SEWICKLEY − Expect plenty of “Wow” factor when strolling through the Sewickley Garden Tour.
Beautiful, sweeping views of cleverly arranged, meticulously planted flower beds accented with one-of-a-kind decorative objects − like an 1850s Chinese vase and one of those big fiberglass dinosaurs once scattered around Pittsburgh − fill the self-guided tour with photo ops.
This is gardening where money is no object, though there are inspiring ideas to be found for any home gardener.
“All of the gardens are very unique, and I think going through them you’ll probably grab 10 to 15 ideas to take back and put in your own garden,” Lynn Popovich, head of the Sewickley Garden Tour Committee, said. “Just to beautify a little corner, or on your porch, or how to plant a basket or a big vase by your front door.”
Returning for the first time since 2019, The Sewickley Garden Tour will feature five private gardens in the Sewickley area on June 17-18. The Garden Tour benefits the Sewickley Civic Garden Council, which heeds a mission to preserve the quality and beauty of Sewickley’s public spaces while also fostering sustainability in the Sewickley area.
The tour’s five gardens are on Pine Road and Academy Avenue in Sewickley, on Woodland Road in Edgeworth and on Backbone Road and Blackburn Road in Sewickley Heights.
The Woodland Road garden is a multi-tiered oasis of green with splashes of flowery color, maintained by several groundskeepers.
“It’s a more naturalized garden,” Popovich said. “You’ll see some weeds and things just blend in with the ferns and the flowers and the dinosaur, and a vast variety of trees and shrubs, colors and species. It’s a magnificent garden. There are several different pockets where the family spends most of its time, and other areas where their children and grandchildren come and play and celebrate birthdays and Sunday dinners.”
Some driving will be required between gardens that are not within walking distance. A map of the gardens will be provided in the brochure/ticket.
“There are two estates up in The Heights; one is very well-maintained and manicured, but it’s the fourth year that garden has been on the tour because it’s a garden in-progress, in renovation of the house and all the grounds,” Popovich said.
That portion of the tour includes the carriage house at 125-year-old Wilpen Hall, which was the grand estate of the late William Penn Snyder, and includes a museum-worthy collection of a dozen late-19th century/early 20th-century horse-drawn carriages. A peek into the showroom is like traveling back in time to the late 1890s.
The Wilpen Hall estate and garden “is stunning,” Popovich said. “It’s the oldest living, working estate left in Allegheny County.”
Garden Council members will be present at each tour stop to answer questions about the gardens.
Tickets for the Sewickley Garden Tour cost $45 in advance at sewickleygardens.com or at Penguin Bookshop, 417 Beaver St., or Gather gift shop at 424 Beaver St., Sewickley.
Tickets also can be purchased on the days of the event at Osborne Elementary School, at 1414 Beaver Road.
Ticket holders have the option of attending the 5:30-9 p.m. June 17 session or the 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. June 18 session. Light refreshments will be served on Friday evening at each garden.
Founded in 1963, the Sewickley Civic Garden Council is composed of five local organizations including The Little Garden Club, Trowel and Error Garden Club, Grapevine Garden Club, Edgeworth Garden Club, Village Garden Club and Sustainable Sewickley. Recent grants include contributions to the Broad Street Flower Project, improvements to the Mary Roberts Rinehart Park, and a new water fountain for Wolcott Park in Sewickley.
Scott Tady is entertainment editor at The Times and easy to reach at [email protected]
This article originally appeared on Beaver County Times: Sewickley Garden Tour set to amaze, inspire with beauty and creativity