Visit private gardens, raise funds for islands, see local trees

| April 27, 2023 | 0 Comments

DETAILS OF LOCAL GARDENS will be shown by local residents including, from left (in her garden) Leah Fischer, Patty Lombard and June Bilgore.

Everything is coming up roses, wisteria and a bountiful array of other colorful flowers when A Secret Garden Tour comes to our neighborhoods on Sat., June 3, from 1 to 5 p.m.

Five to six private gardens — the number is still being sorted out — will be on the tour and fundraiser in Windsor Square and Fremont Place.

Music, a plant sale and a silent auction will also be featured on the tour, which is not so secret, it turns out; rather, the name of the event is a take on the recent musical at the Ahmanson  Theatre.

Confirmed gardens for the visit (as of presstime) are those of Leah Fischer and June Bilgore in Windsor Square and Patty Lombard in Fremont Place. Theirs are among the gardens that will offer a sensory and visual delight to visitors on the tour. Bilgore is also the silent auction chair of the event, hosted by the Windsor Square Hancock Park Historical Society (WS-HPHS).

Organizers of the June 3 tour are Chronicle co-founder Jane Gilman and Richard Battaglia, WSHPHS president.

JMS DESIGN provided a plan and plant photos for the two Hancock Park pedestrian islands at Beverly Boulevard and Rossmore Avenue (above). Below, the current condition.

Islands of Rossmore

“The garden tour, like our home tours, depends upon the generosity of these wonderful homeowners who are willing to expose their secret private gardens for a good cause. This year’s cause is the ‘Islands of Rossmore and Beverly Project’ which is long overdue,” Battaglia told us.

The two triangular pedestrian islands are at the southwest and northeast corners of the busy intersection of Beverly Boulevard and Rossmore Avenue, as the project’s name says.

During the years that this project has been in the talking stages, other pedestrian islands were transformed on Wilton Place at Second Street and at First Street. One also was improved on the corner of Sixth Street and Norton Ave., Battaglia tells us.

“The Larchmont Boulevard medians were finished ages ago, while the two concrete eyesores on Rossmore and Beverly, the gateway to both Hancock Park and Windsor Square, are still just looking ragged and derelict.

“This is not going to be done overnight and is certainly a process, but we have a good team in place,” he added.

The “Islands” committee includes both Michele Flores, field deputy, and George Hakopiants, deputy district director, for Councilwoman Yaroslavsky. 

Others beside Battaglia are Cindy Chvatal, Joyce Kleifield, Joseph Guidera, Patty Lombard, Brian Curran, June Bilgore and Alysoun Higgins. “Landscape designer and Historical Society member Jeffrey Smith did a fantastic job on the renderings [for the islands]. Everyone was very impressed,” added Battaglia.

For tickets to the event visit

Walk with a Lumberjack on May 6

Urban Lumberjack Steve Marshall will give a Tree Walking Tour of the neighborhood on Sat., May 6, beginning at 10 a.m. at First Street and Larchmont Boulevard. The tour will head east to Wilton Place, south to Second Street and return east along Second Street to Larchmont. Wear comfortable shoes.

Visit For tickets visit

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