Flynn Garden Tour comes to town

Photo by Stephen Mease
From left, Flynn Garden Tour Director Cheryl Dorschner, tea hosts, caterer and sponsor Philo Ridge Farm co-owners Diana McCargo and Peter Swift, and Flynn Center for the Performing Arts Executive Director Anna Marie Gewirtz.
Photo by Stephen Mease
Views of Lake Champlain from the stone terrace at Marian and Stephen Feldman’s home were just one feature of the extensive shade, flower and vegetable gardens that surround their home built in 1926 as a private camp. The home was one of seven sites featured in the 2019 Flynn Garden Tour in Shelburne.

Shelburne was this year’s destination for the 23rd annual Flynn Garden Tour held Sunday, July 14 – a fundraiser for the Flynn Center for the Performing Arts.

More than 450 ticket holders visited six private gardens, heard talks, vied for raffle prizes, and strolled and picnicked in the gardens. Many finished off the day at a tea hosted and catered by Philo Ridge Farms in Charlotte.

“Shelburne was one of our most popular destinations – tickets sold out in a record four weeks,” said Flynn Garden Tour Director Cheryl Dorschner. “And visitors saw everything from an intensely planted towering rock ledge to a walled sunken garden of unusual conifers all nestled in a 100-year-old orchard. They wandered a six-acre homestead with woodland and meadow perennials, enormous fruit and vegetable plot and adorable kid goats. They enjoyed the serenity of Zen Buddhist gardens featuring a meditation sanctuary and jizo statuary.”

The tour reflects the combined efforts of those who open their gardens for just one day, Flynn Center staffers Susan Leckey and Michele Altadonna and a committee of 10 women who spend nearly a year organizing the popular event that moves from town to town each year. About 50 additional volunteers lend a hand on the day of the tour.

“The Flynn Garden Tour raises funds to help bring school children to our popular Student Matinee Series and provide teachers with educational materials that complement those performances,” Flynn Center Executive Director Anna Marie Gewirtz told tea attendees. “Every year as many as 38,000 children from 178 schools throughout Vermont attend live performances at the Flynn Center.”

Several area businesses sponsored the event and several others made in-kind donations and advertised in the 28-page guidebook.

Photo by Stephen Mease
Juliet McVicker’s sunken garden provided the perfect vantage point to look over the heritage apple and fruit orchards during the Flynn Garden Tour 2019 in Shelburne.

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