story & photo
by Kari Kline
The Stonington Garden Club held a garden tour on June 20 – 21. This year’s theme “Gardens by the Sea” drew a crowd of over 3,000 people. The tour is a much anticipated event for the area, and takes place every three years.
The tour was a walking, self-guided tour, with Garden Club members available at every garden. Maps of several of the more elaborate and intricate garden areas were handed out. The entire tour of ten privately owned, seaside gardens encompassed an approximate half-mile radius. A Children’s Community Garden was also included in the tour.
The first stop was at a white tent on Wadawanuck Square, the almost perfectly geometrical square surrounded by stately old New England homes. Many members of the garden club met here in their summer hats adorned with flowers, available for purchase at every garden entrance.
Carole Barnard, program chair of the Garden Club for the past two years, explained that there were a wide variety of waterfront gardens included in the tour, from large gardens with large lawns, and smaller ones with patios. “They are all well-tended gardens, and typical for a small village,” she added.
Peggy MasterJoseph was co-chair of the event, and ten more members assisted with the elaborate tour.
Some visitors took a brief respite from the tour to get refreshments or take a look in the shops on Water Street. The Cate Charles Gallery offered a coordinating exhibit called “Gardens by the Sea”, showing masterful paintings of several nearby gardens. One painting named “Rose Parade,” was strategically placed in the large back room gallery with a depiction of the Cranford Rose Garden in the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens by artist Thomas Loepp.
The club was established in 1949 and reorganized in 1958. Now it has approximately 50 members. The tour is a fundraiser for the events that club holds throughout the year.
For further information on the Stonington Garden Club call 860.535.3356 or visit their website at www.stonington-gardenclub.org.