By LB Indy Partners
The parallels between the Laguna Beach County Water District and the Laguna Beach Garden Club are uncanny. Both were founded almost 100 years ago; both were founded by wonderful residents of Laguna Beach; and both have weathered challenges throughout their long and storied past. The water district faced huge challenges with the 1993 fires, and the Garden Club managed to continue to thrive even through the years of World War II when not even black-outs and gas-rationing could stop the members from digging victory gardens and planting trees for landscaping the Air Corp Replacement Training Center. Both organizations have a love of nature, water conservation, and helping the community by providing service and education. So, it is not unusual that they have teamed up to bring the Gate & Garden Tour to fruition on Saturday May 1st, 2021.
The Laguna Beach County Water District’s beautiful “Mediterranean Revival” styled building designed by one of Laguna’s renowned architects, Aubrey St. Clair, will be the host site for the event. Tour guests will be greeted by the Bruce Scherer Waterwise and Fire-Safe Demonstration Garden, that was designed to encourage public acceptance, and desire for use of water-efficient and fire-safe landscaping options. The garden is designed to show visitors that landscaping can be water efficient, fire-safe and beautiful. The water district added a contest “Most Water Wise” garden to the festivities of the tour. A panel of judges will grade each garden on the tour and announce the winner prior to the tour date.
Keith Van Der Maaten, newly announced District General Manager, is excited to be part of an endeavor that meets his mantra of achieving a high level of service to the community. The Garden Club joins forces with Keith as he begins his journey as part of our beautiful community.
Rounding out the Team of Sponsors is another iconic member of Laguna Beach. Many of us know her as the “Queen of Real Estate”, Dani Purcell, owner of Team Laguna Luxury Real Estate. Dani’s deep roots and rich history in Laguna Beach go back to 1968 when her father, Neil Purcell was the police chief of Laguna Beach. Her father began as a narcotics officer who became known for arresting Timothy Leary, LSD mogul, whose story was retold in the documentary “Orange Sunshine”. Dani states, “My dad is my hero and I credit him for our beautiful, peaceful town”.
Dani reminisces about the fires of 1993 when she contacted friends who were evacuating to help house their animals until the owners were no longer without a home. Apparently housing folks is engrained in Dani’s spirit as she has been credited with closing the most transactions not only in Laguna Beach and Orange County, but throughout the entire state of California. Dani’s passion for Laguna and love for helping organizations that serve her favorite town, like the Laguna Beach Garden Club, made her the perfect match to get this year’s tour back up and running after the tour of 2020 was cancelled due to COVID 19. Dani’s excitement about participating as a major sponsor and helping the community to begin to feel like we are starting our journey to “a new normal” is hand in glove with the spirit of the 2021 Gate & Garden Tour.
To purchase tickets, visit LagunaBeachGardenClub.org