Spring is almost here, and so is Southern California's rich tradition of spring garden tours.
Given that record heat and dry conditions have climatologists wondering if 2018 will mark the return of drought conditions, it's not surprising that many of this year's garden tours are focused on sustainability. Curious about rain gardens, hugelkulturs and fire-resistant plants? All will be represented this year. Advance warning: Most tours are rain or shine, many sell out in advance and not all are handicap-accessible.
March 18: This year's Desert Garden Tour sponsored by the Desert Horticultural Society of the Coachella Valley will feature desert-friendly low-water gardens, including those in a community of homes designed by influential Midcentury modern architect Donald Wexler. Noon to 4 p.m. $20. Registration at Sagewood pool area, 1943 E. Sandalwood Drive, Palm Springs. Free. deserthorticulturalsociety.org
April 7: The Orange County Chapter of the California Native Plant Society presents "California In My Garden," a free, self-guided tour of 12 gardens from Mission Viejo to San Clemente that feature California native plants. 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Additionally, at 1 p.m., Mike Evans of Tree of Life Nursery will give a tour of the gardens at Reata Park in San Juan Capistrano. Register to receive garden locations: occnps.org/gardentour.
April 7: Learn how to create a "fire-wise" yard to help protect your home on a garden tour co-hosted by the Theodore Payne Foundation and the nonprofit Mountains Restoration Trust. Visit homes between Topanga Canyon (Hwy 27) and Malibu/Las Virgenes Canyon in high-risk fire areas with native plant landscaping. 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Participants must pre-register; fee is $5. mountainstrust.org.
April 7: The South Coast chapter of the California Native Plant Society's 23rd annual tour features three gardens in Palos Verdes. 9:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. $25 to $30. sccnps.org
April 7-8: The Los Angeles chapter of the Assn. of Professional Landscape Designers host a "Going Native" tour focusing on watershed approaches to gardening (soil, rainwater capture, hugelkultur raised beds, smart plants and irrigation) in the San Fernando Valley and Pasadena. On April 7, the two-day event begins with the speakers forum "A River Runs Through It, a New Landscape Paradigm" at Descanso Gardens with noted gardening experts Benjamin Vogt, Frank McDonough, Rosalind Creasy, Thomas Rainer and Pamela Berstler. 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. both days. Tickets start at $30. apldca.org
April 8 and 15: Tour the 7,800-square-foot Prisk Native Garden on the grounds of Prisk Elementary School in Long Beach at this annual open house. 1 to 4 p.m. 2375 Fanwood Ave., Long Beach. Free. Information: firstname.lastname@example.org.
April 14-15: Explore 45 gardens composed of mostly native plants at the annual self-guided tour organized by the Theodore Payne Foundation for Wild Flowers and Native Plants. The April 14 tour will focus on gardens in Beverly Hills, Santa Monica Long Beach, Manhattan Beach, West Adams and San Pedro. The April 15 tour will highlight gardens in Highland Park, Eagle Rock, Sherman Oaks, Woodland Hills, Northridge, North Hollywood, Altadena and Pasadena. 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. both days. Members and students, $25; nonmembers, $30. Includes admission for both days. nativeplantgardentour.org
April 14-15: Visit eight private gardens at the 71st annual Riverside Flower Show and Garden Tour. 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. both days. Flower show, 1 to 6 p.m. April 14 and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. April 15. Maps and tickets are available at the Elks Lodge, 6166 Brockton Drive, Riverside. $10 in advance; $12 in person. riversideflowershow.info
April 15: The Creative Arts Group's Art of the Garden tour will highlight four private gardens in Pasadena, Altadena and Sierra Madre, including a private estate with 22 separate garden rooms. 10:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. $30 in advance; $35 day of tour at 108 N. Baldwin Ave. in Sierra Madre. creativeartsgroup.org
