If you thought you missed the spring home and garden tour season, don't despair. There's a triple feature coming up June 7 and 8 with dueling garden tours in Marin, western Sonoma County and Sonoma.
The Garden Conservancy's Open Garden Days moves to Marin County on June 7 with a chance to visit four gardens in Belvedere, San Rafael and Tiburon.
Admission is $5 per garden, with tickets sold at each garden. Information about each garden, hours they will be open and directions can be obtained at <a href="http://gardenconservancy.org">gardenconservancy.org</a>. or by calling 888-842-2442.
On June 8, Food for Thought hosts its 19th annual Western Sonoma County Home -amp; Garden Tour featuring eight gardens.
This year's lineup includes homes and gardens with intriguing features like old-growth redwoods, edible landscaping, a labyrinth and garden art.
Cost of the self-guided tour, running from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., is $45 and includes a booklet with descriptions of the homes and gardens and a map. Tickets can be ordered online at <a href="http://fftfoodbank.org">fftfoodbank.org</a> or by calling 887-1647. Gourmet box lunches from Cottonwood Catering can be pre-ordered for $12.50 and will be available for pickup on the day of the event at Food for Thought, 6550 Railroad Ave., Forestville.
If you prefer to go east, the Sonoma County Master Gardeners hold their biennial Bloomin' Backyards Garden Tour on June 8 in the Sonoma Valley.
This is a tour that offers a chance to learn, with expert advice and demonstrations on growing low-water-use vegetables, replacing lawn, nurturing the soil, using mulch for moisture retention and weed control, composting, drip irrigation, backyard vineyards, beneficial insects and bees, and more.
The event includes a garden craft market of birdhouses, mosaics, succulent wreaths and garden art as well as a plant sale featuring only low-water-use plants and succulents, all propagated by Master Gardeners.
Cost for the 9 a.m.-to-4 p.m. tour is $35 in advance and $40 the day of the event. Tickets may be purchased online at <a href="http://sonomamastergardeners.org">sonomamastergardeners.org</a>, or can be obtained at the UC Cooperative Education office, 133 Aviation Blvd., Santa Rosa; Copperfields Books' four Sonoma County stores; Readers' Books in Sonoma; or by calling 565-2608.
<strong>SONOMA: The art of planting in partial shade</strong>
Trees are a prized feature in any garden, but once they start spreading their branches, that shade comes at a price.
Longtime Sonoma County garden designer and educator Maile Arnold will give a talk June 5 before the Valley of the Moon Garden Club on how to plant an attractive and water-wise garden in partial shade.
Arnold will talk about which trees allow for plantings under their canopies and which don't. She will offer a PowerPoint presentation showing photos of sample plantings in her own Sebastopol garden.
Arnold, a strong proponent of organic, no-till gardening, has been featured in Sunset magazine, taught classes at the San Francisco Botanical Garden and done notable design projects, including at The Lodge at Sonoma.
The public is invited to the 7 p.m. meeting for a cost of $5, which can be applied to a $20 membership. The meeting features refreshments and drawings for plants. 126 First St. W., Sonoma. 337-3415.
<strong>PETALUMA: Workshop focuses on water-wise gardens</strong>
The Sonoma County Master Gardeners wrap up their free spring library workshop series May 31 with a talk in Petaluma on planning a low-water-use garden. Linda King discusses swales and berms and the right plant in the right place, all to use water wisely on the home front. 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the Petaluma Regional Library, 100 Fairgrounds Drive, Petaluma. For information on the program or help with your backyard gardening questions, call 565-2608 or visit <a href="http://sonomamastergardeners.org">sonomamastergardeners.org</a>.