It is no surprise that the exceptional rainy season has brought on abundant and luscious landscaping across our valley and beyond, which is perfect for the 2017 American Association of University Women’s Garden Tour.
The 17th annual AAUW event will be held from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday and Saturday of Mother’s Day weekend, May 12-13. So mark your calendars and tell Mom she’s in for a treat. This popular spring event will feature five enchanting gardens in Alamo and Danville, and tickets are $35 each until May 5. After that date they will be $40 and can be purchased by check or cash at East Bay Flower Co., 206 Sycamore Valley Road in the Danville Livery.
One garden, “Entertainer’s Dream” on Stone Valley Road, takes advantage of the open space with a terraced hillside. The award-winning backyard is ideal for outdoor living and features a two-tier pavilion and well equipped covered kitchen with pantry cabinets and seating area. The design of the new outdoor living space was challenging to construct, as the area opposite the beautiful flagstone-rimmed pool and spa was divided into separate levels by two pre-existing sets of stairs. However, the final design incorporated the two spaces by sharing the covered pavilion. This innovated design by Gayler Design Build led to winning a 2016 REMMIE Landscape Design/Outdoor Living Award from the National Association of the Remodeling Industry of Diablo Valley.
Moseying on to “The Park” garden in Alamo, the front yard beckons with a red brick front porch and walkway, leading to a parklike setting with looming redwoods and large oak trees providing shade. The soothing sounds of running water trickle down from the pond and waterfall, which is a tranquil backdrop for the dark bottom free-form pool and nearby sport court. The outdoor bar and barbecue area offers seating for outdoor dining year-round. Stop to say hello to the chickens behind the pool house, which provide the owners with many a delicious omelet, no doubt, and enjoy their serene backyard.
The landscaping was designed by Bonnie Wheeler, who selected acer palmatum trees, azaleas, camellias, gardenias, roses and more, nestled among evergreens such as buxus green beauty. The gardener, Oscar Chacon, worked with Wheeler in implementing the yard and returns each spring and fall season to maintain and update the plantings.
The next garden is called, “The Birds and The Bees,” which is a sanctuary to the many finches and canaries and has been a hobby of the homeowners for more than 20 years. The home is nestled down a long driveway with a welcoming front yard of curving planting beds with various textures and foliage. A long covered porch is home to hanging wisteria and a spa is tucked into the corner with climbing rose and perennials boarding the fence.
Large concrete steppingstones welcome family and friends to the new backyard, which was designed and installed by Drobatz & Co. Landscape last spring. The whimsy ceramic art sprinkled around the backyard is the creation of the owner’s mother, which adds a touch of personality. Not hard to imagine a wonderful gathering around a large covered pavilion and fireplace and the outdoor kitchen and buffet. Potted citrus, grape vines and a large gravel picnic area are reminiscent of vineyards and jaunts to nearby wine country.
The two Danville gardens, “Garden of Tranquillity” and “Artist’s Retreat” also hold lots of wonderment and colorful surprises for the senses. AAUW Member Tena Gallagher says all five of the tour’s gardens are beautiful.
“This is something the community looks forward to each spring, and all of the gardens on the tour have something special and unique to offer. So get your tickets and treat Mom to a wonderfully fragrant and gorgeous day with family and friends,” said Gallagher, who has chaired the event for a number of years. The homeowners, including Marina and Rob Cuenin, are also excited to be a part of this year’s tour.
“We are flattered that AAUW liked our yard enough to ask us to host. After 25 years of enjoying our backyard with family and friends, we are happy to share it with the community,” said Cuenin.
George and Darlene Gayler are also happy to share their outdoor living space.
“We love the privacy of our yard, with the large redwood trees and open space behind it. And with the addition of our ‘outdoor great room,’ we are able to entertain and enjoy our backyard year-round,” stated the Gaylers.
For more information, go to the AAUW website at http://daw-ca.aauw.net/garden-tour-2017 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. There will be light refreshments served and a chance at a drawing at one of the gardens. Proceeds from the tour help support scholarships and grants for aspiring women scholars.
Published at Sun, 23 Apr 2017 13:00:07 +0000