Riverside Avondale Preservation’s Garden Tour is set to be held on Saturday, May 13 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. This tour brings neighbors and businesses together to share the transformative nature of front yards, backyards, gardens and landscapes that are sure to give inspiration and encourage budding gardening ideas to bloom. Tour admission includes access to several backyards with varying garden styles and some include live music, refreshments, and activities. Flower gardens, vegetable gardens, and beautiful backyards make this tour a great way to spend a Saturday. Get your tickets, plan your day and discover the boundless opportunities for your yard and garden.
2301 Oak Street – Historic Charmer
This distinguished home at the corner of Oak and Osceola St. is known for its prominent porch and incredible lead paned windows. Owner JoAnna Sohovich moved to Jacksonville from Chicago in 2022 and immediately got to work restoring her home and yard built prior to 1913. Come look closer and see the work designed by Jon the Gardener to learn how a small front and side yard can beautifully complement your historic home. The design is symmetrical and has an appealing privacy hedge. The side yard features an imposing Oak tree that provides shade for pedestrians on the street and sits next to an herb garden perfect for any home chef. The Fiddlehead Fig tree frames the front door. While you are here, check out our “Pop Up Boutique” and shop for Mom from local artists and vendors with fun Mother’s Day themed gifts. Music performed by cellist Marco Melendez onsite from 10am – Noon.
3460 Fitch Street – Cozy Cottage Kaleidoscope
Homeowners Donald and Amanda Trombly have spent hundreds of hours creating their own colorful “Zen” in their backyard on Fitch Street. This cozy space is full of lush greenery and a variety of shrubs, plus yard art, an Ofuro 2-person Japanese soaking tub, an orchid collection and so much more. You will be shocked at how long you wander in this beautiful intimate space and take pictures with or for your Mom.
3629 Pine Street – Water Conservation HomeThis incredible transformation, led by homeowners Peggy and Chris Hildreth, converted a regular turf lawn into a Florida-friendly conservation space. Ably assisted by the folks at Wacca Pilatka, a local native plant landscaping design company, the front and side yards have been populated by several native plant species. This resulted in reducing their outside water use from an average of over 9,000 gallons a month to under 2,000 gallons. Wacca Pilatka representatives will be available on site to discuss the project. *We recommend parking along Dancy St. or Ingleside St. and not driving down Pine St.
3339 Oak Street – Eclectic Wild Side
This garden is as eclectic as homeowner Sherry Magill. Featuring shrubs, trees, and flowers from all over the world, something is always in bloom and everything has a story, including the windchimes. Walk the yard with master gardeners and learn more about each unique plant to incorporate into your landscape. The right-of-way- turf alternative is also a nice touch here, and something anyone can do in their own home.
3885 St. Johns Avenue – Classic Cars & Bee Paradise
Owners Carla and Lonny Taylor love their large, triple lot property. The five-car garage allows Lonny to store his classic cars in different phases of restoration, which will be available for viewing on the Garden Tour. Carla loves to show off her beehives placed directly under their many fruiting trees. This property offers several landscapes including a low maintenance, xeriscape front/side yard with azalea beds and stone pathways. The front of the home is covered in truly iconic flower boxes that add so much character to this Dutch Colonial Revival home completed in 1925. In the backyard, enjoy music from The Balance King and +New Company. Plus, try out 5 Points’ newest ice cream shop, Feliz, specializing in Latin flavors. Learn more about vertical gardening from Joann Krestul who will be on site discussing how to garden in a very small, porch or balcony, indoor or outdoor area.
1515 Mallory Street – The Labyrinth at Peace Memorial Rose Garden
Although this is a public park, you won’t recognize it on the Garden Tour! One year ago, Friends of the Labyrinth kicked off fundraising for a 40 ft. world class Chartres labyrinth. Since that time, $75k has been raised and we are looking forward to fully funding this project this year! Walk the (painted) Labyrinth and enjoy a fresh drink from Rosemary’s Lemonade Stand. Learn more about what a Labyrinth means, the history of this park, and enjoy activities and programs all day. Performances include The Streams of Sound “hand pan” performance as well as Sound Bowl presentation with Corabells Caring Hands.
3022 Riverside Avenue – Vegetables & Music
Visiting 3022 Riverside Ave. allows you to see what you can do when you compost on site and know how to grow your yard. Soil health is key to having large, strong vegetables. See tomatoes, cabbages, lettuce, and fruits all in different stages ready for the Summer harvest. Milkweed ensures pollinators have plenty to eat in this small yard. Owner Wilton Holmes loves his “farmhouse” lifestyle on Riverside Avenue. The grand front porch is perfect for playing music, and the Ronan School of Music will have performances all day. Learn more about “growing in Florida” from a local horticulture expert.
1980 Greenwood Avenue – River View Golf
This St. Johns Riverfront home is a sprawling yard with an incredible view. Check out the downtown skyline while walking the dock, or test your mini golf skills on the custom built putting green. Local artists will be onsite painting with inspiration. Plus, take some pictures in our River-View selfie station with custom Indy Floral bouquets, flower crowns, and flower keepsakes. Consider saving this stop for last to relax before heading to Iguana on Park for your Garden Margaritas and tasty tacos.
