Three seasonal home and garden tours offer access to some of the county’s most beautiful private homes, gardens, resorts and spa properties in May. Because they’ve been created to benefit worthy community causes, they have been carefully chosen for audience appeal, with an added benefit that proceeds from ticket sales help residents receive health care and education they otherwise could not afford or have access to.

Healdsburg AAUW’s 26th Annual Healdsburg Homes Tour: May 21, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
The Healdsburg branch of the American Association of University Women present six homes that reflect the diversity of living in Healdsburg, including four renovated treasures and two newer homes, including one with a showcase kitchen and another featuring green technology.

One of the older homes, a Tudor Revival built in 1934, underscores how the addition of a studio and garage can integrate into and complement the historic character of an older home. This house received a Historic Preservation award by the Healdsburg Museum. A newer home, which “House Beautiful” editors named “Cloud Walk,” features a renovated kitchen in which three rooms were combined to make a single light-filled vault anchored by a 19th century French apothecary sideboard. A recently built home incorporates passive solar design, west-facing windows, and motorized windows below the shed roofline—resulting in no need for heat or air conditioning.

AAUW advances equity for women and girls through advocacy, education, philanthropy and research.
The Homes Tour “remains the single major source of the branch’s funds, generally netting over $40,000 for the single-day, six-hour event,” said Cecile Peters, co-chair, 2016 AAUW Healdsburg Homes Tour. Event funds go toward scholarships for women and girls and grants benefitting local educational programs.

Check in at the Healdsburg Museum. Tickets: $40/day of; $35 online; at the museum, Levin & Company and Copperfield’s Books by cash or check. More: Healdsburg-ca.aauw.net

Resorts in Bloom Garden Tour: May 21 & 22, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
On this eighth annual event benefitting West County Health Centers, visitors will get exclusive access to 10 of “the most spectacular properties that Western Sonoma County has to offer,” note tour promotions. Tour-goers will discover historical landmarks, rare plants, meditation gardens, enticing architecture, seductive views and immaculate gardens staffed and manicured by master gardeners.
Participating resorts include the Applewood Inn. Boon Hotel and Spa, Farmhouse Inn, Inn at Occidental, Osmosis Day Spa Sanctuary, Raford Inn, Santa Nella House, Vintners Inn, VML Winery and West Sonoma Inn.

West County Health Centers has provided health care services to the rural communities of Western Sonoma County for 40 years. Event proceeds benefit patients at their seven sites, including medical, dental and mental health care to uninsured children, seniors, homeless people, low-income families, and many others.

There is also a VIP dinner May 18, VIP reception May 20, and VIP wine tasting May 21. Tickets: $31.74-$154.74, available online or at any of the resorts by cash or check. More: resortsinbloom.com

Western Sonoma County Home & Garden Tour: May 29, 10 a.m.- 5 p.m.
“In West County, there are so many hidden homes and gardens that are down little lanes and dirt roads that most people would never get to see otherwise. On our tour, people can get out of the house on a beautiful day, see new places, meet new people, and get inspired for their own properties— all while supporting a great cause,” Food for Thought Development Director Karen Gardner said.

“The homes and gardens this year may just be our best yet. There will be six spectacular private properties throughout West County, as well as Food For Thought’s community garden and Food For Thought Antiques, Gifts and Garden store, located on Antiques row in Sebastopol,” she added.
One noteworthy property is a Sebastopol Tudor-style house that has been recently renovated and is filled with the owner’s art collection. A perennial garden with unique plants surrounds the house, including rare species of succulents and unusual trees.

“All funds raised will go toward our work to provide food and love to those affected by HIV and other critical illnesses in Sonoma County,” Gardner said. More than 750 clients receive weekly groceries with fresh produce, high-quality protein, healthy grains and prepared meals; vitamins and supplements; nutritional counseling, group cooking classes and hot lunch and U-pick garden programs.
Tickets are $45. Pre-ordered box lunches ($15) can be picked up at FFT in Forestville. More: fftfoodbank.org.  SD