Noe Valley Voice April 2013

Garden Tour Needs Greeters

By Heather World

Sow the seeds of neighborly good will by volunteering for the eighth annual Noe Valley Garden Tour Saturday, May 11. Each year, dozens of volunteers staff the garden entrances, welcoming visitors and checking (and occasionally selling) tickets. Shifts run from 9:30 a.m. to noon, noon to 2 p.m., and 2 to 4 p.m. Each shift nets the volunteer one free tour ticket.

The 2013 tour features nine gardens, all maintained by their owners. The list includes the rooftop garden at On Lok Senior Center, 225 30th St., and the backyard garden at the Noe Valley/Sally Brunn Library, 451 Jersey St.

New this year will be a container gardening class offered at the library by Friends of Noe Valley, which organizes the tour every year.

“In addition to our featured backyard gardens, we have a focus on the ‘gray to green’ garden movement,” said organizer Linda Lockyer. The tour map will also identify the former swaths of concrete that have been transformed into gardens, she said.

Once again, the Noe Valley Merchants and Professionals Association (and a personal donation from Debra and David Niemann) will pay for transportation for tour participants. Umpqua Bank is sponsoring the tour.

All proceeds benefit a neighborhood beautification project. Last year’s $2,000 went to the garden reading area at Alvarado Elementary School and to the Friends of Upper Douglass Dog Park for an arborist in preparation for a major renovation project. This year’s beneficiary is the Noe Valley Library garden, which was torn out last year when a new retaining wall was built.

Volunteers have one more perk—an invitation to a pre-tour GTTYP. That’s Garden Tour Thank You Party, and it takes place in the garden of Jana and Geof King, whose garden was voted best last year.

Tickets, which come with a map and guide to the gardens, cost $15 for adults under 65 and $12 for seniors. They will be sold online at the Friends’ website and at Just for Fun, Video Wave, Small Frys, Cliché Noe, Independent Nature, and Taylor’s Home and Garden, and the Noe Valley Farmers Market each Saturday up to and including the day of the event.

To volunteer, visit and send an email, including preferred time shift and phone number.