Winter Wonders

 You could be forgiven for thinking that winter is a time when you won’t see anything new at the Center; it’s true most of the plants here are waiting for spring to look their best. But the cool damp weather that winter brings to our part of the world is just right for mosses, ferns, and other plants that thrive at this time of year.

The rich green velvet of mosses can be found on trees, stones, even bricks and concrete. These plants are holdouts from another era millions of years ago, and despite lacking some of the more sophisticated structures of modern plants, mosses continue to flourish wherever they have access to water. The tiny moss leaves can be just one cell thick, and can extract water from the air. The English Oak, at the southeastern end of the grounds, hosts a particularly lush crop of moss at this time of year.

Ferns are also an ancient type of plant; they are a large and diverse group, having had millennia to adapt and evolve. Here at the Center you can see the familiar green feathery fronds growing in the planted beds under the Crape Myrtles along the path, as well as up in the English Oak with the moss! Ferns develop from a characteristic “fiddlehead,” where the new leaves uncurl from a tight coil. Rather than reproducing from seeds, most ferns develop spores on the underside of the leaves, which are dispersed into the soil. The spores grow into tiny plants, which in turn produce reproductive cells. The male reproductive cells must actually swim through water to the female cells, to fertilize them and ultimately develop into a new fern plant—quite remarkable.

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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