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Contact: Alana Coons

Save Our Heritage Organisation

(619) 297-9327 · (619) 291-3576 fax
A Garden Celebration at the Marston House Museum & Gardens

SAN DIEGO, CA - Celebrate May Day at a festive, all-day garden event when SOHO presents May Day at the Marston House - San Diego’s Garden Party at the historic Marston House Museum & Gardens on May 1 from 10am to 5pm.
Special guest Suzy Spafford, the internationally beloved creator of Suzy’s Zoo books, calendars and greeting cards, will be on hand for the unveiling of three colorful new geraniums named for her delightful animal creations and specially developed by the Marston House’s all-volunteer Geranium George Project. The Duckport geranium series, inspired by the imaginary place where Suzy’s Zoo creatures live, will be unveiled and plants will be available for sale on May 1.
Proceeds from the event will benefit the restoration of the Marston House grounds and gardens. These include a formal garden with a brick teahouse and plantings developed over time with the aid of nationally prominent landscape designers such as John Nolen and Samuel Parsons, Jr. and a two-and-a-half-acre, rustic Arts & Crafts-era garden with stone stairs, benches and bridges, remnants of which still remain and weave through the adjacent Cabrillo Canyon.
“San Diego’s Garden Party, which will be held annually, celebrates the legacy of George and Anna Marston, who were integrally involved in San Diego’s garden societies and park communities. They entertained often outdoors as they helped lead and improve San Diego from this home for nearly half a century. Funds raised at this event will support SOHO’s restoration and long-term maintenance plans for the Marston House’s five acres of gardens,” said Alana Coons, SOHO’s Events and Education Director. “Additionally, it begins the reintroduction of the site as a community resource, the home was once served as San Diego's front porch.”
The event coincides with the beginning of National Preservation Month, sponsored by the National Trust for Historic Preservation, and California Museums Month. Representatives from several San Diego museums will be on hand with interactive activities. This Garden Party for adults and children alike offers gardening and nature activities, art exhibits, live music, guided garden tours, tea and wine gardens and more, filling the property’s five lush acres on the northwest corner of Balboa Park.
Highlights of the day’s activities include:
Plein-Air Art Show by San Diego Artists

San Diego has a long tradition of producing great plein-air painters; George Marston counted among his friends Charles Fries and Alfred Mitchell. They created murals for Marston’s department store and for his home. Following in this tradition, some of San Diego’s finest artists will exhibit and sell their works. A silent auction of paintings by these invited artists will augment this benefit.

Marston House Museum Tours

Free with general admission ticket. An abbreviated tour of one of San Diego’s architectural treasures will give May Day visitors a peek into the home’s many layers of history, arts and culture. Completed in 1905, the Arts & Crafts house was designed by Hebbard & Gill, San Diego’s most illustrious architecture firm at the time.

Historic Garden Tours

The Marston House gardens represent the work of several renowned landscape designers and the Marstons, who were avid garden and open-space advocates. George and daughter Mary were thoroughly engaged in the designing, planning and implementation of the gardens.

Ask the Experts: San Diego Master Gardeners

Master Gardeners are volunteers trained and supervised by the University of California Cooperative Extension (UCCE). They will answer visitors’ questions on home gardening, water conservation and pest control.

Tea Garden

Enjoy an elegant mid-morning or afternoon tea with assorted pastries, scones, tea sandwiches and other seasonal delectables in the formal garden, with views of the historic house and other activities of the day, while listening to live music.

Wine Garden

Sponsored by Wine Steals, a tasting of five wines will be presented. Accompanied by soft live music, guests will have the rare opportunity to enjoy wine and appetizers on the terrace of one of the most important homes in the history of San Diego.

The Tea and Wine Gardens will provide a perfect lunch or brunch for visitors (not included with admission). A ticket for each is required and may be purchased in advance or on site during the event.
Area museums and nature groups will offer interactive activities and enlightenment for the whole family.
Monarch Butterfly Release The unsurpassed beauty of hundreds of live monarch butterflies being released will add to the day’s celebration and memories.
When May 1, 2010 • 10am-5pm

Where Marston House Museum & Gardens • 3525 Seventh Avenue, 92103

General Admission


$5 Adults • $3 Children (12 & under)
Tea Garden


$12 Adults • $8 Children (12 & under)
Wine Garden


$25 (21 & older)
Purchase Advance Tickets


Call SOHO (619) 297-9327 or (619) 297-7511

In person

  • Marston House Museum Shop, 3525 Seventh Avenue

  • Whaley House Museum Shop, 2476 San Diego Avenue

Day of the Event on site Beginning at 10am
The Marston House Museum & Gardens, 3525 Seventh Avenue, San Diego, are open Friday through Sunday from 10am to 5pm. For tickets and more information about the May Day celebration visit or call (619) 297-9327.
SOHO, San Diego county's largest preservation organization, protects historic architectural, cultural and environmental resources and landscapes. It operates three historic sites: the Whaley House Museum and Gardens and Adobe Chapel, both in Old Town San Diego; and the Marston House Museum & Gardens. Founded in 1969, SOHO is California's oldest continuously operating group of its kind.

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