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Last chance now: San Marino garden tour

April 25, 2012 |  6:17 pm

Spiritual Guild tour 2
Behind the gates of one St. Albans Road estate in San Marino, past the floss silk tree, the owners have created a backyard “animal garden” for their children, complete with kangaroo paws, lambs ears and lions tails.

Nearby, on Shenandoah Road, the gate opens to a more quintessential California scene: swimming pool, pool house, bath house and outdoor kitchen and fireplace. But it’s the antique garden statue of a woman holding a bouquet of flowers that typically catches visitors' eyes.

Tickets sales close tonight to see these two gardens and three others in a tour Sunday sponsored by the Spiritual Care Guild of Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. The backyard retreats, all privately owned, are in San Marino neighborhoods close to Lacy Park and the Langham Huntington hotel in Pasadena. 

One home on Santa Anita Avenue is touted as the first water-wise garden in the neighborhood. Another stop on the tour features meadow grasses. The host home, Casa Ru, a Spanish Colonial Revival designed by Roland E. Coate in 1925, is profiled in the book “The California House: Adobe. Craftsman. Victorian. Spanish Colonial Revival” by Kathryn Masson.

Event organizer and homeowner Clarisa Ru, who serves on the board of governors of the Los Angeles County Arboretum & Botanical Gardens, directed the restoration of the grounds. Her landscape includes 14 raised vegetable beds, a koi pond, a shade garden and fruit trees.

The self-guided tour runs from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. and includes a Wolfgang Puck catered lunch in the Ru gardens between 11:30 a.m. and 3 p.m. The event also features a gardener’s boutique and a specialty beer garden.

Tickets are $85 per person and can be purchased online until midnight. (Our apologies for the late notice, but we did not realize tickets would not be sold on the day of the event.) Proceeds benefit the Spiritual Care Guild. Addresses of the homes will be emailed to guests prior to the event.

--Stephanie Chavez

Photos: Casa Ru. Credit: Marshall Kwong / Spiritual Care Guild of Children’s Hospital Los Angeles

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