Gardens by the Sea

What better way to celebrate another breathtaking summer on Buzzards Bay than a walking tour of some of the most exquisite local gardens? On Friday, July 11 from 10:30 am to 4:30 pm, St. Gabriel’s Episcopal Church and the Garden Club of Marion, Massachusetts will present the ‘Gardens by the Sea’ at a gathering that kicks off at the Captain Hadley House at 345 Front Street, Marion MA, on the corner of Route 6 and Front Street.

Each year, the tour attracts many Marion residents, including some aspiring gardeners who hope to gain inspiration from the beautiful sights. This year’s event, entitled ‘Gardens by the Sea’ will feature private gardens generously offered for viewing by several local families. This year, St. Gabriel’s expects a turnout of at least three hundred and fifty people!

According to Garden Club members, this year will mark the 12th official Garden Tour, an occasion held annually during the summer months. Each year, the Garden Tour pulls together the best of all that is Marion: supportive attendees, welcoming homeowners, incredible landscaping, panoramic views of the ocean, and volunteers willing to dedicate their time to make this event a reality.

As the event approaches, attendees, Garden Club Members, and local Marion residents are anxious to see what stops are on this year’s tour. The locations are generally kept hushed until the day of the tour so that attendees can be surprised by the gardens that they get the chance to see. Each year, the Garden Club discusses volunteers and nominees to create the ideal route for the Garden Tour.

In past years, the Marion Garden Tour has featured several beautiful gardens on Allen’s Point Road, just past the Little Marion Golf Course. The Garden Tour of Marion has often featured landscapes ranging from waterfront properties to village homes closer to the heart of town.

For the upcoming event, it has been confirmed that at least seven gardens will be featured along the tour. Attendees have expressed that they are most excited about “an Estate overlooking the Weweantic. One garden facing east at the outer Harbor, one at the mouth of Wings Cove, and in between a few ‘Mom and Papa’ gardens, maintained by the owners,” said tour organizer Hanna Milhench of Marion, MA.

Next Friday, the tour will come to a close with a walk of one spectacular site with views of Sippican Harbor and Buzzards Bay. The final stop will include a display of a Garden Club member’s formal rose garden, exhibiting a life-sized chessboard inspired by J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter. A hedged entryway leads around to the back of the estate, where the lawn slopes down to a hidden seaside grove. As you follow the stepping-stones inside, you find yourself enclosed by evergreens around a stone fire-pit. The campfire feel of this hidden treasure makes you forget for a moment that you are mere steps from the ocean.

Needless to say, this year’s list of properties left Garden Club members practically speechless. As they pondered the diverse flora, grounds, and vegetation to be seen on the coming tour, this dedicated group could not contain their excitement. An anonymous member had only one word to describe her awe: “Wow!”

Tickets may be purchased in Marion at The Bookstall, The General Store, and the church office at South Street. Profits from this event will be divided to support both local and global organizations in need. There will also be a combined bake sale to benefit the Community Resources Network and Turning Point. Come out for the love of beauty and a great cause!

By Jacqueline Hatch

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