Salisbury, MD. What better way to celebrate Tax Day than to go on a spectacular garden tour? The 78th annual "Historic Garden Week Eastern Shore" will take place Saturday, 16 April 2011. Presented by the Garden Club of Virginia/Garden Club of the Eastern Shore, this is a fabulous private home and garden tour. You can visit them at www.vagardenweek.org or www.esgardentours.com.
Take it from the Gardening Grannies who attend every year, the $35 ticket price is well worth it. You can shave $5 off that price if you buy your tickets in advance and you absolutely won't be disappointed. The tour goes on "rain or shine". The Market Street Methodist Church in Onancock offers box lunches for $10 and there is indoor seating at the church. The lawn next door at Ker Place is available for tailgating and picnicking, so you may as well plan a party!
Because the Gardening Grannies usually meet up in Salisbury at their favorite restaurant for an early breakfast prior to heading out on the tour (car pooling, of course), they plan their day to start at the southern most point which is Eyre Hall on Cherrystone Creek almost to Cheriton. From there, they work their way back north to Salisbury.
Eyre Hall is their very favorite stop. With its years old formal gardens, it takes you back to another gentler, more peaceful time. Currently under the care of Furlong Baldwin, the 18th century property reflects the remarkable 250 year stewardship of a single family. Guided tours are available for the home and the professional gardener is usually present to answer specifics about the care of this historic treasure.
Traveling north from Eyre Hall, Kendall Grove Point is your next official stop. Beneath the dappled shade of towering pines, azaleas and other shrubs thrive. A pool and variety of exquisite small gardens located on the property round out the setting.
In the Onancock area you will find Sycamore Bend, Leatherbury Point, Bellevue and Cedar Creek Farm. Because they are all in the same general area, you can plot your travels via your personal pleasure or your GPS. Some points of interest for each of the homes might be:
Sycamore Bend, built in 1780 and moved to its present site in 1962, features a 400-year old tree nearby. The interior of the home was painstakingly reconstructed by a well-known master craftsman. The home is currently owned by Margaret Shields, Ann Mewborn and Mary Davis.
Leatherbury Point, on the Onancock Creek features an arboretum of unusual plants surrounding the pool and is currently owned by Mr. and Mrs. Scott Harvard.
Belleview, on Onancock Creek, was built in 1978 and offers creek-side gardens, including a Friendship Garden of plants given to the owner by friends. Mr. and Mrs. William Custis are the owners.
Cedar Creek Farm features Tidewater-themed art and furniture collections. The farm is planted in trees and shrubs designed to provide cover for game birds. This is a first time on the Garden Tour for this property owned by Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Young.
Depending on your specific interests and tastes, there are a variety of historic and other features you will pass on your way from property to property. Driving directions are provided from route 13. Visitors are asked to wear flat walking shows and there are certain restriction on cell phone and camera use on specific areas of the properties.
Gardening Grannies are a group of avid and Master Gardeners who live, love and garden on the Delmarva Peninsula. You can reach them by writing to firstname.lastname@example.org.