2009 Hidden Garden Tour & Marketplace
Glorious Gardens in Bloom-
The Westport Historical Society Presents its 18th Annual Hidden Garden Tour
Along with a profusion of peonies and the explosion of lilacs, The Westport Historical Society’s Hidden Garden Tour is a much-anticipated rite of spring, widely attended by residents from Fairfield County and beyond. Scheduled for Sunday, June 14, the Hidden Garden Tour and Garden Marketplace on Veterans Green traditionally attracts 400-600 visitors from throughout the region.
Pre-Tour Party & International Wine Tasting
The festivities kick off with a lavish Pre-Tour Party, which draws an estimated 125 people. On Saturday, June 6, from 5:00 to 9:00 p.m., the doors of a grand private Westport home are thrown open for a sparkling evening of music, wine and culinary delight. This elegant 12,000-square-foot Greens Farms home, represented by Andrea Toth of William Pitt Sotheby’s International, was hand-selected by the Tour Committee as the site of this year’s Pre-Tour celebration. Guests will enjoy food, drink and music, and an international wine tasting, as well as an opportunity to bid on a select collection of auction items.
This year, the special feature of the party will be “Good Wines for Lean Times,” an international tasting of affordable varietal wines. Party attendees will discover more than a dozen great selections from France, Italy and South America, covering a range of styles-from crisp whites, to refreshing summer rosés and delicious, drinkable reds.
Produced in partnership with Fountainhead Wines and Let Them Drink Wine, a wine experience company, this is a wonderful opportunity to expand your wine wisdom and purchase expertly selected wines, from a bottle to a case, to add to your repertoire. As a part of the event’s fundraising, the wines, which retail at under $20 a bottle, will be offered for sale at a significant discount for guests who pledge their purchases during the evening.
The Garden Tour
The Tour itself, scheduled for Sunday, June 14, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., will take visitors behind the hedges at six exquisite homes with lavish gardens of all styles. These gardens are painstakingly selected by the Garden Tour Committee, and the locations are “hidden,” or kept secret from the public and the press, and revealed only on the day of the Tour to keep the anticipation levels high. A special bonus stop on the Tour is a visit to Adams Academy, an historic one-room schoolhouse on Morningside Drive.
The dazzling, well-maintained gardens are selected on a variety of criteria to suit all tastes. This year’s Tour includes two charming seaside gardens, a remarkable park-like five-acre estate and the inspirational garden of a local visionary artist. All of the featured landscapes allow gardening aficionados to get a glimpse of many of the towns “hidden” gems. What is more, the abundantly flowering perennial beds, peony gardens and elegant pools, historic stone walls and specimen trees inspire visitors to take new ideas back to their own gardens.
On the day of the Tour, visitors receive an admission ticket with a map detailing directions to each property. Guests may wish to view the gardens in succession, change the order of viewing or stop for a leisurely lunch at any point along the way.
The Garden Marketplace
The Hidden Garden Tour offers a variety of events for participants, one of the most popular being the separate Garden Marketplace on the day of the Tour, Sunday, June 14, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Discover a trove of garden and home treasures on the grounds of the Westport Historical Society and Veterans Green. Find countless items, large and small, new and old, frivolous and practical from more than 30 vendors. Browse everything from urns to armillaries, pots to pillows, herbs to arbors, tools to jewels, totes to topiaries, bird baths to floppy hats . . . Returning vendors include The Orchidphile, prize-winning orchids; Cynthia Alexander, exquisite jewelry and lavender gifts; Foxgloves, gardening gloves and tools; Fenella Pearson Designs, Indian Shawls; and Green Acres, birdhouses. New Vendors include LaCigale, French Provencal Linens; M Saverine Decoupage, handmade decoupage plates; and Sunny Window French soaps.
In addition to funds raised through ticket sales and event proceeds, the Tour is generously supported by many local businesses who play a vital role in keeping Westport’s history alive through the Westport Historical Society, a non-profit educational organization dedicated to presenting, preserving and celebrating the history of Westport.
This year’s main event sponsors (to date) include Media Sponsor: Connecticut Cottages & Gardens Magazine; Event Sponsors: BNY Mellon Wealth Management, Contour Landscaping Company Inc., Robin Tauck and Peter Romano, and Darton Insurance, as well as “Garden Patch” Sponsors (to date): Jillian Klaff Homes/William Raveis Real Estate, Mary Ann Laurita/Prudential Real Estate, and James Love Lee and Jean Studwell, “The Edge”/William Pitt Sotheby’s International Realty. The Pre-Tour Party “surprise cocktail” is graciously donated by Tito’s Vodka.
Pre-Tour Party: Saturday June 6, 5:00 to 9:00 p.m., tickets $75/person.
Hidden Garden Tour: Sunday June 14, 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., tickets $35 WHS members, $45 nonmembers, $50 day of Tour.
Jitney Bus Tour: Sunday June 14, $70-includes price of Garden Tour ticket.
Garden Marketplace: Sunday June 14, 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., admission free.
Tour tickets with map and directions to the gardens must be picked up (starting at 9 a.m.) on the day of the Tour at:
Wheeler House. 25 Avery Place . Westport, CT
Information /Reservations: 203-222-1424 / www.westporthistory.org
All tickets are non-refundable.