Garden tours blooming around the region
Now that the plants are starting to thrive, area garden clubs and other organizations are planning garden tours.
• Allegheny West Historic District of Pittsburgh's North Side will host a tour and tasting in the homes and gardens of Old Allegheny from 5 to 9 p.m. June 7 and 8. Guests will sample a variety of red and white wines from South America and Australia, one at each of the stops on the tour, and hors d'oeuvres to accompany them, while they visit some of the most lavishly decorated homes and gardens of Old Allegheny. The guided tour begins at Holmes Hall at 5 p.m. each evening. Tickets for both days are sold out. Details: www.alleghenywest.org
• The Butler County Symphony Association will have its second garden tour from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m June 15. This self-guided tour will take participants to six gardens in the Butler area. A reception will be at Meridian Gift Shop Gazebo, 298 Meridian Road, Butler. Tickets are $20; $15 in advance. Tickets are available at the symphony office, 259 S. Main St.; Meridian Gift Shop, 298 Meridian Road; and Smith's Flower Shop, 136 N. Main St., all in Butler. Details: 724-283-1402 or www.butlersymphony.org
• Verona Flower and Garden Club will present a free self-guided walking tour of the gardens of Verona from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. June 15. Tour maps will be available at Allegheny River Boulevard and South Avenue (in the Dunkin' Donuts parking lot). Balloons will mark each participating garden, and refreshments will be served at various locations. Details: www.veronaborough.com
• The Southern Butler County Garden Club will present its annual self-guided Summer Garden Tour from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. June 15. A limited number tickets are available for $20 in advance only. Purchase a ticket by mailing a check payable to Southern Butler County Garden Club and a stamped, self-addressed envelope to Belinda Stuetelberg, 143 Pinehurst Drive, Cranberry Township, PA 16066. Participants must register at the Cranberry Municipal Building from 9 to 10 a.m. on the day of the tour. Proceeds benefit club projects and local horticultural programs. Details: www.southernbutlercountygardenclub.org
• The Lawrenceville Garden Tour will take place from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. June 22 and is free to attend. The tour starts at the Lawrenceville Organic Community Garden, near the Butler Street entrance of Allegheny Cemetery, where participants can pick up maps for the rest of the tour. This self-guided tour features the unique uses of urban backyard space with aspects such as raised beds, herb gardens, container gardens, traditional gardens and even artistic interpretations, including sculptures in Lawrenceville's 6th, 9th and 10th wards.
• The Indiana Township Backyard Splendors tour will feature six gardens and benefit the township's Youth Events and D.A.R.E. program. The tour will take place from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. June 23 and will include a luncheon served in the township's new community center. The tour and luncheon package is $30 and is limited to 100 participants; registration is required. Tickets for the tour only are $22; $20 in advance. On the day of the tour, participants will pick up maps and programs at the Indiana Township Town Hall before visiting the gardens. Details: contact Susie Dull, 412-963-7340, or Holly Sammartino, 412-767-5333, ext. 311.
• The 16th annual Town & Country Garden Tour, sponsored by the Pittsburgh Botanic Garden, is scheduled for 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. June 23. The tour includes 12 private gardens in Edgewood and Oakmont. There is a self-driving tour available for $50 or a bus tour that includes lunch for $130. Tickets are available online at www.pittsburghbotanicgarden.org or at the following stores: Cuttings in Sewickley; Home & the Holidays, Oakmont; Penguin Book Shop, Sewickley; Ten Thousand Villages, Squirrel Hill; Toadflax, Shadyside; and Wild Birds Unlimited in Monroeville, Wexford and South Hills.
• The Greensburg Garden Center's 2013 Garden Tour “The Joy of Gardening” will be from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. June 29. Participants will visit seven gardens. Tickets are being sold in advance at the Greensburg Garden Center for $12 but will also be for sale on the day of the tour for $15. Details: 724-837-0245 or www.greensburggardencenter.com
• Shaler Garden Club and Shaler North Hills Library will have their fifth annual Great Gardens Tour from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. June 30. The five gardens include a home with a parklike setting, one with a lovely pond, and another with a terraced yard. At one garden, which has a Williamsburg feel, the owner will dress in period clothing. Tickets are $15; $12 in advance. Proceeds benefit the Shaler North Hills Library. Details: 412-486-0211 or www.shalerlibrary.org
• Seven Mt. Lebanon gardeners will open their gardens from noon to 5 p.m. July 7. This self-guided tour will provide a look at various settings, ranging from shady spots mimicking cool woodland glens to sunny, deer-proof vegetable patches. This 23rd annual tour benefits the Mt. Lebanon Public Library. Tickets are $20 the day of the tour; $15 in advance at the library's main desk. The ninth annual Garden Party in the Courtyard, hosted by the library's board of trustees, will take place the evening before the tour from 6 to 8 p.m. in the library's garden courtyard. Tickets to the party are $30. Details: www.mtlebanonlibrary.org
• Explore South Side's “Secret Gardens” during the second annual South Side Garden Tour at 10 a.m. Aug. 18. This self-guided tour features unique and beautiful gardens throughout the neighborhood. The gardens include courtyards, large lot gardens and rooftop gardens in traditional, modern, and “green” styles. The tour is rain or shine. Check in at 18th and Carson streets for tour maps. Tickets are $7. Details: south-side-pittsburgh.com