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Venice Garden Tour to Showcase Creativity: Annual Home Tour Saturday May 1, 2010 10 am to 5 pm

Coming up on May 1, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., the Venice Garden & Home Tour will feature 31 gardens and homes in the historical heart of Venice, Oakwood and the Palms and Milwood neighborhoods just a short stroll from the bustling activity of Abbot Kinney Boulevard and the beach community.

Now in its 17th year, this is the well established, not to be missed garden and home tour that entices visitors from all over California. Founded by landscape designer Jay Griffith, Linda Lucks, and Jan Brilliot, the tour provides financial support for Neighborhood Youth Association’s Las Doradas Children’s Center.

Nearly 20 years ago, Brilliot and Griffith were thinking of a way to raise money for the children’s center and thus the Venice Garden and Home Tour was born. The tour wasn’t as big as it is today. At first, it was just a few balloons placed around different homes in the community with a few people walking around.

“I wanted to give back in some way. I wanted this to involve children and I wanted it to start locally,” said to the Mirror Jan Brilliot last year.

The 2010 self-guided walking tour starts at the Las Doradas Children’s Center, 804 Broadway, at the corner of Broadway and Pleasant View, in Venice. Neighborhood parking is available, as are shuttle buses, by biking is a suggested option. Tax-deductible rain-or-shine tickets are $60 if purchased in advance, $70 if purchased the day of the Garden Tour and children under 12 years of age admitted free.

It is the one day of the year when dozens of private enclaves are open to the public. These are the “secret gardens” of Venice, private oases sequestered behind inviting gates and doors, where homeowners seek peace and beauty in their carefully tended gardens hidden away from hectic Los Angeles.

The tour will visit Jay Griffith’s office where inspiration for today’s sustainable landscaping was developed, and will tour iconic contemporary homes by Steven Ehrlich, Steven Shortridge, Charles Ward, Melinda Gray, among others. Many of the adventurous, influential Los Angeles architects reside in Venice where the genius of Charles and Ray Eames permeates the air, where artists have settled and worked for decades. This Garden Tour showcases the creative individual spirit that continues to thrive in Venice.

Tour-goers will feel the Venice vibe, the constant activity of homeowners nurturing their vegetable gardens, creating their pockets of privacy, a community where residents actually talk to each other, introduce their dogs, where bikers spin by clutching surfboards, and artists, interior designers, photographers do their work in home studios.

As stated earlier, the tour raises funds for the Neighborhood Youth Association’s Las Doradas Children’s Center, a licensed child care facility in Venice that provides full-time, education-based child care to low-income working families. In operation since 1991, the center offers “at-risk” children an opportunity for the care and additional guidance that prepares them to be effective learners, ready and eager to enter and excel in kindergarten, and soon become productive and fulfilled members of our community.

For tickets and information, please call 310.821.1857 or email us at, and visit our website at

WHERE: The Venice Garden & Home Tour begins at NYA’s Las Doradas Children’s Center at 804 Broadway, at the corner of Broadway Avenue and Pleasant View, in Venice. Neighborhood parking is available as are shuttle buses, and biking is suggested.

WHEN: The Venice Garden & Home Tour will be held on Saturday, May 1, 2010 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., rain or shine.

HOW: Tax-deductible tickets are $60 if purchased in advance, $70 if purchased the day of the Tour. Children under 12 years of age are admitted free. For information or to purchase tickets or to become a sponsor, please call Barbara Baumann, barbarab/events & pr at 310.821.1857 or email at


Mirror Contributing

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