Find your garden muse on two spring garden tours

Find your garden muse on two spring garden tours

CLAYTON, CA — Garden lovers can spring into action with two tours in the coming weeks.

The 17th annual Bringing Back the Natives Garden Tour features two Clayton gardens and one in Concord. Registration is now open for the free virtual event, which will be held 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Sundays, April 25 and May 2, 16 and 23.

The 29th annual Clayton Gardens Tour offers self-guided tours of five Clayton Valley gardens 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Friday, May 14, and Saturday, May 15. The event is a perfect time to join friends and family in a safely distanced, outdoor event to relax and revel in some refreshing spring beauty.

From outdoor kitchens to veggies and fruit trees

The Clayton tour will provide lots of refreshing and inspiring ideas, with gardens ranging from compact and secluded to large and rambling.

Two of the gardens are just doors apart in Dana Hills. Both were recently renovated and feature expansive, elaborate front landscapes and back yards with fabulous outdoor kitchens and entertainment areas along with colorful plantings.

The Turner/Holmes yard has evolved significantly over their 30 years in the home, with the deletion of the playhouse and addition of the outdoor kitchen, a secret garden and an area for relaxing.

The Gellers replaced a former owner’s sport court with a gazebo and raised planters for their year-round veggies and a precious playhouse for the grandchildren. Drought-tolerant plantings and sophisticated design make for easy care.

An Ever Evolving Garden

Another home off Alberta showcases the creativity of the Harts’ 40-plus years of devotion to this established, yet ever-evolving garden. It includes 12 mature fruit trees and a prolific blueberry bush. Dozens of gorgeous year-round orchids hang from the trees and in her greenhouse. You may find kale, Swiss chard, herbs, onions, eggplants, tomatoes, squash and peppers in the colorful landscape. Scattered throughout are succulents, flowers and more than a dozen roses.

While the lot is a mere 0.18 acres, this prize-winning gardener has maximized every inch. You’ll find a treat at every turn, so take your time.

The Rogers’ large rambling lot off Myrtle features a newly remodeled front landscape and colorful open rear yard, with two large decks for entertaining. Dozens of roses front and back will be in glorious bloom for the tour. Mary raises many of her plants from starts, and her expansive potting area gives her plenty of space to play in her garden.

The McLeod garden on Claycord is a compact lot packed with color, shade, trickling water features and an elegant outdoor dining area with lots of festive wall art. Betsy has created a beautiful oasis of calm in her quiet, complex and colorful backyard.

Going native – and green

The award-winning natives tour features 25 beautiful native plant gardens, along with Q&A conversations with hosts and “Ask the Experts” opportunities. Inspirational, best-selling author Doug Tallamy will kick off the event with a presentation.

In addition, participants can join garden tour host Kathy Kramer and clean energy expert Amy Kiser at a companion event: the first annual virtual Green Home Tour 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Sundays, June 6 and 13.

Learn how to save money and time and protect your health while combating climate change by ditching natural gas, generating clean electricity from your own home, and installing energy-efficient (and health-protecting) induction stoves and heat pumps. The hosts will also discuss a potpourri of other “green home” features, offering information on contractors, appliances, cost savings and rebates.

Julie Pierce and Kathy Kramer contributed to this story.

Tickets, Get Your Tickets

Clayton Gardens Tour: Advance tickets of $35 may be purchased online by 5 p.m. Thursday, May 13, at or by mail to P.O. Box 94, Clayton, CA 94517. Tickets will be on sale for $40 on tours days outside the Clayton Museum, 6101 Main St. Checks and credit cards preferred.

Bringing Back the Natives Garden Tour and Green Home Tour: Register for the free virtual events at ­