July 1, 2013

Hit the Road, Jack!

One of my cherished memories of a July morning is this:  I am standing in cool grass surrounded by a seaside garden in its full summer glory; a symphony of color and form.  Beyond the garden is the ocean or, more specifically, Little Narragansett Bay.  The breeze from the water is delicious; the sight of sailboats bobbing in the water makes the contrast with the garden all the more vivid…
It is a truth universally acknowledged that gardeners love to show off their handiwork, especially for a worthy cause.  And, July is the heart of the garden tour season here in New England.
A garden in Windham, NH to be
open July 13 and 14
Perhaps your July will be spent in a distant vacation spot but, if you live in New England and are staying local for some part of the month, or visiting this part of the country from elsewhere, consider taking a day (or many days) and going on a garden tour.  You may be benefitting a local garden club’s civic development programs or a national garden preservation organization but, mostly, you will be benefitting yourself.  Seeing someone else’s garden opens our eyes to the possibilities in our own back yard.
You could start on Tuesday, July 9th when the Falmouth Garden Club hosts ‘Falmouth Blooms’, a look at nine private in-town gardens.  The tour runs from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. and tickets will be available the day of the tour at the Falmouth Historical Society Education Center, 65 Palmer Avenue.
A Japanese-inspired garden to be
open in Canterbury, NH July 13-14
The next day, you can tour a series of private gardens in East Sandwich from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.  The tour benefits the environmental education programs of the Thornton W. Burgess Society and its Green Briar Nature Center.  Tickets are available at the Nature Center, 6 Discovery Hill Rd. in East Sandwich.
The garden tour floodgates open on Saturday, July 13 as the Garden Conservancy Open Days Program spotlights five gardens in Westport, Dartmouth, and South Dartmouth; two gardens in Stonington, Connecticut; and six gardens in Nashua, Londonderry, Canterbury, Goffstown, Chichester and Windham, New Hampshire.  The Merrimack Valley gardens will also be open on Sunday, as will one in Rockville, Connecticut.  You can get capsule descriptions and locations of all of the Open Days gardens, which are open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., here
A seaside garden to be open July 13
in South Dartmouth, MA
That same day, one of the ‘grand dames’ of garden tours will be held as the Lenox Garden Club hosts the ‘Hidden Treasures of the Berkshires’ in Lee and Tyringham.  The five gardens include a thousand-acre estate with the remains of a ‘Marble Palace’ and two Gilded Age estates remodeled for contemporary living.  You can get more information here.

Also on July 13, The Private Gardens of the Kennebunks tour will be held in Kennebunk and Kennebunkport, Maine.  You can get details about the tour here.  The 19th annual edition of the event benefits the region's child abuse prevention organization.  The hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
On Sunday, July 14, the Provincetown Art Association will host a Secret Garden tour through P’town’s East End between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m.  A fleet of shuttles will make continuous stops among the gardens and you can get additional information about the tour here.  Also on Sunday, the Georges River Land Trust in Rockland, Maine, hosts its immensely popular ‘Gardens in the Watershed’ tour.  This tour is more than just pretty flowers. Among the seven gardens are a working farm, a nursery and a sunflower business, and the price of a tour ticket includes short talks on gardening-related topics.  You can get more information here.
The Pergola at the Farm House
in Bar Harbor, ME, open July 28
Saturday, July 20, will be a very busy day for garden tours.  If you’re in the Berkshires, you can be part of the Gardens of Pittsfield tour either Saturday or Sunday.  Just to the south, the New Marlborough Cultural Council hosts a garden tour in that community on Saturday.

Also on July 20, Bedrock Garden in Lee, NH opens for the one day per month that Jill Nooney welcomes drop-in guests.  The 36-acre garden is rich in both horticulture and sculpture.
In the Worcester area, the Garden Conservancy will open two gardens in Stow and one each in Sterling, North Grafton, and Boylston on July 20. Those gardens are open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.  In Vermont’s Equinox Valley, The Garden Conservancy offers two gardens in Manchester and one each in East Arlington and South Londonderry.  If you’d like to see gardens in nearby Connecticut, two gardens in Meriden will be open on Saturday and, on Sunday, four gardens in Farmington, Canton and New Hartford.

Finally, on July 28, there are Open Days in Bar Harbor, Maine.  Three properties, two of them inextricably linked to Beatrix Farrand, are among them. Garland Farm was Ms. Farrand’s last home and garden; The Farm House is the only surviving Farrand-designed garden (1928) in its original state in Bar Harbor and has been owned by the same family for the past century. The third property, Kenarden, is notable for its Italianate garden and lush, romantic flower gardens.  The three properties are open 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. only.

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