Our Mission

The Historic Garden League (HGL) was organized in 1995 to support the development, knowledge, preservation and appreciation of the significant historic gardens within the Monterey California State Historic Park and the surrounding historical area of Monterey; and to assist the State of California in collecting, preserving and displaying information and artifacts related to those gardens.  HGL is a “non-profit” corporation organized and operated exclusively for public and charitable purposes within the meaning of Section 501(C) (3) of the Internal Revenue Code.

Who We Are

Volunteers from the Historic Garden League are dedicated to maintaining the gardens surrounding six major historic properties in Monterey. The Historic Garden League works with the Monterey State Historic Park to operate two shops in the area of the Custom House Plaza.  The Joseph Boston & Co. store is housed in a historic adobe, and The Picket Fence is located in an adjacent building.  Both structures belong to the State of California. The stores are surrounded by the state owned Casa del Oro, Memory and First Theater gardens.  All profits from the stores are used to maintain, restore and support several of the public gardens belonging to Monterey State Historic Park.

The Historic Garden League provides additional “non-shop” funding and labor to help maintain these state owned gardens. Assisted by a paid gardener, teams of volunteer gardeners from HGL gather three or four mornings a month to work with their own hands in the gardens.  HGL volunteers also provide tours of six gardens on the Path of History in historic old Monterey.  The Doud House Garden is privately owned by another foundation.  HGL helped with the restoration of this garden and HGL volunteers still work to maintain the Doud House Garden.

The Shops

Come visit the shops operated by Historic Garden League volunteers. Enjoy the history, architecture, contents and merchandise at the Jos. Boston Store.  The Picket Fence was renovated and re-opened in late-November, 2011 as a repository of information, material and merchandise about the historic gardens of Monterey. Photo displays depicting the gardens are presented on the south wall of the Picket Fence. The photo displays are rotated on a bi-monthly basis.  The shops have many seasonal decorations and items for sale.  Remember that the profits from the shops are used to support local historic gardens owned by the State of California.

Historic Garden League Projects

Casa del Oro Garden

The Historic Garden League, in conjunction with the State Historic Park, raised funds for the development of this showpiece garden.  The garden is located at the corner of Scott and Pacific streets in Monterey. The former parking lot and small garden has been replaced by an inviting, much larger garden.  The plantings vary from season to season, year to year allowing for a garden continually “modern” in presentation.  This color driven theme flowing throughout the garden makes it unique to Monterey.  The inclusion of a water fountain, benches and walkways makes the Casa del Oro Garden the new gateway to the State Historic Park and provides the visitor with an unobstructed view from the First Theater to the Custom House Plaza.

Doud House and the Carriage House Garden

Years ago, the Historic Garden League restored and developed the gardens surrounding the Doud House; and also the Carriage House Garden at the Perry Downer House.  These historic properties are located on the corner of Scott and Van Buren streets in Monterey. The Perry Downer House with its Carriage House Garden has been sold to private individuals. The Doud House belongs to the Monterey History and Art Association (MHAA).  The Historic Garden League continues to work with MHAA to help maintain the historic garden at the Doud House.


Historic Garden League volunteers offer tours of six historic gardens in the area of the Custom House Plaza.  Docents inform visitors of the historical significance of the buildings as well as describing the gardens and the plants.  These tours are within easy walking distance from the Picket Fence where the tours begin.  Regularly scheduled tours are offered on a seasonal basis during the months of April to September.  Special tours for groups can be arranged by appointment throughout the year.


The Historic Garden League is a nonprofit educational organization.  Member activities include  volunteering to help with the operation of the shops;  volunteer gardening where teams of HGL gardeners, including master gardeners, gather on three or four regularly scheduled mornings  a month to work in one or more of the several gardens that HGL is currently helping to maintain; volunteering to lead tours of historic gardens in the area of the Custom House Plaza; volunteering to help with the planning, preparation and implementation of HGL’s fund raising events; participation in HGL’s board and general members meetings and the less frequent general membership meetings which consist of a brief business agenda followed by an educational program and an optional luncheon; and, assistance with HGL’s outreach efforts to inform the community of the many valuable things that HGL does to support the historic gardens of Monterey.

Fund Raising

On the 2015 occasion of its 20th anniversary the Historic Garden League is working on several new programs to increase the organization’s public profile and raise funds for our charitable operations. A yard sale was held in March that was quite a success. An additional event with other organizations is planned in the gardens for September, 2015. The Historic Garden League is also in the planning phases for a program seeking business supporters to assist with the finances required to improve and maintain the historic gardens of Monterey.