Garden Guides are volunteers trained to give educational tours of the garden. The tours focus on ecology, botany, beauty, and the garden’s history. We use an inquiry-based approach to exploring Gamble’s historical “garden rooms” and specialty gardens including the camellia, native plant, pollinator, rain gardens, and more. Our tours are designed for adults, families with children, and school groups.
Garden Guides provide free tours during our Second Saturday events and are available to give customized tours on unique parts of the garden.
For more information or to arrange a tour, please call Gamble Garden at 650-329-1356.
The camellias of Gamble are particularly vibrant during the winter months as their abundant flowers burst forth in a wide variety of intricate forms and broad spectrum of shades. Elizabeth Gamble was a collector of camellias from the early days of the garden, and the garden has a number of her original hybrids in the shaded woodlands to the north of the house. Asian in origin, the evergreen Camellia genus has been cultivated for centuries, and our garden includes varieties from the 17th and 18th centuries as well as more recent hybrids. Our garden is an American Camellia Society Camellia Trail Garden.
For more, visit our comprehensive guide to the Gamble camellia collection or take a tour of our Heritage Camellias with a Google Map in English or Chinese language.
Together with Canopy the Garden Guides have developed an engaging walk through the garden visiting the signature trees of the property. A number of the specimens are associated with the original 1908 garden, while others were added over the decades. Elizabeth Gamble liked to collect native, Asian and rare trees, which you will find on this 30-45 minute tour. Come along with us on our photo-illustrated walk here:
Garden Guide Doug Kalish has created a 30-minute walking tour at Gamble Garden to help you understand what plants do to survive in hot, dry environments. By using the succulents, cacti, and grasses of Gamble Garden as examples read how plants that live in arid environments have evolved adaptations that conserve what little water is available in the desert and Mediterranean areas and how they protect themselves from the heat of the day.
This guide can be accessed on your cellphone and use it to walk around the garden, or you can do an ‘armchair’ tour by reading the text and looking at the pictures in your home. You won’t need to know a lot of science to understand the tour, and you can skip over any topics that don’t interest you.
You can view the tour here:
The Garden Guide program is a great way to learn more about Gamble Garden while sharing your love of nature with others. People who complete the training will lead tours six to twelve times per year, including at our popular Second Saturdays. Guides choose flexible schedules and have the option to lead garden tours for adults or educational nature tours for families. With additional training, guides will have the opportunity to provide tours for Gamble members, private groups, and elementary school groups.
Garden Guides and all the volunteers at Gamble Garden provide over 35,000 hours a year of volunteer work and are our lifeblood.
Volunteering at Gamble Garden is a great way to contribute to your community, meet new friends, use your talents, and learn new skills. If you are interested in learning more about becoming a Garden Guide, please visit our Volunteer page.
Garden Guides! Log in to the Guides’ Education section here: Resources
|For the Love of Iris||Betsy Fryberger||4/14/2021||1:00:17||irises, Woman's Club, MOAH|
|Getting to Know Our Amazing Native Oaks||Elise Willis, Sue Krumbein||2/10/2021||0:54:11||native oaks, Canopy, Woman's Club of Palo Alto|
|Water Tanks and Towers||Jane Stocklin, Sue Krumbein||1/27/2021||0:37:11||water supply, local history|
|The Watershed Garden with Richard Hayden||Richard Hayden, Girvin Peters||1/6/2021||1:02:33||Watershed Garden, design|
|The Happiness of Apples - Family Section||Mary Powell||8/5/2020||0:08:17||kids, Second Saturday, apples|
|Armchair Exploration: All Things Apple at Gamble||Doug Kalish, Mary Powell||8/1/2020||0:39:09||Second Saturday, apples|
|The Watershed Garden||Doug Kalish||7/27/2020||0:51:31||watershed, water cycle
|Live Tour of Gamble Garden with San Mateo/Silicon Valley Convention & Visitors Bureau||Veronica Thao||5/28/2020||0:37:42||kids, Pollinator Garden, Roots & Shoots Edible Garden, greenhouse, tomatoes|
|Save the Monarchs||Eleanor Laney||10/12/2019||0:23:51||monarchs, butterflies, kids|