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.