I look forward to the Garden Conservancy’s Open Days program each year. Do you know about this country wide garden tour program? Well, in case you haven’t heard, the Garden Conservancy operates this wonderful Open Days program annually. This program allows access via self guided tour to some of America’s loveliest gardens. This year nearly 300 private gardens in 18 states will offer you the chance to explore first hand examples of outstanding American design & horticulture. Some of the gardens are quite grand and some more humble in scale & plantings. All will inspire & delight.
This year the Open Days program kicks off on March 16th and continues until early November. My area is blessed with two days. Pasadena California is on April 28th & Los Angeles on May 5th. Each year the Pasadena Open Day is even more special to me as I share it with my very dear garden loving friend. We go together in celebration of her Spring birthday. It has become a welcome tradition for both of us. A day touring through leafy paths, brambles of roses, exotic blooms and more, all while talking & laughing. Heaven!
The Garden Conservancy’s mission is to preserve and sustain America’s gardens for the education & enjoyment of the public. In furtherance of this mission, the Open Days program was started in 1995 to spread the garden preservation message by providing access to some of America’s most distinguished private gardens.
It is easy to take part in this outstanding program. Simply visit the Garden Conservancy’s site to check for dates in your area. Hopefully, there is an Open Day close to you. If so, you can buy tickets in advance or on the appointed day at the first garden on the tour. That is what we do…pick up your tickets, a map and off you go. Some years we were even able to walk from one garden to the next. However, generally the gardens are a short drive from one another. A friendly caravan of kindly souls travel merrily from garden to garden all on their own time & pace. Sounds delightful right?….so mark your calendar for the Open Day near you!
For a preview of the 2013 gardens check out this month’s Traditional Home magazine. From a looksee at the gardens featured there, my favorite is photo #19 “a bird’s eye view of Mrs. Whaley’s storybook garden”, Charleston South Carolina. Which one strike’s your fancy the most?
Whether you can experience an Open Day tour this year or not, I leave you with these words on gardening…
Everything that slows us down & forces patience,
Everything that sets us back into the slow circles of nature is a help.
Gardening is an instrument of grace.
On a tour or digging in the dirt gardening feeds the soul. Plant a seed & watch it grow this spring!
** Kelly **