A well-maintained garden can be a wonderful place to visit and take in all of the beauty that nature has to offer.
The Jamestown Audubon Society is gearing up for its annual Secret Gardens Tour, which will take place on Saturday, June 30.
Santo Armeli, Ruth Baker, Marijka Lampard and David Metzler are the caretakers of the four gardens on display for the event in Jamestown. Susan Dickerson tends the location in Falconer, and all of the gardens are handicapped accessible.
The Audubon Society’s annual Secret Gardens Tour will be held Saturday, June 30. Four gardens will be on display in Jamestown, and one will be on display in Falconer. On average, 400 people attend the event each year.
"We have a gardener who replaced her front lawn with perennials. Undaunted by lack of space, another has taken container gardening to new heights," said tour organizer Merle Szydlo. "One of our gardeners has artfully landscaped around a pool and hot tub. Still another has acquired an adjacent lot in which to expand his already sumptuous garden, and one of our gardens is downright huge."
New to the tour this year will be the Garden Walk, a self-guided tour of gardens visible from the street on the Northside of Jamestown. Anyone interested in taking this tour can pick up a brochure with the route at any of the Secret Gardens.
According to Jennifer Schlick, education program director of the Audubon, the Secret Gardens tour averages around 400 attendees every year.
"I think it's a matter of wanting to get inspired. A lot of the people who attend are gardeners themselves, and they enjoy looking at other people's gardens to get ideas and be inspired," said Schlick. "It also draws people like me, who love gardens but hate gardening, and we like to go and enjoy the hard work of others."
The event will run from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., rain or shine.
"Sometimes the gardens are more beautiful in the rain. On days that are overcast and drizzly the colors can be so saturated, which is just perfect for someone like me who's a photographer," said Schlick.
Pre-sale tickets for the event are $10, and tickets purchased the day of the tour are $12 and will be available at each of the gardens as well as the ticket outlets. Ticket outlets this year include the Audubon Center and Sanctuary, Four Seasons Nursery, Lakeview Gardens, Peterson Farm, Secret Gardens Flower Shop, Stillwater Garden Market, Lakeside Cottage Shoppe, Mike's Nursery and Robert's Nursery.
Each ticket includes a description of the gardens, directions to the sites, parking suggestions and a map. This is done to make sure that even those unfamiliar with the area will be able to visit all of the gardens on the tour.
The Secret Gardens Tour is used to help support the nature education programs of the Audubon Center and Sanctuary. The Audubon is located at 1600 Riverside Road, off Route 62 between Jamestown and Warren. They have exhibits of live fish, reptiles, amphibians and more which are all open Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and Sundays from 1 to 4:30 p.m. The Audubon also has 5 miles of trails, an arboretum and three separate gardens.
For more information about the Secret Gardens Tour and the Audubon, call 569-2345 or visit jamestownaudubon.org.