Friends of Forbes Library announces Garden Tour

The Friends of Forbes Library in Northampton has announced its 29th Northampton Garden Tour, to be held Saturday, June 10, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Six premier home gardens, each with its own special approach to horticulture, will be opened to the public for this inspirational and educational event.

Tickets for the tour are $20 in advance and $25 the day of the tour. All proceeds from the tour go to purchase books, materials and support items for the Forbes Library.

Kendra Dahlquist serves on the garden selection committee at the Friends of Forbes Library. She said the gardens represented this year range from “wow” where every square inch of the property is planted, to more modest but well-curated gardens.

“We try to balance the tour for variety,” she said. “We are pleased this year because we have a very wide selection of gardens. Some are small and new while others are beautifully crafted over 35 years. Each one has a vision and a view that reflects the gardener and that is what we are after with this tour. What we want is to show people the mix of wonderful things you can do with your property if you want to get outside and garden.”

John Lenkowski has enjoyed gardening in his Florence yard for the past 20 years or so and now has developed a well-proportioned border around a wide expanse of lawn. His favorite plant is a mimosa tree he has grown from a small sucker given to him about six years ago.

“It is more of a tropical plant or tree,” he said. “When it flowers it will have a fragrance that hummingbirds will come to. It is a late bloomer and won’t come out until later in the summer. “

He also enjoys his “Seven Wonders” trees (heptacodium).

“It’s a Chinese or Japanese native plant that is beautiful. It is another great one that drops its bark, it flowers, and it also has a fragrance,” he said.

Dahlquist said Lenkowsi’s home will be Number Two on the tour, just before one of the tour’s “wild” gardens in the Baystate section of the city. Dahlquist said Number Three is a heavily planted property complete with a flock of chickens. The gardener is applying permaculture to her gardening, and developing a locally natural ecosystem through variety, stability and resilience.

The tour also includes a special suggested bicycle route of 6.5 miles for the two-wheeled gardener.

Advance tickets are available at the Bay State Perennial Farm in Whately, Cooper’s Corner in Florence, State Street Fruit Store in Northampton, the Gardener’s Supply Company and Wanczyk’s Nursery both on Route 9 in Hadley.

Tickets can be purchased on the day of the tour at Forbes Library on West Street in Northampton.

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