Gardens for Charlestown will host their bi-annual Garden Tour this Saturday, June 19, after a monumental coordinating effort that took some risks in assuming such an event could even happen.
President Chris Schiavone said he was very proud of some of the younger, newer gardeners who took the ball and ran with it in putting this year’s tour together under very tricky circumstances.
“I’m proud of the organization because we made a firm commitment to go forward even before everything was lifted,” he said. “We felt being outdoors was safe. What I always have liked is this isn’t a collection of landscaper gardens that come out of Home Beautiful magazine. They’re real urban gardens for the most part. Most of them are labors of love, people who took a space and made it their own beautiful spot.”
This year, the Tour has been coordinated for the first time by members Melanie Cevetello, Brent Hayes-Hand, and Julianne Gearhart.
They said the Tour will include 10 gardens, including the center native planting garden in the Main Street community garden. There are also some combo gardens on the tour where neighbors have collaborated to make two gardens into one. The Tour, which started in 1980 and has run bi-annually ever since, will be from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and there is also a very nice raffle opportunity as well.
So far, coordinators said they have gotten a great response, and feel that people are ready to be out and about again.
“We started planning last fall, so we took a calculated risk,” said Hayes-Hand. “I think we’ve been pleasantly surprised that people want to be included on the Tour. We find people are 100 percent ready to do this…All indications we’re getting is the community is ready for the event and excited about it.”
Gearhart said was pleased by the initial support of the community and the business community in donating to the raffle – a major piece of the organization’s fundraising efforts.
“I’m really pleased we were able to get everything to come together and especially in a pandemic year,” she said. “We didn’t know exactly whether the community would support it and whether the neighborhood restaurants and arts community could support us. It’s been amazing to get that goodwill from the community. I hope that means we’re a good and valued community member.”
The Garden on Main Street has served a very unique purpose over the pandemic, all said, as a place for members to get outside with their families, and as a place for the community to walk through and enjoy – even if they don’t have a garden there. It has hammered home the idea that they are an important feature of the neighborhood and fundraising is necessary to increase those opportunities. Right now, the Garden has a 100-person waiting list and many wait for a few seasons before getting a plot.
The raffle will include prizes from Monroe Home, Starbucks, Mockingbird, Fitness Together, Total Wine, Element Day Spa, Baby Boyle Bouquets, Brewer’s Fork and many others.
Tickets to the Tour and the raffle are available on the Gardens for Charlestown website, https://www.gardensforcharlestown.org/events.