Annual fundraiser preserves organization’s historic Bernard Maybeck clubhouse and benefits an array of Marin nonprofits, including the Enjoy Mill Valley Fund.

Whether they catch a glimpse of flowers on a residential hillside on an morning walk or hear through the grapevine that a neighbor has a stunning display of their gardening prowess, lovers of amazing gardens are often left wondering about the amazing creations just outside their field of view.

For those people, the event of the year is coming up on May 16, as the Outdoor Art Club’s biennial Garden Tour takes garden lovers behind the gates for exclusive visits of seven private gardens in Mill Valley. The tour has shuttles leaving the OAC’s Maybeck-designed clubhouse at One West Blithedale Avenue from 9am-2:30pm. All gardens close at 4pm.

Organizers say that each of the seven gardens on the tour demonstrate how to incorporate edibles, accentuate a view, blend exotic plant combinations and invite hummingbirds, butterflies and other winged visitors to stay a while. Ideas to create garden rooms for outdoor living, visually maximize small spaces, and creatively mix hardscape materials abound. Each garden also offers an opportunity to meet and observe a local artist in action, intent on capturing on canvas his or her artistically inspired vision of the venue.

“This year’s Outdoor Art Club Garden Tour features beautiful, approachable gardens with something for everyone.,” says Linda Rosso, the tour’s co-chair. “There are both large and small gardens, some professionally designed and some created over years by the homeowners, in a variety of microclimates around Mill Valley.”

“An exciting new feature of this year’s tour is exclusive Plant Briefs for every garden,” she adds. “If you see a plant on the tour you love, you’ll be able to ask a docent about them during the tour or access our website for photographs and detailed information to see if it’s right for your garden.”

The Outdoor Art Club is a private, nonprofit women’s organization which was formed in 1902 and regularly presents informative and engaging public events in the areas of civics, conversation, gardening and literature.

Proceeds from the garden tour benefit the charitable community outreach of the Outdoor Art Club and the preservation of its historic landmark building in downtown Mill Valley. The organization’s charitable outreach has had a vast impact in Mill Valley and beyond for decades, including, in recent years. its support of the Mill Valley Chamber‘s Enjoy Mill Valley Fund, which has leveraged OAC Grants and numerous private donations to help repair the Downtown Clock Tower, support the restoration of the replica Gravity Car, make the free Movies in the Park series sustainable and bigger and better than ever and spearhead a number of plantings and beautification efforts around town.

In addition to the OAC’s lunch at the clubhouse from 11:30am-2pm, a number of local restaurants will be offering discounts to Garden Tour participants that day, including Piazza D’Angelo, Flour Craft Bakery, Prabh Indian Kitchen and many more. Info on participating restaurants and discounts will be distributed at the OAC on the day of the tour.

The 411: Tickets for the Outdoor Art Club’s 2019 Garden Tour are $45 in advance and $55 at the door. Lunch at the OAC is $15. The OAC clubhouse is at One West Blithedale. MORE INFO & TIX.

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