twenty fourth annual backyard tour to profit Grandmothers’ Garden in Westfield


“Summer Days, Summer Dreams” is the theme of this yr’s twenty fourth annual backyard tour in Westfield. Six households are opening their non-public gardens for public excursions, internet hosting individuals who come to see dazzling shows of flowers, timber, foliage and the unpredictable spectacle of nature.

Richard and Donna Sabonis’ backyard is one in every of six on the tour. The couple has been turning the soil, pulling weeds and getting their vegetation in pristine situation for his or her visitors. Visitors will go via an archway beckoning folks to come back see what’s contained in the backyard — an array of annuals, perennials, greens, timber and foliage.

Donna is thrilled to welcome associates and strangers into her non-public area. “We work very hard on what we do. We’ve never been asked to do this before. We feel wonderful that they have asked us to allow people to come in and see our garden. It gives us pleasure to have people come in and see what we’ve done,” she stated.

The tour begins at Grandmothers’ Garden in Chauncey Allen Park, 62 Smith Ave. Tickets for the tour are $15 upfront or $20 the day of the occasion. This is a self-guided tour with folks following instructions and driving to every of six properties on the tour.

The cash raised will profit Grandmothers’ Garden, which has survived on donations and volunteer gardeners because the metropolis pulled funding in 1994, saying it could shut the backyard except non-public residents took it over.

Betty Platt is co-chair of the Grandmothers’ Garden tour committee. “There’s a whole long laundry list of what’s needed at the gardens. Whatever is needed is primarily paid for by the tour. Grandmothers’ Garden wouldn’t exist if it weren’t for this fundraiser,” Platt stated.

Funds from this yr’s tour can pay to rebuild and restore the backyard’s rose arbor and pathway. Business sponsors additionally assist fund the annual enhancements.

“Grandmothers’ Garden is a wonderful place. It’s very calming. It’s a really nice place to go. It’s a worthwhile cause, just something we should sustain because it’s been there for so many years. It was created 88 years ago,” stated Platt.

Platt is promising a peaceable stroll via the six gardens. People will get pleasure from seeing completely different backyard designs together with the colours and perfume of 1000’s of vegetation.

“That’s my therapy. I love seeing the birds and creating the gardens. The tour will bring people a lot of pleasure. There’s something great about being outside in a garden,” she stated.

Platt expects about 400 folks to take the tour this yr. Some will see all six gardens in in the future; others will take two days to see all of it. Some folks even take the tour twice, soaking within the magnificence nature and their neighbors have placed on show.

Most folks on the tour are gardeners searching for inspiration and concepts from the host households. Donna Sabonis begins yearly with a plan she and her husband then create and produce to life. The backyard doesn’t at all times do what they count on — there’s a great deal of tinkering and tweaking because the couple learns from what the backyard is telling them.

“We like to try different flowers and see how they work, or sometimes don’t work. It’s an education learning how to raise plant life,” she stated.

Tickets for the backyard tour could be bought upfront by mailing a verify payable to FOGG and sending it to FOGG, P.O. Box 1432, Westfield, MA 01086. Tickets are additionally accessible at Grandmothers’ Garden on the day of the occasion. The tour runs from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. For extra info, go to

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