Late spring and early summer gardens give great joy that is meant to be shared, but that is next to impossible during the COVID19 shelter in place. However, Symphony of the Vines, a professional orchestra organization based in Paso Robles, is connecting music with local gardens for a Virtual Garden Tour collaboration. “Send us a video of your garden and we will edit it to music from our concerts,” said Robin Smith, the organization’s marketing director.

“The local garden tours this year had to be cancelled and that’s disappointing,” said Smith. “But local gardens are still putting on a spectacular show.  We want to bring those visuals to everyone in our community with a music score from our concert performances.”

Karen Willer, Symphony of the Vines’ board president, saw a natural connection. “Music and nature are quite powerful when it comes to lifting the human spirit.  Our community needs that right now and people of all ages can contribute to this friendly, positive project.”

The Virtual Garden Tour is free and open to gardeners of all ages in San Luis Obispo County.  Video may be recorded with a camcorder or cellphone camera.  To be considered for the Virtual Garden Tour video, email 5 to 10 video clips at about 5 seconds each to Video clips will be collected until June 19.


“If you have a pretty garden right now, send us a few video clips,” said Smith. “We are hoping to have peeks at gardens from all over the county.”

Smith is an Emmy-winning television producer and has a few pointers for those who want to participate. “The best lighting is about one hour after sunrise and one hour before sunset. It’s too bright in the middle of the day to get nice looking footage,” she explained. “Set your cell phone for its best quality and turn the camera so it is horizontal not vertical.”

In addition, Smith recommends getting a few wide shots to establish the overall area, then move in for details. “Of course, tight shots of flowers are gorgeous, but close-ups of art accents, birds, butterflies, and kitschy garden gnomes are fun, too.”

For more videotaping tips, visit where you can also sign-up for the mailing list to be notified when the videos are going to premiere.

When the editing is finished, the videos will be available for viewing on Facebook and at the Symphony of the Vines website.