Home Up Sponsors




The 2012 Garden Tour

We welcomed spring surrounded by lovely gardens, immersed in appealing gardening ideas.
We enjoyed a day with people who love gardening and gardens as much as we do.
The Society arranged, on Sunday, June 10th, to make available to the community an exciting collection of six local gardens (plus a special bonus).  These gardens, each with a different theme, were chosen for their unique qualities and to provide an interesting cross section of the plantings and designs available in the area.
The gardeners were all available at each of the sites to discuss their plants and plans.
Thank you to our Sponsors who have made this Garden Tour possible.

The tickets were $25 per person.

The Gardens

Garden # 5: The Formal Garden

Our home was built in 1901.  It had a garden that was very different from the garden that is here today.  Leafy vines were trained to climb the columns on the front porch.  In the back yard there was a vegetable garden and grape vines.  The family had a pet goat who grazed on the grass.  The driveway was lined by six swamp maples, three of which still remain.

 When we arrived 34 years ago the backyard was overgrown with forsythia.  We pruned the grape vines and the wisteria and trimmed the hemlocks and azaleas.  There was no pachysandra but what we planted has naturalized abundantly.  Inspired by formal gardens we had seen we decided on a formal design for our back yard.   We planned our garden on graph paper and decided on the placement of the central square and paths by setting out stakes and strings.  We lined the paths with boxwood and created areas to be planted with perennials.  We replaced the fence that supported the grape vines with a large pergola based on a design that we had seen in Charleston, SC and added outdoor furniture.

Over the years this has been a place of peace and joy for us and our family.


Garden # 2: The Train Garden

The purchase of our home 10 years ago gave us the opportunity to design new gardens with three distinctive themes: an English Cottage Garden, an Oriental Retreat Garden and a Hosta Shade Garden. The unusual surprise is an outdoor model train which transports you to Durango, Colorado via a 1:24 scale railroad with tunnels, bridges, buildings and of course, plants.

The cottage garden beds in front, defined by a fence, curve and sweep, filled with hydrangeas, roses, hardy geraniums, veronica, lambs ears, bergenia, clematis, sedums, euphorbia, daylilies, and coneflowers. 

Walking down the slope on the north side of the house you’ll find raised beds, a waterfall and a pond which creates the setting for the oriental garden featuring Hinoki Cypress, tricyrtis formosana, tree peonies, Japanese roof Iris, shade grasses, and rhododendron.

Passing through the railroad and up the steps is the

Shade garden where giant hostas protect miniature primroses, ferns, asarum, coral bells and small pixie hostas. Be sure not to miss the containers on the deck spilling over with colorful plants all summer.   

Garden #3: The Beach Cottage English Country Garden

We love our little cottage and garden with its magnificent views of the water, brilliant reflective light and perfect setting for our own version of an English country garden.  It has taken a labor of love and nine years to transform a yard of crabgrass and some bedraggled forsythia bushes into a small piece of paradise.

With our inspiration of the English garden, we have filled our yard with roses, hydrangeas, morning glories, clematis, peonies, butterfly bushes, phlox, daisies, foxgloves and delphiniums to name but a few. Of course, we saved room for a kitchen garden which gives a gourmet touch to our home cooked meals.

Waterside gardening can be an adventure. During the hurricane of 2011, the saltwater rose so high that it spilled into our yard. Hosing down our plants and lawn with fresh water saved the day and we did not lose a single plant. We are proud of our perseverance and continual efforts to keep the garden delivering beauty on a daily basis.

While you are visiting the garden we invite you to step inside our cottage.

Garden #6: The Specimen Garden

This family garden has evolved over 100 years from a farmyard to a horticultural haven. The owner’s great-grandfather, an immigrant architect and builder from Finland, purchased former farmland being sold as building lots in 1904. The original home was joined by a second house for his daughter in 1916, and the family “compound” has recently been expanded by the purchase of adjoining property by the present owner’s daughter. The family’s gardening interests are varied but include the 108 year old Norway spruce trees and a 100 year old lace-cap hydrangea of unknown heritage but with brilliant electric-blue color.

An interest in unusual or seldom found species of dwarf conifers and trees, as well as varieties of ilex (more than

30),  is a theme throughout the 2 ½ acres of gardens. Shrubs and small trees predominate, but are integrated with perennials, roses and grasses. The newly added property offers an opportunity to work with shade plants and woodland species. Plants have been sourced from  local nurseries and others as far away as California. This is an eclectic and personal garden that is continually changing.


Garden #4: The Woodland Garden

A pretty house on a knoll surrounded by lush green trees and a colorful perennial garden in front give little notice that around back lies an intricate labyrinth of woodland garden rooms.  More than 30 years in the making by a horticulturist, this cool, shady place is full of delights: a stepping stone path leading up the gently sloping site takes you to a waterfall and pond surrounded by rare specimen plants whose shapes and leaf coloration create whorls of green movement. 

There are beautiful tall trees and shrubs with old, distorted trunks and branches, leucothoe, schlippenbachi, styrax, persicaria variegata, hostas and deciduous azaleas, for starters.  These are situated to produce a continuous sequence of bloom.  And there is no shortage of surprises: a blue lace cap hydrangea popping up out of an undulating mass of green, a huge spray of pink clematis as you turn a corner, tall spear-like ornaments echoing the blooms of massive Oakleaf hydrangeas, tropical plants liberated from a small winter greenhouse, a bocce court.  Beautiful low stone walls enclose a series of sitting and dining areas.  There is a cleverly concealed sandbox for a small grandchild.  Containers filled with startling and imaginative combinations of plants mark the winding paths.  A blue bottle tree emerges around a bend.  And there is another koi pond.  You will leave this secret garden reluctantly
Garden # 1: The All Season Garden

The energetic gardener behind the development of the Jarvis House garden has spent more than 40 years, as she describes it, “rescuing and propagating plants” and “moving shrubs”.

From childhood, she has taken advantage of salvaging plant material from closed nurseries, abandoned gardens and property being bulldozed and developed.  The list of trees, shrubs and plants in her garden is staggering.  This gardener gives credit to her success in moving plants, in part, to the high water table of her property which she often calls “a swamp”.

With an interest in almost any type of plant, her garden offers everything from dogwoods, crepe myrtle, willows, conifers and hollies to callicarpa, bamboo, boxwood, mahonia  and hydrangeas.  Woodland plants run the gamut from monk’s hood, wild ginger and May apple to Solomon’s seal, jack-in-the-pulpit and hellebores. Perennials are equally diverse, including a large collection of hostas and daylily’s , both named and “roadside” varieties.  Antique garden furniture and ornaments as well as tools and pots give character to this wonderful historic property. The owner is also a Keeper of the adjacent Huntington Town Green. 


The Bonus Garden
A special visit to the lovely Cinema Arts planting and sculpture garden.  The designer/gardener will be there to explain and comment on the plantings and garden design.
Views of the Gardens