Regional Gardening Reports :: National Gardening Association

Northern California Coastal & Inland Valleys

April, 2006
Regional Report

Shows & Events

Tour of Stunning Private Gardens
The Mid-Peninsula League of the San Francisco Symphony will host its 17th annual Symphony in Flowers Garden Tour on Friday, April 21st and Saturday, April 22nd, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., rain or shine.
The tour this year features a variety of garden types, specialized hardscapes, and unusual horticultural and sculptural features.

Three distinctive private gardens -- two in Woodside and one in Portola Valley -- will be featured. The Portola Valley garden required 1,400 tons of stone terracing to create a striking country garden designed to mimic nature. Stone paths meander up and down the terraces, changing the view of the garden at every turn. Walking the paths reveals the extensive variety of plants, exotic trees, the house nestled below, and views of the surrounding hills beyond. Massive plant and bulb groupings demand attention for their dramatic presence. This is essentially a spring and fall garden.

One of the gardens in Woodside is a 6-1/2-acre delight with a Mediterranean flair that combines a sense of space as well as intimacy by means of plantings and garden paths that create garden rooms. This garden was presented with the Best Residential Entry award from the California Landscape Contractors Association.

The second Woodside garden was formerly the site of a winery and vineyards planted in 1883. The present owners used the original winery's stone walls in their meticulously restored home. The lush garden has extensive plantings and trees designed to complement the home and pool, pool house, tennis courts, artist studio, and vegetable garden. This unusual garden, one in which "everything looks old but is new," according to its owner, also has bronze animal sculptures and fanciful birdhouses carefully situated throughout, enhancing its charm and originality.

Among the events included on the tour are talks by horticultural experts, strolls through the gardens with their designers, musicians, plein air painters, table settings, the Symphony store, and refreshments. Proceeds from the garden tour benefit the San Francisco Symphony and its outreach projects that reach over 35,000 Bay area school children.

Tickets are $35 in advance of the event and $40 at the gate. Box lunches are available by pre-reservation. To order tickets, call (650)566-8029, or visit:

Clever Gardening Technique

Sharpening Pruning Saws
To sharpen pruning saws, use a small round file. Pull the file through the teeth of the saw in one direction only, don't file back and forth. Follow the angle of the tooth for best results. Sharp saws cut much better than dull ones. After sharpening, oil the blade to prevent rust.


Today's site banner is by EscondidoCal and is called "Water Hibiscus"