About | 2018 Ross Garden Tour




The Ross Garden Tour (“Beyond the Garden Gate”) is one of Ross School’s major biennial fundraising events. Proceeds from the tour enrich our public school by bolstering its Fine Arts offerings for students, which include art, music, musical theater and drama. Beyond the Garden Gate began in 1996, when two Ross School mothers, Dianne Fruin and BJ Martin, conceptualized the tour as a way to raise money for the school’s PTA. Seven beautiful gardens were featured that first year, and Beyond the Garden Gate was a triumph. While the tour has evolved and changed as the years have passed, it continues always as a successful fundraiser and memorable community event.

2018 marks the 20th biennial Ross Garden Tour. We hope you’ll enjoy the four lovely properties on this year’s tour, as well as a delicious boxed lunch compliments of Woodlands Market. We thank you sincerely for supporting the Ross Garden Tour and the many children at Ross School.


Albert Dibblee, who in 1870 purchased land in what later became the Town of Ross, is generally credited with beginning the town’s tree-planting legacy, including the 168 varieties he planted on his own estate. He also planted elm trees down his private driveway, which is now known as Fernhill Avenue. He next planted trees along Shady Lane, which had been denuded for lumber shipped to San Francisco. Neighbors followed his example and soon Shady Lane, Lagunitas Road, and many of the smaller roads were lined with rows of trees, reminding many residents of their New England heritage and providing shade when driving their carriages to the rail station.

His descendants carried on Dibblee’s legacy and in 1968 the California Horticultural Journal declared:  “The garden of the late Mr. and Mrs. Benjamin Harrison Dibblee, Upper Road, Ross, Marin County, was surely one of the most spectacular gardens created in the United States in the early years of the 20th Century.”

By Gary Scales
Trustee of Moya Library-Ross Historical Society
Co-author of Ross, California: the People, the Places, the History
Co-founder, Marin Rose Society