This is my first Haus und Garten Tour.

This is my first Haus und Garten Tour.

Now, to anyone who remembers that I started in October 2011, that sounds ridiculous.

But I had the luxury last year of watching and learning -- but not quite participating -- while our excellent neighbor, friend and former employee Adrianne Ramstack worked with our tireless chairmen and board liaison to make the whole thing happen.

So this is MY first Haus und Garten Tour where I get my hands dirty and dot I's and cross T's.

I worried A LOT starting last fall how this might go. I'm not an event planner or fundraiser by training, but the fact is, it has been some of the best fun of my life.


Because the neighbors and friends and chairmen and board liaison and employees still do so much heavy lifting.

I can't believe all of the people who show up to play their roles so expertly year after year, and I am even more stunned by the people who have stepped up for the first time this year and play their roles so expertly.

It takes every Tour homeowner, every PreTour host, every volunteer lead, house captain, board member, fundraiser, committee member, staff person, friend, neighbor, sponsor and partner to not only step up and offer themselves -- but to dance the dance to near perfection.

And so many of you do it, are doing it, have done it. It's humbling.

And it is SO MUCH FUN.

I'm terrified of naming names for fear of who I'll leave out, but we're dotting every "I" for the Tour program, which will go to print in a couple of weeks and when you pick it up, I beg you to take a moment and absorb all of the named names who made it possible.

It is very close now. And yet, it is not too late to be part of this stunning teamwork. You can do it by volunteering (sign up at

You can do it by tidying up your own lawn, garden, home or streetscape just in time for us to show off to the world on June 30.

You can do it by buying a ticket: a raffle, a Tour pass, a PreTour seat, a bundle of tickets to play in GV all year long.

Together, we can do it. And in doing so, we not only meet our neighbors and show off our neighborhood, but we each in our own small way dedicate ourselves to the most mission-centric day of the year and contribute to the historic preservation and education goals of the German Village Society.

And that makes it all truly worth doing.

German Village Society Executive Director Shiloh Todorov submitted the Village notebook column.