Keeping it Natural in the Garden

By Michael Bogart

Garden Manager

Organic and pesticide free.  Those words are nice to hear, and even nicer to practice.   

As you visit our gardens, you can be assured that there are no chemicals and everything we grow is organic.  When we practice this method of gardening it ensures the health of everyone, from the gardeners that tend to our campus grounds, visitors, animals domestic and wild, insects, microorganisms and to everything downstream of Marin Art and Garden Center.

It  takes little extra effort and cost to garden organically and pesticide free but once committed, it becomes effortless and the cost is nominal.  We learn to live with some of the trade offs and link that to a beneficial attribute of organic and pesticide free and how that connects to our environment. Like the moles that leave billowy mounds of fresh soil on our lawns.  They are busy little creatures that offer lessons in acceptance.  The tunnels they create allow air and water to pass through, thus helping avoid soil compaction.   There is hope however that the new group of raptors we’ve seen will aid in the control of the moles.  Already we’ve seen a Kestrel strike a mole.  Such a fierce little bird!  We are holding out hope for the return of owls.

I hope you have seen our roses this year.  They had a splendid first bloom and are now in the second round of flowering,  All done organically and without pesticides.  Roses are prone to many issues but most of the afflictions that roses (and gardeners) endure  are manageable through organic practices.  For example,  we are using a yogurt/water solution to treat powdery mildew, rust and black spot.  A chance meeting in the rose garden with author Kier Holmes led to the discovery of  this method.  Thank you, Kier!

In the garden, the unexpected happens often and what a delight it is to discover something new.  By practicing safe methods throughout our gardens, we hope to continually discover the positive affects of mindful gardening. 

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