There are so many beautiful gardens all across the country, and most of them private spaces. The good news is that some of them are open to the public a few days out of the year thanks to The Garden Conservancy’s Open Days program. According to The Garden Conservancy’s Open Days Directory, “Since 1995, nearly 3,000 private gardens have participated in Open Days, welcoming close to 1 million visitors.” How cool!
The Directory, which is put out every year, has a complete listing of the Open Days gardens with descriptions, hours, and directions, categorized by state. The book also includes public gardens.
Unfortunately, there are no Open Days gardens here in Iowa, where I am located. But one garden listing that did catch my eye, and that I could feasibly visit, is Greta’s Cotswold Cottage Garden in Evanston, Illinois. The garden is poetically described in the book as home to a number of plants including roses, hydrangeas, hollyhocks, sweetbay magnolia, and Chinese tree lilacs. Combine all of this with the beautiful backdrop of Evanston neighborhoods, and it’s sure to be a splendid sight to see.
So, if you’re interested in touring any of these beautiful private gardens, pick up a copy! In the meantime, here are the dates for just a few of the Open Days gardens across the country.
1. Red Mill Farm in Washington, Connecticut, will be open on Saturday, June 11 from 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.
Red Mill Farm
2. The Oakenstone Gardens in East Greenwich, Rhode Island, will be open on Sunday, June 18 from 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.
3. The Cliffmoor Garden in Nantucket, Massachusetts, will be open on Thursday, June 23 from 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.
4. The Gardens at Wandering Tree, "The Glorée & Tryumfant" Garden Railway, in North Barrington, Illinois, will be open on Saturday, June 25 from 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.
5. The Betsey Battistoni Garden in Millbrook, New York, will be open on Saturday, July 16 from 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.
6. Turkey Hill Farm in Manchester, Vermont, will be open on Saturday, July 23 from 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.
7. The Townsend Cottage Garden in Springfield Center, New York, will be open on Tuesday, July 26 from 10 a.m.- 4 p.m.
8. Gordon & Mary Hayward's Garden in Westminster West, Vermont, will be open on Saturday, August 6 from 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.
9. The Freeman/Byrd Garden in Raleigh, North Carolina, will be open on Saturday, September 17 from 9 a.m. - 4 p.m. and Sunday, September 18 from 12 p.m. - 5 p.m.
10. The Camilleri Garden in Fort Worth, Texas, will be open on Sunday, October 9 from 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.
For more information on these, or any other of the Open Days gardens, please go to gardenconservancy.org/opendays or pick up a copy of the 2011 Open Days Directory.