An Early Autumn

Fall officially arrived this year on September 22 with the Autumn Equinox, but after a blistering heat wave early this month, the early rain and comparatively cool weather already feels like a change of season. Around the garden, we’re seeing that the plants are also starting to undergo a shift, with leaves changing color and in some cases, even starting to drop.

Every year, deciduous plants lose their leaves as they prepare for the shorter, colder days of winter. While we generally think of this transformation happening as the temperature drops, plants also get the message that it’s time to get ready for the next season from the diminishing hours of daylight. Here in Northern California where summer weather can continue through October, it can feel incongruous to enjoy 

warm sunshine while surrounded by fall color; since the plants don’t observe Daylight Savings, they are clocking the shorter days even though it may not feel like Pumpkin Spice season.

Things do look a little different this September. Despite the unusually heavy rains last fall, the years-long drought is still having an effect.

November 2019

September 2022

Plants don’t all respond the same way, of course. Elsewhere on the grounds another dogwood is still quite green and lush, but if you look closely you’ll see it has already produced bright red berries. Before long, the Dawn redwood will start to fade, as one of the few deciduous conifers, it goes from green to brown in the fall which is no cause for alarm about the tree’s health. It’s worth remembering that the early leaf loss we’re seeing after summer’s last blast of heat is just an acceleration of the typical cycle, and we expect spring to bring new foliage as it does every year.

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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