Helping Hands

Crataegus phaenopyrum was struggling. Commonly known as Washington Hawthorn, the small tree had everything a hawthorn could get: mites, scale, blight and cedar rust, along with a bifurcated crown. Beyond all that, it was in an odd location. I planned to remove it on a dry day in February. As luck would have it, the […]

Within These Wavy Walls

Welcomed by trees reaching me-ward from age-old heights I feel cared for. Junco, Towhee and Nuthatch all fly by as if heralding my arrival. Sounds of children at play. Waves and wags from passers by lift my spirits Work to be done today will be done with joy and appreciation. Is it really work then? […]

Erudite Tree Planting

Planting trees. Two simple words to express a routine act. Yet beneath the simplicity lies complexity. Much like the redwood saplings we planted that we can see, there is a complex root life that we cannot. This past week we planted redwoods at the Redwood Amphitheater with a long term plan in mind. Primarily, we […]

Of All the Flowers

Of all the flowers, me thinks the rose is best. —Shakespeare As you wander through our Rose Garden and take in the splendor and fragrance, know that these roses are tended by one of the North Bay’s best gardeners. You probably don’t know her name and you may not see her. If you do happen […]

“What’s that Smell?”

Let me begin by recounting the words ascribed to one of my favorite oddities in nature: Repugnant. Fetid. Malodorous. Reeky. Stinky. Truly, the basket stinkhorn is all these things, yet it is wonderous! This fungus begins its brief display in what looks like an egg. Inside the egg is a compressed basked laden with a […]

High School Help

About two years ago, while I was raking leaves at the Butterfly Cottage, a visitor stopped to talk. The visitor was the Career Liaison for the Tamalpais Unified School District. He came by to see if the Center was interested offering internships to high school students. This was fortuitous, as I had just been wondering […]

Have Felcos, Will Travel

Three to four times a year, a wandering band of pruners equipped with Felcos, saws and ladders descend upon our campus. This sprinkling of gardeners is called the Pruning Guild. The Pruning Guild is led by a most excellent pruner, Katherine Randolph. She coordinates instructor-led pruning classes here in our gardens and at others in […]

“We Got Company!”

You know how it is when you know you have company coming over and you put off things to do until the day is upon you? Well, that happened to the gardeners at the Center earlier this month. It’s like my house was a mess and I had to clean up quickly before the Filoli […]

When Things Break

At 8:30 in the morning last Monday, our gardener Tom discovered a serious flowing leak. Water was cascading down the stairs that lead to the Barn. This was quite unexpected! As you may well know, the garden is full of surprises. When things break or something unexpected happens, the best anyone can do is to […]

Octopus Agave

Agave vilmoriniana is the Latin name for Octopus agave. It is so named because of its arching and undulating leaves that resemble an octopus. It takes ten years for the agave to produce its impressive towering stalk, which can reach up to 20 feet. After flowering, the plant dies, making it monocarpic. I’d like to […]

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