MILFORD — Each year, those who are registered with Milford Garden Club’s Secret Garden Tour have to wait until the morning of the tour to find out if their property has been chosen for the prestigious tour, said Theresa Johnson, Co-Chair of the committee at the start of the day at Remembrance Place Saturday July 18.
The park-like spot had a colorful pavilion for the day where tour-goers mingled with members while sampling the tempting array of home-baked goods, drinks and fruit.
"Nobody knows what gardens you get to see until you see your program,” said Johnson.
The program, needless to say, is not available to anyone until that morning, and remains a closely guarded secret among members and printers.
Those who wish to participate need to commit well in advance, she continued.
”We first go around looking at the gardens in the spring, and then they have to commit," said Johnson. "This year we have seven gardens. Each one has its own unique gardens, they’re all different.”
The club’s area includes the town of Milford and surrounding areas.
Already in its 23rd year, the annual tour brings about 200 visitors, and it’s the main fundraiser for the club. This year for the first time, the two Garden Club’s own gardens were included, at Remembrance Place and on Route 209 where a Community Garden provides food donated to the local food pantries.
For the first time also a Grey Towers' site was included in the tour map and info.
“For those who are from out of town and have never been there,” Johnson explained of the Grey Towers inclusion.
The Courier visited two of the listed gardens, one in Foster Hill, and the other in West Catharine Street in the town center.
Denise Smithson and Ed Hayman from Shohola were visiting the Foster Hill garden featuring a backyard “Asian inspired meditation garden” with a waterfall, pond, and a statue of Buddha in one corner.
“It’s amazing, beautiful, what a great oasis of tranquility and serenity to relax, and to get in touch with your inner spirit,” they said almost in unison.
At West Catharine Street’s garden, visitors admired the roses planted on the white fence, the inviting porch arrangements, as well as giant hydrangeas lining up the sides. Wendy Kaplan was visiting with a friend, and she said she loved the idea of the tour, and that she enjoyed visiting the beautiful gardens.
Milford Garden Club has a membership of about 80, and it’s been going for 23 years. The two other co-chairs are Sue Daley and Cathy Donahue.