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Gamble Garden Spring Tour (Palo Alto)
When: 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Friday and Saturday, April 25-26
Who benefits: The Elizabeth F. Gamble Garden, a nonprofit community horticultural foundation
What you'll see: Five private gardens including a “Tuscan retreat,” an outdoor space maximized for family use, and gardens with a mix of modern and traditional.
Extras: Marketplace and plant sale, silent auction, live music, box lunch prepared by Cafe Primavera.
Details: Tickets are $35; $30 members; $40 day of tour. Lunch is $15 and must be ordered by April 21. 650-329-1356650-329-1356, www.gamblegarden.org.
CSL Heart of the Home Tour (Piedmont and Oakland Hills)
When: 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Friday and Saturday, April 25-26.
Who benefits: At-risk children in Alameda and Contra Costa counties.
What you'll see: Five winsome homes in Piedmont and Oakland Hills that have been renovated for today's living.
Extras: Boutique at Piedmont Community Center, food trucks, VIP packages available.
Details: Tickets purchased in advance are $45-$47; on tour days $50-$52; lunch $12. www.wehelpkids.org.
Kitchens in the Vineyards (Napa Valley)
When: 9:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Saturday, April 26.
Who benefits: Music in the Vineyards, a chamber music festival in Napa Valley.
What you'll see: Five homes in wine country, with a focus on entertaining and the culinary arts. These include a sleek Scandinavian sanctuary with hilltop views; a renovated farmhouse with rustic charm and formal Italian gardens; and a remodeled barn set among vineyards and a bocce court.
Extras: Homes are styled by florists; local chefs and authors are stationed at each one.
Details: Tickets are $65. A VIP pass, $100, includes meet-and-greet with the creative teams. Tour is partially self-guided. 707-258-5559707-258-5559, www.musicinthevineyards.org.
Going Natives Garden Tour (South Bay and Peninsula)
When: 10 a.m.-4 p.m. April 26 and 10 a.m.-4 p.m. April 27.
Who benefits: California Native Plant Society's Santa Clara Valley Chapter.
What you'll see: Each tour features 40-70 gardens, most of them at private homes, landscaped with low-maintenance California native plants; the gardens range in size from a townhouse plot to 1 acre.
Extras: Talks and plants for sale at some gardens.
Clayton Gardens Tour
When: 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday, April 26, and Sunday, April 27.
Who benefits: Clayton Historical Museum.
What you'll see: Six beautiful gardens including Bumblebee Farm and Garden.
Details: Tickets are $30. Purchase online; at R&M Pool, Patio and Gardens; Clayton Historical Society Museum or download a reservation form and mail to Clayton Gardens Tour, P.O. Box 94, Clayton CA, 94517. Pick up map and brochure day of tour at Clayton Museum. 925-672-0240925-672-0240, www.claytonhistory.org.
Life in the Alamo-Danville Garden
When: 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday, May 3.
Who benefits: Six local charities: Quincy Lee Foundation (pediatric cancer), Lazarex Cancer Foundation, the Bounty Garden, the Rotary Club of Alamo, the Contra Costa County Guide Dog Raisers and the Urban Farmers.
What you'll see: Five residential gardens in the Alamo and Danville areas designed by John Montgomery Landscape Artists.
Extras: Appetizers, live music by the Danville Community Band and beekeeping information presented by Kautch Family Farms.
Details: Pick one of the six charities when ordering your $30 (minimum donation) tickets online or by phone: The Bounty Garden, www.jm-la.com; Quincy Lee Foundation, www.quincylee.org; Lazarex Cancer Foundation, www.lazarex.org/events/danville-alamo-garden-tour; The Rotary Club of Alamo, 925-855-1598925-855-1598; The Contra Costa County Guide Dog Raisers, 925-698-2460925-698-2460; The Urban Farmers, 415-806-7005415-806-7005. Information, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Moraga Junior Women's Club Through the Garden Gate
When: 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday, May 3.
Who benefits: Contra Costa Interfaith Housing.
What you'll see: Five Lamorinda area gardens with outdoor kitchens, water features, creative recreation and play areas, grape vines and unique wine cellars.
Extras: Gourmet lunch (order in advance) served at one of the gardens; music.
Details: Tickets are $35, $45 including lunch. Purchase online, from members or at Across the Way, Orchard Nursery and McDonnell Nursery. www.moragajuniors.org/index.php/garden-tour.
Willow Glen Lifestyles Home Tour
When: 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday, May 3, and Sunday, May 4.
Who benefits: San Jose Day Nursery scholarships for low-income families.
What you'll see: Six homes selected for their architecture and design and decorated by local florists for the tour, and one spectacular garden.
Extras: Wine tasting, artists and other vendors, lunch in the garden.
