June 17, 2013 • 09:24:54 a.m.

Stop, smell roses on Woodstock Garden Walk

By JAMI KUNZER - jkunzer@shawmedia.com

An upcoming Woodstock Garden Walk promises to inspire, provide a bit of refuge and reveal hidden treasures.

The 21st annual event hosted by the Woodstock Professional and Business Women will take place from 1 to 7 p.m. Thursday with participants invited to stroll through six gardens, all within a 10-minute drive from the Woodstock Square.

Two of the gardens are in town, while four are in the countryside, organizers say. They range from a 5-acre estate to smaller, well-loved gardens, said Tricia McCoy, who chairs this year's event. Many times, it's the smaller gardens that get the most attention, she said.

"We have several gardens that are quite small, but they pack a lot of punch," she said.

Among those featured is "Cottage Ridge Gardens," featuring a pool and cottage garden with wisteria climbing over the pergola, hydrangeas, rambling roses, lavender and the gardener's favorite, daises. 

Others include the "I'm so Blue" garden with a "pop" of blue and purple throughout; the "Collie Flower Farm" with rows of flowers grown for farmers markets, weddings and special occasions; and the "Bird and Butterfly Haven" featuring a gravel path meandering past a white bordered shade garden onto a mixed border. 

At "Bird and Butterfly Haven," a fountain crowns the terraced garden, and a rain garden is planted with native perennials chosen to attract birds and butterflies.

In Bull Valley, "The Conifer Collection" includes weeping, creeping and towering conifers, with new plants and features added to the 5-acre landscape and rock garden every year since 1963. 

"Home Again" was created as a refuge from busy lives with croquet and badminton lawns, a pool and acres of land that attract wildlife. The garden includes a sampling of unusual trees, shrubs and perennials to round out the edges.

Organizers always are looking for unique, eye-catching gardens, including for next year's event.

"We actually sometimes go knock on doors when we see the good gardens," McCoy said. "If people really work hard and do a good job on their gardens, they usually enjoy sharing."

Both area residents and others are encouraged to attend and not only see the gardens, but also spend the day at the Woodstock Square, where many merchants are offering specials and discounts to those taking part in the event.

With tickets costing $13 in advance and $15 the day of, the Garden Walk benefits the Frances Kuhn Scholarships for adult women returning to school. 

The Woodstock Professional and Business Women recently awarded five, $1,000 scholarships, the most the group ever has given, McCoy said. The group also recognizes an annual Woman of the Year and supports the Christmas Clearing House, among other causes.

Tickets and maps will be available from 11 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. the day of in the gazebo bandstand on the Woodstock Square. They can be bought in advance at the Woodstock Chamber of Commerce, Golden Eagle, Seasons by Peg and Harris and Home State Banks in Woodstock. For information, visit www.wpbw.org.


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