April 21: Six private gardens in Newport Beach and Costa Mesa will be open to the public at the Sherman Library & Gardens' annual tour. 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Members, $50; nonmembers, $60; optional shuttle, $45. Lunch included. slgardens.org
April 21-22: The Redlands Horticultural & Improvement Society hosts the 2018 Garden Tour and Uncommon Plant Sale, which will include tours of five private gardens. 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tour starts at 700 Brookside Ave., Redlands. $15. Tickets are good for both days. redlandsgardenclub.com
April 22: The Pacific Palisades' tour highlights gardens in Pacific Palisades and Brentwood. Noon to 4 p.m. $30. (424) 268-8780. pacpalgardenclub.org
April 22: The 2018 Sustainable Garden Tour sponsored by the nonprofit South Pasadena Beautiful will highlight six gardens in the city. The tour runs from 1 to 4 p.m. and includes a plant swap at Eddie Park, 2017 Edgewood Drive, South Pasadena. $10 tickets can be purchased at Eddie Park, where the tour begins, on April 22. southpasbeautiful.org
April 22: Explore six private gardens in Pasadena, San Marino and South Pasadena at the Garden Conservancy's annual Open Days tour. Highlights include an ivy-covered wall enclosing a formal rose parterre, gardens complementing the C.F. Paxton House and a "Coniston Castle." 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. $7 per garden. Begin at the La Casita del Arroyo Garden, 177 South Arroyo Blvd., in Pasadena for maps and discounted tickets, beginning at 9:30 a.m. opendaysprogram.org
April 28: The Mar Vista Green Gardens showcase returns after a hiatus with a selection of approximately 20 sustainable gardens. Each garden on the tour, sponsored by the environmental nonprofit Green Communications Initiative, will feature a learning component including tips on beekeeping, rain gardens, chickens, native plants and composting. 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Free. Gardens are listed on marvistagreengardenshowcase.blogspot.com
April 28-29: Tour homes and gardens in a variety of architectural styles at the Floral Park Home and Garden Tour north of Santa Ana. 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Advance tickets, $30; same day, $35. floralparkhometour.com
May 4: The Laguna Beach Garden Club hosts a self-guided walking tour of private gardens in South Laguna. Celebrate Cinco de Mayo with margaritas, Mexican food and a raffle. 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tour starts at Arabella Laguna, 506 N. Pacific Coast Highway, Laguna Beach. Shuttles to first garden run continuously until 2 p.m. $45 to $50. lagunabeachgardenclub.org
May 5-6: The Mary Lou Heards Memorial Garden Tour highlights residential gardens from Long Beach to San Clemente. 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Donation. heardsgardentour.com
May 6: Explore six private gardens in Hancock Park and Windsor Square at the Garden Conservancy's Open Days Tour. Go behind the gates of Fremont Place to visit two properties including a garden filled with exotic and unusual plants. 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. $7 per garden. Begin at the Marlborough School, enter on West 3rd Street between South Rossmore Avenue and Arden Boulevard, Los Angeles, for maps and discounted tickets, beginning at 9:30 a.m. opendaysprogram.org
May 6: Inspired Garden Artistry hosts "Blooms with a View," a tour of 10 gardens in and around View Park. Noon to 5 p.m. Tour starts at Monteith Park, 4616 S. Mullen Ave., View Park. $20. inspiredgardenartistry.com
May 17: The 21st Newport Harbor Home and Garden Tour includes stops at seven homes and gardens in the city, lunch and an afternoon reception at Barclay Butera Interiors. 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. $85 in advance; $95 on the day of the tour. (949) 646-1556. newportharborhometour.com
May 19: Friends of Robinson Gardens presents its 30th Garden Tour and Showcase featuring four private gardens in Beverly Hills and tours of the Virginia Robinson estate in Beverly Hills. Includes a designer fashion show and lunch. 1008 Elden Way, Beverly Hills. 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tickets start at $250. robinsongardens.org
Did we miss one of your favorite garden tours? Email us the details at Home@latimes.com and we may include it in an upcoming Saturday section.