One of Venice’s most notable features is its gardens, but, though everyone has heard of them, they are seldom seen, as they are tucked away behind fences and hedges. However, on Saturday, May 7, garden gates will be flung open for the 11th Annual Venice Garden Tour, which is being held this year in conjunction with Venice’s 1905-2005 Centennial celebration. This year’s tour will take tour-goers along the historic Venice canals and through the Riviera and Silver Triangle neighborhoods where breakthrough new architecture, including homes by noted architects David Hertz and Steven Shortridge, and Venice’s quintessential cottages co-exist happily. Some of the gardens on the tour have been created by their owners, others are the work of some of Southern California’s leading landscape architects, and all innovative. Garden tour regulars will make new finds as well as returning to some perennial favorites on the self-guided walking tour. The tour benefits the Neighborhood Youth Association’s Las Doradas Children’s Center and Learning Center, an exemplary education-based childcare and after-school program for the area’s at risk children. Its services build confidence, character and Academic skills. The success of the program has been dramatically demonstrated by the number of children who have gone on to excel in school and college. According to Vendella Barnett, Neighborhood Youth Association’s Executive Director, “The Las Doradas Children’s Center and the after-school program provide a safe, nurturing environment for bright, fertile young minds so eager to learn and a committed staff so willing to teach and to help the children of this community become their ‘Personal Best.’” The Garden Tour starts at NYA’s Las Doradas Children’s Center at 804 Broadway (at the corner of Pleasant View) in Venice at 10 a.m. and continues until 5 p.m. Tour-goers should begin the before 2 p.m. in order to see all of the gardens. On-street parking is available. Tax-deductible tickets are $50 if purchased in advance; $60 if purchased the day of the event. Children under 12 years of age are admitted free. For tickets and information, please call ( 310) 569-7991 or email us at Venicegardentour@comcast.net.
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