Hooktown Holidays to host inaugural garden tour July 8

Hooktown Holidays’ first garden tour will be held on Saturday, July 8 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

The tour offers an opportunity to see six local gardens, with all proceeds from tickets going to Hooktown Holidays. “All of the money raised goes to support Hooktown’s mission,” said Hooktown Holidays’ president Terry Pearson. The mission is “to provide nutritious food, warm clothing, and/or other necessities of life to individuals and families in need in our community.”

The gardens open for viewing during the tour are all within the city and showcase different styles, interests, and specialties of the gardeners who curate them. The six gardens on the tour are the Pearson garden, 1201 Conewango Avenue, the Swedler garden, 804 Conewango Avenue, the DelBalso garden, 1109 Conewango Avenue, the O’Brien/Fisher Garden, 32 Quaker Court Circle, the Bunk Garden 609 Conewango Avenue, and the Gerardi garden, 217 Walnut Street.

In addition to viewing the gardens, said Pearson, there will be a drawing for two seasonal gifts donated by sponsors. Drawings will be taken from the tear-off portion of the ticket, said Pearson, and will be given away during the tour.

Sponsors for the garden tour include local garden centers and suppliers, as well as other local businesses.

Tickets are $9.00 each or two for $15.00 and can be purchased at Ekey’s Garden Center, Howe’s True Value, Ace Hardware, Arbor House Cafe, Studio 329, Gahring Optical, Dan Van Gogh Flower Co., Wood Forest Bank, Gaughn’s Drug Store, and Virg-Ann’s Flower Shop. “The price works out to around $1.50 per garden,” said Pearson, adding that the price of the tickets was intentionally kept low to make the event more accessible to as many as possible.

Many of the gardens belong to members of the Hooktown Holidays’ board of directors, including Ethel DelBalso, Jack Swedler, and Pearson himself. “They really are some of the finest gardens in town,” said Pearson.

The main point of interest, said Pearson, is that many of the garden areas on display are not visible from the road, but are interesting and carefully tended gardens worth being seen. “Very few people have been inside” many of these gardens to see the small nuances that make them unique.