Act now for winter color

Steven Schwager, our Garden Manager, will be on hand at our Wander and Wonder Pop-Up Marketplace on Saturday, October 3, to give you personal advice on choosing houseplants and seasonal favorites on sale to brighten your space. Join us out in The Shop courtyard from 10 am to 5 pm!

With the scorching weather we’ve been having and more forecast to come, it’s hard to believe that cooler weather is around the corner.  But it’s not too early to start planning for your winter garden.

It’s always a pleasure to see color in the garden during our rainy winters.  Pansies and violas (both Viola tricolor) love the cooler weather and come in almost any color imaginable. 

Winter is also a great time to plant many varieties of vegetables that actually prefer the cooler weather.  Most Brassicas (broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, etc.) hate the heat and will bolt quickly if the weather is too warm.  With sun lower on the horizon, perhaps your vegetable patch is shadier this time of year.  Try growing some greens—chard, kale, mustard greens can all be grown with less sunlight.   Many root crops like radishes, beets and carrots grow more slowly but will reward you next spring with sweet succulent crops.

 Snapdragons (Antirrhinum majus) also do well through our winters and can add height to your planting bed.  Calendula is also happiest when weather cools down and they can add not only sunny yellow and orange, but also in various shades of pink and white.  If you’d like to try something a bit more unusual, plant Diascia.  These are covered with clouds of flowers and are also available in a wide variety of colors in both bright and pastel shades.

If gardening in the cold doesn’t appeal to you, perhaps try your hand at indoor gardening.  If you have a sunny spot you can grow herbs including basil, rosemary, thyme and parsley.  A sunny room is also a great place to grow succulents.  For a fun change of pace, grow a Tillandsia in your bathroom.  These air plants don’t need soil and thrive in the humid atmosphere as they take water in through their leaves. 

If your home is shaded by evergreen trees there is a wide variety of houseplants that do well in lower light levels.  One favorite is Zamioculcus zamiifolia, otherwise known as the Z.Z. plant.  This plant has glossy dark green foliage and an architectural form.  Adding houseplants has the extra advantage of purifying the air while we’re cooped up inside with the doors and windows shut.

More to explore

IRS Guidelines for Gifts from Donor Advised Funds to Support MAGC Events

Thank you for your interest in giving to the Marin Art & Garden Center events from your Donor Advised Fund (DAF) or Family Foundation.

We sincerely appreciate your generosity and support!

To ensure your gift follows the current IRS guidelines for DAF/Family Foundation support of an event, we would like to share the below guidelines with you.

  • Raffle tickets, tickets to galas and other special events, auction items, and benefits conferred in connection with a DAF/foundation grant are not permitted.
    • IRS has specifically ruled that fair market value associated with fundraising events cannot be separated, a practice known as “bifurcation.”
      • For example, with Edible Garden, if the price of the ticket is $200 and the FMV fair market value (non-tax-deductible amount) is designated to be $50, the donor must pay from sources other than her DAF/foundation for the full value of the ticket ($200) and not just for the non-tax-deductible amount ($50).
    • We recommend you confer with your financial advisor to confirm if any of these examples of how donors may still use their DAF to support an event would work for you:
      • A donor could sponsor the event, and not attend, and pay fully out of the DAF/foundation.
      • A donor could sponsor the event using DAF/foundation funds and attend by purchasing an individual ticket through non-DAF/foundation funds.
      • A donor could sponsor the event, join the event as a guest of another donor/table guest, and pay fully out of the DAF/foundation.
      • A donor could sponsor the event and host the afforded number of people at their chosen level as long as they pay for the seats at the lowest ticket price ($200 for Edible Garden) outside of their DAF.
        • As an example, a $1,500 sponsor that covers 2 guests, could pay for their sponsorship with $400 from a different source of funds, and then give an additional gift of $1,100 out of their DAF.


Please email Tod Thorpe, Director of Development at to discuss your gift to Marin Art and Garden Center