The Cove - Alson Clark

We have an obligation to maintain these that people may be in the presence of forces larger than those of the moment.

Ken Burns   Documentary Film Director and Preservationist

The Secret Garden Tour & Candlelight Garden Soirée

Our thanks to everyone to participated in the 2019 Secret Garden Tour of La Jolla! 

Save the date: May 15-16, 2020!

San Diego Home and Garden

Media Sponsor

Institutional Sponsor


A garden tour is an opportunity to step into a different world – one where botanical colors, shapes, and fragrances command attention, summon the imagination, and lead to an escape from the world of the ordinary.        

For two decades La Jolla Historical Society’s Secret Garden Tour has provided the opportunity to step into the extraordinary world of La Jolla’s private gardens.  The Secret Garden Tour is much anticipated on the community’s spring calendar, and leaves a legacy throughout the year with financial support for the Society’s exhibitions and educational programs

In addition to the plants and landscaping, the Tour includes opportunities to explore unique designs and in the company of garden enthusiasts and friends.  La Jolla’s tour often includes historic homes and examples of unique architecture, and the gardens are made special with the presence of live musicians, plein air artists, and dining table designs.  On the lawn of the Society’s Wisteria Cottage, the Garden Boutique showcases merchants with items of interest to gardeners and homeowners.  And now on Friday night, the Candlelight Garden Soirée celebrates the beginning of the Tour weekend.

The Secret Garden tour began more than 20 years ago as an undertaking of a small group under the chairmanship of Linda Marrone and Susan Vandendriesse. Today it runs with multiple committees, dozens of volunteers, and with the help of the Society’s Board of Directors. The day of the Tour—the Saturday after Mother’s Day—brings hundreds of visitors to La Jolla to enjoy the gardens and the restaurants, galleries, and ambiance of the village.  A long list of underwriters and advertisers support the Tour, notably Title Sponsor Scripps Health and Media Sponsor San Diego Home/Garden Lifestyles magazine.

Through the years many La Jolla homeowners have generously opened their gardens for viewing on this special day in May, providing an enchanting opportunity to visit and experience the charm behind the garden gates.  

Friday Night Candlelight Garden Soirée

On Friday, May 17th, La Jolla Historical Society kicks off the 2019 Secret Garden Tour with  a Friday Night Candlelight Garden Soirée at one of the gardens that was on the 2018 Tour!  This intimate gathering provides guests an opportunity to mix and mingle with other garden enthusiasts while enjoying hors d'oeuvres, wine and music all by candlelight.  This enchanting evening garden experience has a limited number of tickets and will sell out quickly. Tickets: $75 | $65 with the purchase of a Secret Garden Tour Platinum tour ticket.

Platinum Tour

The Platinum Tour starts at a beautiful private setting, where you will enjoy an elegant brunch followed by shuttle transportation to the gardens with docent guides. Our shuttle buses will drop you off at the entrance to each garden. Tickets: $150 general admission | $140 for La Jolla Historical Society Members.

Self-Guided Tour

The Self-Guided Tour starts with check-in at Wisteria Cottage, 780 Prospect Street. There you'll receive your program booklet with the locations of the secret gardens, a map of the tour and your wristband necessary to gain entrance. You may visit the gardens in any order you wish. Tickets: $50 general admission | $40 for La Jolla Historical Society Members | $60 admission on the day of the Tour.

Sponsorship Opportunities

Every Sponsorship helps support the La Jolla Historical Society’s efforts to preserve La Jolla’s heritage. Proceeds from this event make it possible for the Society to care for its extensive and unique collections, create and expand educational programs, and support efforts to advocate for the preservation of La Jolla’s special character. Our community’s heritage is something to be proud of and events like the Secret Garden Tour enable the Society to be a true champion of that heritage.

Learn more about our sponsorship opportunities and benefits!

Secret Garden Boutique

Saturday, May 18th, 2019  |  9:00 am  to  5:30 pm

Wisteria Cottage
780 Prospect Street
La Jolla, CA  92037

Open to the Public
Come shop and enjoy a collection of gardening accessories, plants and gifts available for purchase. Shop for vintage and new finds. We have selections from various vendors known for their special artistic style and craftsmanship. You'll find unique items for all settings, from a small windowsill to a grand seaside estate landscape.

Visit throughout the day for shopping, coffee and a stroll under the wisteria-covered pergola with your friends.

Don't miss the Silent Auction in Balmer Annex, adjacent to Wisteria Cottage.  The Auction is open all day for you to shop and bid on a unique array of gift items and experience opportunities. 

Prospective Vendors
We are continually seeking unique vendors who fit our special garden boutique market atmosphere. Please include your contact name, email address, web site, types of products you sell and photos of your booth set up. We will get back to you as soon as possible. 

Please forward any inquiries to:

Tour Day Volunteers

We are proud to announce a new collaboration between the La Jolla Historical Society and the National Charity League|San Diego Chapter for Mother|Daughter teams to serve as volunteers in the gardens and other support roles on the day of the Secret Garden Tour.  Participation as Tour volunteers provides NCL-mission opportunities related to community service, leadership development, and cultural experience.  We look forward to presenting the 2018 Secret Garden Tour with the support of NCL’s young women and their moms, and are excited to welcome them to this important and valued community event!

To those volunteers who have worked in the gardens in past years, we are very grateful for your loyal support.  Please register and attend this year’s Tour, and help us welcome our new National Charity League Mother|Daughter volunteers!