Gardeners love looking at other people's gardens. But some of the best gardens in our country are private and rarely seen by the public. To share our country's gardening wealth, the Garden Conservancy, a national, nonprofit organization founded in 1989 to preserve exceptional American gardens for public education and enjoyment, offers their "Open Days" program every spring and summer. Based on England's popular "Yellow Book" program, during selected days, hundreds of beautiful private gardens across the country are open for viewing. In 2002, 400 gardens in 26 states participated, and that number is expected to grow in 2003.
Since 1995, the Garden Conservancy has offered its annual Open Days Directory. This directory not only lists garden locations and open dates, but also features area maps, descriptions, opening times, and detailed driving instructions to the gardens. Reservations are not needed; there's usually a $5 admission fee to each garden. To order a copy of the Open Days Directory, visit the Garden Conservancy Web site at www.gardenconservancy.org. Happy viewing.