Beyond the Garden Gate: A peek at the gardens of a 100 years ago

If you are like me, you’ve probably often extended your musings over historic architecture to the gardens that were designed, planted, and cultivated to compliment that architecture and found yourself wondering just what the gardens of 100 years ago looked like.  If we’ve abandoned brick and stone in favor of vinyl facades, turned away from plaster in favor of drywall, install composite woods instead of solid woods – how have our gardens changed?

Were tulips, daffodils, azaleas, bluebells, spring lillies, and cosmos the blossoming colors that heralded spring 100 years ago as they typically do in today’s gardens?

Were asters, sage, sunflowers, mums, crocus, witch hazel, fall lillies, and sedum as much a fall favorite for the gardens of 100 years ago as they are for today’s gardens?

Now you can answer those questions, with a very special sneak peek at some Lancaster gardens from 100 years ago.  The Fivepoints Neighborhood Association of Old Town, Lancaster has developed a walking tour that showcases 15 private gardens in downtown Lancaster City’s historic Old Town neighborhoods.  The tour will view vegetation planted over 100 years ago – including ponds, fountains, swimming pool, intimate courtyards, elegant gardens, and great outdoor vignettes for dining and entertaining. The interior spaces of four of the homes will also be open for the tour.

Beyond the Garden Gate
Sunday 17 June 2012
Noon to 5 p.m.
Rain or Shine

The garden tour starts at 51 S. Duke St. (Stevens and Lee), where visits can view photographs chronicling an Old Town renovation. The following sites will also be open for the tour:

216 Old Trinity Place

213 Old Trinity Place

120 E. Vine St.

145 E. Vine St. (second floor apartment)

46 S. Lime St.

137 S. Duke St.

139 S. Duke St.

330 Church St.

121 S. Duke St.

117 S. Duke St.

109 S. Duke St.

107 S. Duke St.

114 John Hoff Place

33 Washington St.

122 S. Duke St.

Cost of advanced tickets is $10, or $9 for two or more. Tickets may be purchased the day of the tour at the cost of $10 each. The following businesses will be selling tickets until 6/16/12: Chestnut House, Festoon, Tellus360, Lancaster Art and Glass Works, and David the Goldsmith. Look for us on First Friday in front of Tellus326 and the Ware Center. Email me for more information.

Proceeds from the tour will be used to promote Lancaster’s Historic District and maintain and further develop public areas of The Neighborhoods of Old Town Lancaster. Currently, the Neighborhood Association with the help of resident volunteers, maintains 24 curbside flower planters, and landscaped public areas. Two passive neighborhood parks (Case Commons at E. Vine and Church St., and Church Pointe Park at Farnum and Church St.) were designed, built and are maintained by resident volunteers of the neighborhood. Visitors are encouraged to view these two public green spaces.

The Association has also developed and published an Historical/Architectural Walking Tour Guide of the neighborhoods. This booklet will be available to the public free of charge.

Tour participants are encouraged to spend Fathers Day afternoon in downtown Lancaster and enjoy brunch or dinner at the many nearby restaurants. After enjoying the tour you can take your ticket to Annie Bailey’s Pub and receive a 20% discount on food items.