Hollywood start opens hidden garden in 3 Rivers

Hollywood star Anjelica Huston has enjoyed many seasons in Three Rivers. But for the first time since buying her 120-acre ranch on the historic North Fork Drive in 1982, the Academy Award winning actress is opening up her garden to the public.

Huston’s Flying Heart Ranch will be featured on the third annual Hidden Garden Tour in Three Rivers this Saturday, April 20 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Described by Architectural Digest as “early California rustic-romantic,” Huston’s Flying Heart Ranch features a 1932 adobe house, bunkhouse, tack room, museum, art studio, greenhouses, ponds and paddocks. Huston collects old west relics and sentimental treasures that accent the garden’s eclectic, yet charming feel.

“Miss Huston lives part of the year here in town and because it is such a small town we were able to make the connection,” said Pam Lockhart, chair of the Hidden Garden Tour.

The Hidden Gardens tour is held in April each year and consists of a “celebrity” garden along with three other unique gardens to complete the day. The other gardens included on this year’s tour include a certified organic farm, an historic lavender farm and a foothill ranch that is a virtual artist’s palette.

Bettina Birch’s BeeGreen Farm has been certified organic since 1991 and currently practices sustainable living on her property just off North Fork Drive. Seasonal produce is grown for home use and then sold at farmers’ markets. The garden includes apples, citrus, mixed vegetables, olives, persimmons, strawberries, wild plams and fig and even a rare Persian mulberry.

Cal and Jill Johnson’s Rock Canyon Ranch is described as “Farmy to Funky.” The former llama ranch features a picturesque “Little House on the Prairie,” an herb garden leading to a waterfall and a wonderland of natural color created by Three Rivers artist Wendy McKellar.

Barbara (Davis) Lahman’s was first purchased by her grandparents in 1936 along Kaweah River Drive. Her grandfather built the unique adobe sun-dried brick home that was restored in 1998. Paths meander through Mediterranean olive trees, stands of aloes and fields of lavender. In fact, there are more than 25 species of lavender growing on the property, supplying limitless inspiration for variations of lavender cookies and lavender punch.

While enjoying the visual feast of natural beauty, tour takers will be treated to local artists (including one painting on site), musicians, and a “Taste of Three Rivers” provided by local restaurants at each garden. This year’s artists include painters Wendy McKellar and Nadi Spencer, mosaic artist Pam Lockhart, gourd artist Noi Thomas and jewelry designers Teresa Wickersham and Lisa Noel.

Music will be provided by the Three Rivers Union School Chamber Ensemble, guitarists Julie Doctor and Earl McKee and folk musician Jonathan Humphries.

Volunteers and docents, via the local Redbud Garden Club, will help guide you through the gardens.

All of the proceeds from this year’s tour will benefit the Three Rivers Union School Foundation, a non-profit supporting the elementary school in town. Lockhart said the school is in dire need of funds because it is facing severe budget challenges due to declining enrollment and State budget cuts.

“Miss Huston is very generous and wants to help the school,” Lockhart said, who also sits on the board of directors of the Three Rivers Union School Foundation.

Tickets are $40 per person and include cuisine from at each garden from Ann Lang’s Emporium, Sierra Subs and Salads, Antoinette’s Coffee and Goodies and the Gateway Restaurant.

Tickets can be purchased by calling Pam at 559-471-6624 or Sarah Elliot at 559-349-7980. You can also purchase tickets online at www.trusfoundation.org.


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