Details: Advance tour tickets are $35, $15 for lunch. Available at www.sjdn.org and Able Printing, Details, Grace on the Avenue and Willow Glen Home and Garden. Tickets can be purchased day of tour for $40 (lunch $17) at 1790 Cabana Drive on the tour route.
Berkeley Architectural Heritage Spring House Tour
When: 1-5 p.m. Sunday, May 4.
What you'll see: An eclectic mix of artistic houses designed by Bay Area architects, most built after the great 1923 fire that devastated Berkeley's north side. Tour-goers will also have the opportunity to visit several "secret" gardens.
Stanford Historical Society House and Garden Tour
When: 1-4 p.m. Sunday, May 4.
Who benefits: Stanford Historical Society's Historic Houses Project.
What you'll see: A rare glimpse into the history and architecture of Old Campus residential areas. Featuring Tudor-style houses, one in Spanish colonial revival style, and another in Tudor style with Craftsman details; a 1926 "storybook" house; a 1927 house with arched doorways and leaded-glass windows; a 1928 Birge Clark design; and a 1914 English cottage country cottage with neoclassical details.
Extras: Free parking, shuttle, refreshments.
Details: Tickets are $30 if purchased before April 18. $35 day of tour. Mail a check (payable to Stanford Historical Society) to Stanford Historical Society, c/o Sweeney, P.O. Box 19290, Stanford, CA 94309. Tickets ordered after April 18 will be available for pick-up at the tour registration desk, 560 Wilbur Way. 650-725-3332650-725-3332, http://historicalsociety.stanford.edu.
Bringing Back the Natives Garden Tour (Alameda and Contra Costa Counties)
When: 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday May 4
What you'll see: A collection of 40 Alameda County and Contra Costa County gardens ranging from a 30-year-old wildlife oasis to brand new installations, five-acre lots to small front yard gardens, local native plants to natives from throughout California, gardens designed and installed by owners to those designed and installed by professionals.
Extras: Garden talks throughout the day. Companion event: Native Plant Sale Extravaganza, Saturday and Sunday, May 3-4.
Details: Free. Register at www.bringingbackthenatives.net.
AAUW Garden Tour (Danville-Walnut Creek-Alamo Branch)
When: 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Friday, May 9, and Saturday, May 10.
Who benefits: AAUW Funds supporting aspiring female scholars.
What you'll see: Five unique gardens in the Alamo and Danville area.
Extras: Light refreshments.
Details: Tickets can be purchased at East Bay Flower Company, 206 Sycamore Valley Road West in the Danville Livery or online at http://daw-ca.aauw.net/garden. $35 adults, $35 seniors before May 3.
Gilroy Impressions Home and Garden Tour
When: 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Friday, May 9, and Saturday, May 10.
Who benefits: Gilroy youth programs
What you'll see: Four contemporary homes and their landscapes and one lovely garden on the west side of Gilroy.
Extras: Home and garden boutique, appetizers, no-host wine at the tour's conclusion.
Details: Tickets are $30, advance purchase, or $35 on tour day. Final tour check-in, 2 p.m. each day. 408-713-1414408-713-1414, www.gilroyassistanceleague.org.
Vintage Home and Garden Tour (Benicia)
When: 11 a.m.-4 p.m., Saturday, May 10.
Who benefits: Benicia Historical Society programs.
What you'll see: The Fish-Riddell mansion and the Frisbie-Walsh house are two of the landmarks included on this tour of homes and gardens, representing an array of architectural styles.
Extras: The monthly Benicia Art Walk takes place from 3 to 7 p.m.
Details: Tickets are $25 in advance or $30 the day of the tour available at Steve's Hallmark and Camellia Tea Room and online. www.beniciahistoricalsociety.org.
Lafayette Juniors Kitchen Tour
When: 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday, May 17.
Who benefits: Five local nonprofit organizations: First Place for Youth, STAND!, Lafayette Library, SEED and Twin Canyon Camp.
What you'll see: Six unique Lafayette kitchens in homes ranging in style from rustic to Cape Cod.
Extras: Kitchen tour program detailing special design elements and information on the architects, designers and contractors who created the kitchens.
Details: Tickets are $40 ($30 tax deductible), with a box lunch available for $15. Tickets can be purchased from Douglah Designs, and Premier Kitchens, Lafayette; www.lafayettejuniors.org.
Almaden Valley Home and Garden Tour
When: 1-5 p.m. Sunday, May 18.
Who benefits: Assistance League of San Jose Programs
What you'll see: Five Almaden Valley homes in a variety of architectural styles. Two were identical tract homes, but after being remodeled each has its own unique style.
Extras: Boutique, refreshments, entertainment..
Details: Advance tickets, $35, are available at Almaden Yoga, Bloomsters, Country Inn Cafe, Charlie's Cheesecake Works, Design Matters, Hair's Inn, Williams Cutlery and The Studio. Day of tour tickets, $40, are available at Country Inn Cafe. www.alsj.org.