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Westport Hidden Garden Tour Enchants

WESTPORT, Conn. – Westport’s 21st annual Hidden Garden Tour was ushered in with warm sunshine and mild temperatures—the perfect day to go tiptoeing through your neighbors’ tulips.

Curious gardeners, both expert and novice alike, began at an Arts & Crafts home built in 1900. The grounds of this gracious home boasted an enclosed vegetable and herb garden and an extensive shade garden. The outdoor shower was romantically staged, vines climbing the darkly stained pergola. Moving from the back garden to the front, it was impossible to miss the lilies, some of which were close to six feet tall.

From here, guests were directed to three adjacent homes with extensive, contiguous gardens, each finding its individual inspiration. To enter the first of these truly hidden retreats, guests made their way down a long, pebbled driveway into a garden bursting with homegrown perennials: peonies, poppies, irises, tiger lilies, foxglove were just some of the beautiful blooms on display.

The adjacent garden was proud with trees—apple, Japanese Maple most notable among them—and other hearty plantings such as rhododendron and pachysandra, all anchored by gated swimming pool.

What followed at the home next door was an English garden of the most elegant and well-manicured proportions. Every inch of this garden was planned and planted to maximize beauty and enjoyment. Intimate paths unfolded, leading towards dwarfed cherry trees, pergolas ringed in roses, and a lawn that is as well-cared for as it is well-used by children, playful adults and a rambunctious but well-mannered family dog.

The afternoon’s grand finale, though, had all the polish of a beauty accustomed to being admired. The tree-lined path to the property was dotted with lanterns and lampposts like some Narnian landscape. It was impossible to ignore the audible intake of breath and shiver on the skin upon arrival at this most secret and unexpected home and surrounding gardens. Stepping across the threshold to this backyard oasis was indeed like being delivered into another world. A vanishing edge pool anchored the garden, around which viburnum, astilbe, lilies and roses were thriving. This multi-leveled, multi-functional garden was truly breathtaking.

The Hidden Garden Tour is produced by the Westport Historical Society and is one of the organization’s biggest fundraisers for the educational programming the society provides.

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