Design New England

Garden Tours Galore

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Inside a garden at the Newport, Rhode Island, Secret Garden Tour.

By Courtney Goodrich

It’s (finally) springtime in New England. Life is good. Sunbeams bounce off the green-leafed trees and blossoming flowers and the garden-minded among us wonder does it get any better than this? The answer is yes, yes it does as generous gardeners open their properties to tours that invite the public inside some of the area’s most exquisitely luscious outdoor spaces.


First up is the legendary Hidden Gardens of Beacon Hill tour on May 21. Put on by the Beacon Hill Garden Club, the tour, now in its 86th year, includes a dozen private gardens tucked into the secret nooks and crannies of the oldest and most historical part of Boston. The spaces sparkle with authenticity and charm. Complementary tea and refreshments will be available. Information tables, tickets, and maps will be at the corner of Charles and Mt. Vernon streets and the corner of Charles and Chestnut streets.
-May 21, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tickets, $35 in advance; beaconhillgardenclub.org.
June 5 through 6, there’s the Concord Garden Tour, organized by the Concord Museum’s Guild of Volunteers. The tour begins at the museum, where maps that lead tour-goers on a leisurely stroll through some of the town’s stunning residential gardens. Artists from the Concord Art Association will be in the gardens painting pieces that will be featured in the association’s annual art auction, Paint the Town, on June 13. Proceeds of the tour support the museum’s educational programs.
-June 5-6, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tickets, $30 for members, $35 for non-members in advance; concordmuseum.org.

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Amy MurphyAn allée-studded formal garden in Wellesley, Massachusetts.

In our May/June Et al. section, we included the garden tour put on by the Hills Garden Club of Wellesley, which has an intriguing list of mixed gardens all in Wellesley, Massachusetts: an allee-studded formal garden, a shade garden, a cottage garden, and an estate garden. Proceeds support the improvement and maintenance of the town’s Clock Tower Park, which is where the tour begins.
-June 9, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tickets, $30 in advance, $40 day of the tour; hgcw.org.

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A green jungle of a garden in the South End of Boston.

Venturing back into Boston on June 20, the South End Garden Tour encompasses a large area of the city with various homes and gardens whose owners take advantage of their outdoor space. Urban gardening is at its most interesting here. Also, South End artists will be painting and their works will be on sale at City Year, 287 Columbus Avenue. The tour benefits South End & Lower Roxbury Gardens. To start, visit the South End Branch of the Boston Public Library at 685 Tremont Street.
-June 20, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tickets, $20 in advance, $25 day of; southendgardentour.org.

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A beautiful fountain in front of ivy in a garden at the Secret Garden Tour in Rhode Island.

With seaside breezes augmenting the experience, the Secret Garden Tour in Newport Rhode Island, does not disappoint. The tour run from June 26 to June 28 and starts at the ticket office at 32 Washington Street. A breath of fresh salty air and a journey through the picturesque gardens is good for the soul. The tour benefits programs for schools on Aquidneck Island.
-June 26 to 28, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tickets, $20 in advance, $25 day of; secretgardentours.org.
And don’t forget about the Garden Conservatory’s Open Days. Visit the private gardens of some of the world’s most talented gardeners living in New England by checking out the schedule online; gardenconservancy.org/open-days.
Great design is always at your fingertips! Read Design New England’s May/June 2015 issue online!

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