Local gardens open to public

Several homes in the Julia-Ann Square Historic District opened their gardens to visitors Saturday to raise money for neighborhood improvements and changes.

Five of the six homes and gardens on the tour were first-time participants of the district’s Victorian Garden Tour and Tea, which was held from noon to 6 p.m.

“We usually have it as a two-day event, but decided to try and see what we could do with it being one day with longer hours,” said organizer Ann Bennett.

The amount of money raised by the district’s Victorian Garden Tour and Tea was nearly as much as what was raised last year, Bennett said.

“We did nearly as well in one day (this year) as we have in the previous weekends,” Bennett said, adding last year’s event raised about $1,500 for the district.

All of the money raised through the sale of garden tour tickets, plants and DVDs of past tours goes back into the neighborhood.

Tour stops included the homes at: 1033 Juliana St., also known as the Davidson-Bennett home that is currently a bed and breakfast; 1110 Ann St., known as the Neal home; 1100 Ann St., owned by Sandy and Randy Gutherie; 936 Juliana St., owned by Suzette Toblin; 111 11th St., which was built between 1872 and 1874 and was one of the original homes used to have the area declared as an historic district; and 940 Juliana St., known as the Acton-Martin House.

All of the stops on the tour were within walking distance, which Bennett said was a plus.

“There are times you go on a garden tour and the homes are so far apart you have to drive,” she said. “This way people can enjoy the summer breeze.”

The district has used money from such tours for improvements such as installing period lighting, banners and archways at the entrances of the district. The district is the largest and most historic in the state and was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1977.

Barbara LaCava brought her mother, Artist Taylor, and 4-year-old granddaughter Lily on the garden tour from their home in Ravenswood to enjoy the sunny weather and flowers.

“I own a Victorian home and have several flower gardens, but I always like looking at other people’s gardens, too,” LaCava said. “I actually came on the tour to get some ideas for my gardens – I even brought my camera.”

Read more news coverage of the 2009 Garden Tour at the Parkersburg News and Sentinel.

Category : In The News Posted on June 22, 2009

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