On a lark, Dave and I decided to attend the Laguna Beach Garden Club’s “Gate and Garden Tour 2016” last week.
I walked into the office with tickets in hand and blurted out to Dave – “The garden zeitgeist, Dave. It’s what we’re missing in our bag of kung fu. Our judo is strong in many areas, but weak in ‘gates’ and ‘gardens’. We need this.” Dave’s eyebrows shot up. “Wait, what? A garden tour? Do we have to? They probably won’t even let me in. Don’t you have to be a gardener or something to go on that?”
To be honest, this was a little zany. As agents, we see lovely gardens and gates and flooring and ceilings and kitchens and walls and paths and everything possibly home-related every other day. It’s what we do, but apparently that wasn’t enough for me. I needed more. I wanted to see what a curated tour would look like.
What does a garden look like when the home is not for sale? Is it nicer? I’ve never been on a garden tour before. Maybe there will be master gardeners milling about, speaking Latin to each other and giggling over plant jokes “So this brugmansia sanguinea and this cattail are at the bar…”
Should I wear a floppy white hat? Will there be drinks in the gardens? I like drinks – perhaps I’ll encounter a lavender-scented gin and tonic with a dash of bitters and a rose petal floating in the middle. With a bacon swizzle. Heavens, yes. It was a Friday, after all. And maybe small sandwiches handed out by white-gloved volunteers.
Good Lord above, I felt so unprepared all of a sudden. What will I wear? “Keep your cool” I thought “This is Laguna. It’s a tour. Of gardens. Hippies. Artists. Retirees with green thumbs. This isn’t Newport – no one was going to check your 401K balance at the door.”
“You’re a gardener.” I told myself. “They’ll accept you.”
Successfully psyched, we arrived on the scene, declined the coffee in the charming but sedate meeting garden and decided to get really wild and buck the invite to be ferried by limo bus the first home and drive right there instead. Totally outside the norm; they had no idea rebels such as ourselves would want in the gates let alone storm them. They’ll be more selective with sales next year, to be sure.
Gold swan floaty. You need one of these.
This was made by the owner’s daughter, Torii Cooper. I love this. A life-size Italian porcelain amazonian astride a wrinkly pachyderm. Let’s be friends.
The owner had several clay pieces from Oaxaca; this is by a blind ceramicist, Jose Garcia Antonio. There’s a bit about him here.
A gentleman with his sepia pencil and laid paper sketching in the shade. We chatted briefly; a friend of his showed me a couple of his other drawings and they were super amazing. I think his name was David; sorry I didn’t write it down now… UPDATE – I found his name – David Kizziar; his FB page is here
A huge thank you to the Laguna Beach Garden Club and the homeowners who let us in to marvel at their wonder-ful gardens. While there were no libations to be had and nary a finger sandwich in sight, the landscaping, the sculptures, the flora and helpful fauna were more than satiating.
Assuredly, we shall return next year for another romp in the gardens!