herb and vegetable gardens. One enters via a formidable gate set in a perfectly-sheared Coast Redwood hedge that hides a secret, rambling garden sanctuary previously designed by Scott Colombo. Fragrant antique roses twist and spill over three archways and along walls of craggy weathered stone. A cobblestone path runs through a series of garden rooms that burst with wild geraniums and lilacs. A unique stone throne is flanked by a pair of blueberry soldiers. The overgrown English garden style at the front of the property contrasts with the more recently redesigned and orderly style of the back pool garden. Globes of teucrium, geranium, boxwood, salvia, and white foxglove—clipped to perfection—create surrounding garden beds. A unique metal trellis planted with honeysuckle, ‘Cecil Brunner’ roses, and clematis covers a water feature nestled in a redwood hedge.

To find out about the other qualities that weren’t disclosed in this blog you’re going to have to go and see for yourself, you know you want to.

If You Go:

When: Saturday, May 21 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Where: 8 Southwood 11 Meadow Avenue, Ross and Kentfield, CA.

Cost: $7 per person, per garden

Please be aware that events may occasionally be cancelled or postponed by the promoter. We always suggest you contact the promoter or venue to confirm for a particular day.


Kasia Pawlowska

Kasia Pawlowska loves words. A native of Poland, Kasia moved to the States when she was seven. The San Francisco State University creative writing graduate went on to write for publications like the San Francisco Bay Guardian and KQED Arts among others prior to joining the Marin Magazine staff. Topics Kasia has covered include travel, trends, mushroom hunting, an award-winning series on social media addiction and loads of other random things. When she’s not busy blogging or researching and writing articles, she’s either at home writing postcards and reading or going to shows. Recently, Kasia has been trying to branch out and diversify, ie: use different emojis. Her quest for the perfect chip is never-ending.