20th Annual Hidden Garden Tour

The 2011 Committee pictured includes: Deborah Herbertson, Pat Voris, Hope Trowbirdge, Susan Gold, Joni Andrews, Roseanne Ganim, Katie Chasem Susan Wynkoop, Paula Leonard, Dorothy Curran, Maryann Laurita, Cynthia Lee, Nancy Sherter & Leo Cirino.

Hidden Garden Tour

Sunday, June 12th
Hidden Garden Tour
10 am – 5 pm
Garden Marketplace
9 am – 5 pm
Tickets may be bought at WHS day of tour for $50

Westport Historical Society’s 20th Annual Hidden Garden Tour
Celebrates Local Farming Heritage
Responding to rising interest in Westport’s past as a farming community, and to complement the Westport Historical Society’s new “Back to Our Roots” exhibit, the Selection Committee of the WHS’s Sunday, June 12th Hidden Garden Tour & Marketplace has established “Discover Westport’s farming heritage” as its 2011 theme. Garden choices feature farmhouses, barns and, in all their glory—the nemesis of early farmers, but a cherished decorative and functional element of today’s Connecticut gardeners—fieldstone. The Westport Community Gardens are a bonus stop.
To launch this year’s Tour in style, the WHS has partnered with Dragone Classic Motorcars and Fountainhead Wines for the Toast the Tour Wine-Tasting Party & Silent Auction. Hosted by HSBC, the Sat. June 4 party takes place at Dragone’s swank showroom. Remarks event co-chair Deborah Herbertson, “Sipping wines and nibbling hors d’oeuvres while surrounded by elegant vintage motorcars is sure to make guests feel like they’re on the set of a romantic movie”.
“We’re expecting larger than usual interest among the gentlemen in this year’s Tour,” adds Joni Andrews, co-chair; “In addition to the party at the showroom, Dragone—weather permitting on Tour day—will display vintage motorcars at each of the garden stops.”
The following weekend, on Sunday June 12, the Tour’s Garden Marketplace, adjacent to the WHS on Veteran’s Green, will be open from 9am to 5pm. Offerings range from frivolous to practical, including urns, armillaries, pots, pillows, herbs, arbors, floppy hats and bird baths. This year’s fabulous array of Tour gardens, coordinated by Deborah Gordon, will be open for ticketholders from 10 am to 5 pm, rain or shine. They include:
VERDANT ARTISTRY. Over half a century under the same careful stewardship, this one acre property has evolved into a flowing canvas where charming paths follow the natural contours of the garden. Rocks found on the property form stone walls that overspill with spectacular hydrangea petiolaris and, together with existing rocky outcrops, give structure to areas containing 140 varieties of trees, shrubs, perennials and bulbs all carefully labeled; truly a garden for all seasons.
BY-GONE CHARM. This farm retains all the features of its previous existence with plenty to delight the eye from the old barn with resident goat and companionable hens to the potting shed, orchard and rustically fenced pasture land, sparkling fountain and airy breezeway. Rhododendrons, apple blossom and perennial beds provide seasonal color while the vegetable garden and raspberry patch hark back to the roots of our farming heritage.
HERITAGE REVEALED. Originally an onion farm, the current owners have spent 25 years transforming this landscape into a natural version of the traditional English garden. A whimsical design scheme is shaped by stone walls and garden arches; the circular flow leads to surprise areas such as the Adirondack garden, raised vegetable beds and a hidden party room arising from the foundations of the old root cellar. Bold summer colors reflect a Caribbean childhood.
PERENNIAL FAVORITE. Distinct outdoor spaces frame this 1879 farmhouse, combining the symmetry of boxwood borders with the informality of a cottage garden planted with perennials. A fieldstone path leads around the landscape to a delightful pergola covered with wisteria and white clematis. Birch trees near the pool house give texture and an unusual copper wind sculpture adds unexpected movement against the evergreen backdrop. The herb and vegetable gardens provide food and flavor for the table.
ECHOS OF THE PAST. This 1809 home boasts one of the area’s oldest barns and a garden designed with the quaintness of the Victorian era in mind. Stone walls and evergreens are enhanced by plantings that ensure a long blooming season – irises, cherry trees, peonies and lilacs follow forsythia and dogwood. Many beautiful, well-established native trees and shrubs are carefully interspersed with specimens to provide year round interest.
Tickets may be purchased at www.westporthistory.org , by mail or at the Westport Historical Society, 25 Avery Place, Westport, CT 06880. For additional information, call 203.222.1424.
Toast the Tour (Sat. June 4) benefit tickets are available in advance for $75. Hidden Garden Tour (Sun. June 12) tickets ($35 for WHS members, $45 for on-members, $50 day of) will be held for pickup at the WHS, beginning at 9 am, June 12.
This year, there is good news for those who prefer a chauffeured, docent- guided Tour option. Limited seats ($75 includes Tour ticket and transportation) are available on an air-conditioned luxury bus, sponsored by Park Avenue Coach, that departs from the WHS at 1 pm.
Prior to setting out on the Tour, visitors are encouraged to allow time to visit the “Back to Our Roots” exhibit at the WHS. The flagship exhibits, at the Westport Historical Society, open Friday, May 27th. Featured elements will be: Westport Farming: Then & Now, with a special focus on Wakeman Town Farm: Modeling Sustainable Farming in Westport, in the Sheffer Gallery; Barn Again! Westport’s 2011 Barn Survey, in the foyer; Rock On! Westport’s Stone Wall Story, in the little gallery, and, finally, an exhibit of authentic vintage farm tools in the WHS’s very own 1846 Bradley-Wheeler Cobblestone Barn/ Museum of Westport History.
In addition to co-Chairs Joni Andrews, Deborah Gordon and Deborah Herbertson, the 2011 HGT Committee comprises: Donna Brody, Katie Chase, Leo Cirino, Mary Lee Clayton, Jenny Clerkin, Dorothy Curran, Maggie Feczko, Lorraine Feliciano, Roseanne Ganim, Susan Gold, Joan Isaacson, Sue Kirby, Mary Ann Laurita, Cynthia Lee, Paula Leonard, Anne Levine, Dave Matlow, Nancy Sherter, Hope Trowbridge, Larry Untermeyer, Pat Voris and Susan Wynkoop.
All net proceeds benefit the Westport Historical Society, a private, member-supported, non-profit 501(c)(3) organization that receives no taxpayer subsidies. Major support for Back To Our Roots comes from annual sponsors, including lead sponsor, BNY Mellon Wealth Management, along with the Betty R. & Ralph Sheffer Foundation, Janet & Fred Plotkin/The Ruth and Adoph Schnurmacher Foundation, Berchem Moses Devlin, Kowalsky Brothers, The Leapley Financial Group/Morgan Stanley Smith Barney, TD Bank, Weichert Capital Properties and Fountainhead Wines. Additional exhibit sponsors include Tauck-Romano Innovative Philanthropy (TRIP), HSBC, Catamount Wealth Management, Dragone Classic Motorcars, Venture Photography and Park Avenue Coach. Media sponsor is Connecticut Cottages & Gardens.