Saturday tours include Hidden Gardens in Trenton, Lambertville – Low Calorie Diets Tips

GARDEN DIVERSITY: A total of 30 gardens will be on display between the hidden garden tours hosted by Trenton’s Old Mill Hill Society and Lambertville’s Kalmia Club, both on Saturday 11th June. Showcasing a lush backyard retreat from last year’s Mill Hill tour. (Photo by Jeffrey Tryon)

By Wendy Greenberg

Views of backyard retreats with lush landscaping and creative uses of outdoor spaces will abound on Saturday, June 11 when the Old Mill Hill Society in Trenton and the Kalmia Club in Lambertville both unveil select ‘Hidden Gardens’ that are located hide their annual tours behind historical and contemporary houses.

The Kalmia Club’s 24th Annual Hidden Gardens of Lambertville Tour is a self-guided tour operating from 10:00am to 4:00pm, rain or shine, departing from the historic pink Kalmia Clubhouse at 39 York Street in Lambertville.

The Old Mill Hill Society (OMHS) is once again offering their annual Hidden Gardens Tour from 12pm to 5pm, come rain or shine. Both events showcase a variety of architectural styles, spaces and ages of homes and gardens.

“It’s a mix of established gardens and newer ones,” said OMHS President Tom Griffith, who noted the tour is his personal favorite event at Mill Hill. “There are a few hidden, older, very nicely maintained gardens that have been growing for 20 to 30 years, and there is also work in progress – new residents who have planted a garden on what was once an overgrown lot.”

While the Mill Hill tour normally has 15 stops, this year it has 22. Neither tour releases their garden stops in advance. Both propagate the community bond that is a result of working and walking together. “It’s a great way for neighbors to get involved in the community and a low-risk COVID outdoor event,” Griffith said.

The Lambertville Tour has been rescheduled for 2020 and 2021, making it the first tour since 2019. Garden Tour Committee Chair Donna Puluka is pleased the tour is back. “We encourage everyone to come out for a good cause and help us raise some much-needed money to top up our scholarship fund while we explore our historic riverside city over a great day with friends and family,” she said.

This year, the Hidden Gardens of Lambertville Tour includes eight gardens and one edible garden
Medicinal plants next to colorful plants and blossoms; a garden with stunning views of the Delaware River surrounded by greenery and winding around a charming sofa and brick patio; and an American cottage-style garden overlooking Music Mountain and the water.

The Lambertville tour will also feature a tribute to animals and imaginary creatures; a formerly overgrown courtyard converted into a sanctuary with knot garden and gravel frontage; and a rear garden laid out around a large, circular patio.

Garden guide planners hope viewers will be inspired by the innovative settings, pops of color and variety of planting.

“The amount of tips that can be gleaned in a matter of hours can transform real estate,” said Kalmia’s Shirah Gray. “The worst case scenario is that you stopped to smell the roses and you might spot an old variety. As a result, groups of gardeners from across the state have regularly participated in the Kalmia Club’s Hidden Gardens of Lambertville Tour.”

On June 13, Kalmia celebrates the 125th anniversary of its membership in the National General Federation and the NJ State Federation of Women’s Clubs with a dedication ceremony for a National Historic Register plaque on its historic clubhouse, which was a boys’ school and Quaker meeting house, before it was donated to the club by the community in 1910. The pink color of the clubhouse is in honor of the flower Kalmia latifolia. It is also listed on the NJ Register of Historic Places.

Tickets are $20 in advance and $25 on the day and can be purchased online through PayPal at kalmiaclub.org/events.htm until 8pm on June 10th. Proceeds support outreach and annual scholarships for local women at South Hunterdon High School. Tickets can also be picked up in Lambertville at Bucks on Bridge at 25 Bridge Street and at the Blue Raccoon at 6 Coryell Street or at the clubhouse on the day of the tour, June 11th.

Tickets for the 2022 Mill Hill Society Garden Tour are available for $20 at TrentonMillHill.org or on the day of the event at Artworks, 19 Everett Alley, Trenton. The proceeds benefit the OMHS, which supports the preservation of monuments in the region. According to OMHS, the tour has played an important role in restoring the neighborhood. The neighborhood features many 19th-century houses.

A local business has been donating free tickets to underprivileged residents, Griffith said. But even at the daily rate, ticket prices are the same as last year. “At $20, that’s less than $1 per garden,” he said.

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