2022 is underway, and we’re gearing up for a fantastic year of native plants, Indigenous ecology, and community building here at Theodore Payne Foundation. We’re seeing some glimmers of hope that the need to stay distanced may subside this year and allow us to get back to the thing that we as gardeners love the most, connecting with people and plants in the real world!

On that note, I’m happy to announce that we are moving forward with our first in-person Native Plant Garden Tour since 2019. It will take place on Saturday and Sunday, April 23rd and 24th. We’ve got so many great things planned for 2022, including a slew of brand new gardens, gardens which have previously only been seen during our online tours, and of course returning favorites. In total, you’ll be able to experience 34 of the most inspiring native plant gardens in greater LA.

But we’re not abandoning the virtual platform entirely. In addition to the in-person event, we’ll be producing online bonus content, including videos and interviews for four featured gardens. Each of the featured gardens are brand new to the tour, and I’m so excited to share them with you here. Drumroll please… Our 2022 Native Plant Garden Tour featured gardens are:

  • Garden #1 Garvey Nature Garden (Rosemead) – A native biodiversity oasis on a middle school campus in the San Gabriel Valley. This garden offers a vision of how native plant gardens in schools can create amazing learning and nature appreciation opportunities in urban California.
  • Garden #6 Echo Park Forever (Echo Park) – Pioneering landscape architecture firm Terremoto shows how designing with a focus on the land and the local ecology yields beautiful and sophisticated results.
  • Garden #24 Kuruvungna Sacred Springs (Santa Monica) – A sacred village site of the original people of Los Angeles, the Tongva, Kuruvunga Springs dates back millennia as a gathering space. A recent revitalization and new native plantings frame upwellings of ground water, mature trees, and a newly built kiche (thatched dwelling.)
  • Garden #32 Garden Butterfly (South Central) – With an incredible eye for detail, garden designer and licensed landscape contractor Brandy Williams, aka Garden Butterfly has created a front yard pollinator haven in South Central using a combination of native and Mediterranean climate plants.

Our theme for the 2022 tour is “Metropolis in Metamorphosis”, and so in addition to the nuts and bolts practical side of native plant gardening, we’ll be exploring some existential questions about our role as city dwellers in preserving and restoring the natural environment. With that in mind, we’re asking each of our featured gardens an open ended question: “What does nature in Los Angeles mean to you?” I can’t wait to share the insightful and diverse perspectives of this fantastic group of visionary gardeners.

And to cap all of this off, we’ll be hosting an after party at the Los Angeles State Historic Park (featured in the 2021 tour). Admission is included in the ticket price, and will feature a live DJ set, and much more. I look forward to reconnecting with you in person, and celebrating a new vision for Los Angeles, that restores the connection between land, plants, wildlife and the community of our city.

The 19th annual Theodore Payne Foundation Native Plant Garden Tour takes place Saturday April 23rd  and Sunday, April 24th, 2022.

Tickets are on sale now at nativeplantgardentour.org