Exploring Private Gardens

By National Gardening Association Editors

What's more enjoyable than spending a day wandering through the lovingly-tended landscape of a dedicated gardener? Thanks to The Garden Conservancy's Open Days program, now in its fifteenth year, you can indulge your curiosity, get lots of new gardening ideas or simply delight in a stroll in a beautiful setting, all while helping to support the preservation of endangered gardens across the country.

This year over 360 private gardens in 21 states will open their doors- or garden gates- to the public for a day of self-guided touring. From southern Maine to southern California, from Long Island in the east to Bainbridge Island in the west, there are gardens of all sizes and styles waiting to be explored. Although some gardens opened as early as mid-April, there are hundreds still to come with dates running through the end of October.

Admission to each private garden in $5 per person, with children 12 and under admitted free of charge. No reservations are required and the gardens are open rain or shine. A schedule of open gardens with dates, garden descriptions and directions to reach them is available on line or you can purchase an Open Days Directory with information on all the participating gardens, along with a listing of public gardens in each state and information on The Garden Conservancy's preservation projects.

Established in 1989, The Garden Conservancy is dedicated to the long-term stewardship of America's exceptional gardens for the public's education and enjoyment. It helps to provide the horticultural, technical, management and financial expertise need to preserve these fragile treasures and presents seminars, symposia and lectures, along with the Open Days program, to inform professionals and the public about the importance of gardens as part of our cultural heritage.

For more information on the 2010 Open Days program, go to Open Days. For information on the Garden Conservancy, upcoming events, preservation projects and how to join, go to Garden Conservancy.

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