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Luther Burbank Home & Gardens dressed in holiday finest

  • Marisa McCrea, right, wearing Victorian garb, greets bride Veronica Alcaraz, her son Hugo Ornelas, right and groom Jose Rojas as they visit to take their wedding photos during the Holiday Open House at the Luther Burbank Home and Garden in Santa Rosa, Calif., on December 7, 2013. (Alvin Jornada / The Press Democrat)

Vibrant poinsettias, festive wreaths, imaginative gifts, steaming tea with cookies, a charming old residence dressed in Victorian finery, historically splendid gardens, hostesses in turn-of-the-century garb — Luther Burbank's Home & Gardens just may be the chosen place of all this earth, as far as a holiday open house is concerned.

For six hours Saturday, guests dressed for the December chill streamed in for the 34th annual holiday reception by the high-spirited volunteers who sustain the landmark at the corner of Santa Rosa's Sonoma and Santa Rosa avenues.

The open house continues from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. today.

Proceeds of sales in the Carriage House Museum & Gift Shop and of the gate admission — $2 for guests 12 and older — will contribute to the upkeep of the historical treasure, home to the globally renowned horticulturist from 1884 to 1906.

Volunteers noted Saturday that they and the city, which owns the property, are getting closer to being able to have the Home & Gardens' handsome but dilapidated white picket fence replaced.

Again today, guests who treat themselves to this Santa Rosa holiday tradition will find free parking nearby at First and D streets, and Rosie the Trolley will offer complimentary rides to and from the Dickens Holiday Craft Fair at Finley Community Center on West College Avenue.

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