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 […]

My Redbud is Thriving Despite Me

On the way to the recycling bin at my house, a reaching limb brushed my cheek. It was as is if it was trying to get my attention. Having deposited the recyclables, I turned to the face the redbud tree that beckoned. I was astonished to realize the height, reach and vibrancy of it. This […]

Sprinkle; Dig; Society; Awesome

The official collective noun for a group of gardeners is known as a sprinkle. Other ones I’ve heard through the years include a dig of gardeners and a society of gardeners. Another name for a group of gardeners that come together regularly at Marin Art and Garden Center is the Horticultural Advisory Committee. I personally […]

It’s Never Nothing

By putting things to do on a list, we are not deferring. This is important in a garden of our size. Of course there’s only so much a gardener can do in a day. But by applying the art of maintenance, each item on that list gets checked off and that feels good! Soon, though, […]

Flowers and Weeds

As I walked around our campus Monday morning, all I could see was a weed patch with some flowers. Of course it’s actually the other way around: we have a beautiful garden here with some spring weeds. My gardener goggles were on and could only see the weeds. That thought carried me to my general […]

Nectar Guide

I recently caught myself staring into a foxglove flower. As my eyes dug deeper into the psychedelic  pattern, I became transfixed. It occurred to me that I had been drawn in by a nectar guide. Like hummingbirds and insects, I was guided into the opening the flower! Of course I was not rewarded with pollen […]

In Appreciation of Catkins

Catkin (noun) ˈkat-kən  An elongated cluster of single-sex flowers bearing bracts by which pollination occurs. Well, that’s a dry definition from Webster’s that doesn’t begin to describe the fascinating beauty of one of nature’s wonders. English oak Ribes Some of our catkins at Marin Art and Garden Center can be found on ribes, Big Leaf […]


At times it has been difficult to find the time to pen these Notes from the Garden. Because it is an enjoyable endeavor, I am sure to get to it, though. Relaying news and notes from our gardens gives me a respite from a gardener’s never-ending list of things to do. In these unfettered moments, […]

I Had a 6-Rainbow Day

This past Wednesday I saw six rainbows! It felt good and reassure to have seen so many before lunch. A double rainbow was among those I saw. That means the sun was shining while raining.  That brought to mind how different cultures describe the contrast of rain and sun. In Hawaii it’s called ghost rain. […]

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 tod.thorpe@maringarden.org to discuss your gift to Marin Art and Garden Center