1513 Azalea Terrace – Riverside Avondale Community Garden
Built in 2016 by a group of dedicated gardeners and residents who have volunteered thousands of hours towards making this amenity a reality, the Riverside Avondale Community Garden continues to be operated and maintained by volunteer gardeners. Each plot has its own design and direction, meaning there are hundreds of examples of successful plants to consider for your own backyard raised bed. For the Garden Tour, Tiffany Bess of Apple Rabbit Compost will be set up and discussing a unique gardening technique, vermiculture. Learn more about how worms can benefit your soil and you grow the best, biggest, most nutritious plants on your block. Tour the garden with gardeners and if you are so inclined, join the waitlist to become a gardener yourself when a plot becomes available!
975 McDuff Avenue South – Aura Plant Studio
Discover the natural healing properties of plants at Aura Plant Studio, which specializes in rare indoor plants. Their shop is not only an incredible space and unique haven but is also staffed with plant experts and guides that will ensure you take home the right plant for your specific needs. During the Garden Tour, outdoor workshops from “Mrs. Pearl” will feature ways to take care of your indoor plants, given in the plant studio secret garden. Outdoor games and music make this hidden backyard even more fun. This stop is a DO NOT MISS space! Return on June 3 to celebrate the 1-year anniversary at Aura!
1005 Riverside Avenue – The Garden Club of Jacksonville
The Garden Club of Jacksonville has undergone significant renovations over the last few years with more to come! Learn about extensive gardening redesign planned for the Garden Club’s future that will further educate a new generation of gardeners. Give your feedback on the redesign plans and be a part of this improvement! Make your own bird feeder using recycled materials and enjoy refreshments. Go Tuk’n guided tours depart from the Garden Club. Book your timed tour early to secure a spot.
How to Experience the Tour!
As always, there is no one-way to experience the Garden Tour. Ticket purchasers get access to each property during the entire day. Experienced patrons know though, that the best way to get around the neighborhood is without the car! Book a tour today (each tour includes your Garden Tour ticket to the full event). These will sell out, so book your tour asap!Classic Bike Tour with ZenCog E-bike Tour with Art Bikes Jax Go Tuk’n Tour
Food & Drink Stops
Iguana on Park offers an exciting fusion of Latin American cuisine, featuring eclectic tacos, unique entrees, delicious spirits and creative cocktails! Happy Hour drink prices all day for the Garden Tour! Show your wristband to your server. Try the Garden Margarita or the Garden Tacos! Did you know they have an onsite garden? Find their *secret garden which adds heat to your tacos and drinks for a bonus on the Scavenger Hunt. On most days, visit during Happy Hour every day from 3 to 6 pm
All Day Workshops
- Caring for Indoor Plants with Mrs. Pearl, 975 McDuff Avenue South, Aura Plant Studio
- Vermiculture Gardening, 1513 Azalea Terrace, Riverside Avondale Community Garden, Tiffany Bess – Apple Rabbit Compost
- Budding Gardeners: DIY Bird Feeders – Upcycled!, 1005 Riverside Avenue, The Garden Club of Jacksonville
- Ronan School of Music, Michelle Spaulding on piano with Guests, 3022 Riverside Avenue (10am – 1pm)
- The Balance King, DJ, 3885 St. Johns Avenue (10am – 4pm)
- Marco Melendez, Cellist, 2301 Oak Street (10am – Noon)
WHERE TO BEGINStart the tour from any HOME location! At your first stop, you will show proof of ticket purchase (the email from 904Tix on your phone or printed email – it looks like a barcode) or purchase tickets onsite ($30, cash or check preferred). You will be given:
- wristband for entry to each location
- Garden Tour program which includes a map of all 11 gardens, parks, and yards as well as further descriptions of each property. We also include details of a scavenger hunt, workshops, musicians and more.
“HOW” to travelStart anytime between 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. and make your own route! The program includes a map. Biking in the neighborhood is best, if you can skip the car. Further, tickets can be purchased through Go Tuk’n or Art Bikes Jax if you want a guided route without having to pedal. Last, most locations are in a cluster. You can drive and park to one, and then walk to the next nearby. Total Distance between the 2 furthest locations: 3 miles
TIPSSunscreen, waterbottle, lunch plans. We recommend Iguana on Park for lunch in the program. They offer “garden tacos” and a “garden margarita”. Plus, they grow peppers onsite. For something fast with a great patio, consider European Street Cafe with a variety of sandwiches and cold drinks. For something really special, Black Sheep, Biscottis, Josephines, and Brick are all places to take Mom or your Mom Group that you won’t forget. Did we forget something? Email us with questions anytime. Happy early Mother’s Day!
About this year’s Garden Tour Artist:
Teresa Cook is an Abstract Architectural Watercolor artist, art instructor, and Jacksonville native. A graduate of the University of North Florida, she began painting watercolor in 2012. She has spent the past decade traveling to various countries and cities, gaining inspiration from a wide variety of landscapes and buildings along her journeys. A staple of the Jacksonville art scene, you can find Teresa most Saturdays at the Riverside Arts Market. Be sure to check out her website teresacook.net to learn more about upcoming events and workshops taught by Teresa.