In 1985 Mary Lou opened Heard’s Country Gardens, a soon-to-become-beloved nursery in Westminster. Many years passed, until finally in the summer of 2002 Mary Lou had to close Heard’s due to the illness that shortly claimed her life.

In 1993 Mary Lou came up with the notion of a garden tour by and for real people, a tour “for the rest of us.” And so a yearly event was born that in its first year expected 100 people but brought out 800 — and in later years brought out thousands. Over those years we were proud and happy to offer our own gardens for the cause, and we were all bowled over by the amount your free-will donations brought Mary Lou’s chosen recipient, The Sheepfold of Tustin. When Heard’s closed, we wondered how such organizations sustain themselves when the Mary Lous of the world are lost. And so the tour is continued today in Mary Lou’s name because — well — because we love to do it. And because she loved to do it.

To share your special garden in our next year’s tour, or to volunteer your talents in joining us in planning next year’s tour,  simply send us a message from our Contact Page.