Do you want to spend the rest of the year exploring lush gardens across the United States? The Garden Conservancy's new guide makes that easier than ever. Recently released, the Open Days Directory: A 2013 Guide to Visiting America's Gardens lists more than 300 participating private gardens across 18 states.
Founded in 1989, the Cold Spring-based organization launched the Open Days program in 1995 in hopes of spreading the message of garden preservation. Since it's inception, America's only national garden-visiting program has opened nearly 3,000 private gardens to almost one million visitors.
Including gardens in Arizona, California, Massachusetts, Texas, and others, the guide breaks down the Open Days schedule by both date and state. Each listing includes a brief description of the garden, its hours, pricing, contact information, and directions on how to get there. The Conservancy also offers information about proper garden etiquette, what to bring (hats sunscreen, water, etc.), and answers to questions about admission and photography.
Today, Saturday, May 18, is Westchester County Open Day. Four gardens open their doors to the public, including Bílá Zahrada-White Garden in Dobbs Ferry. The garden—which is open from noon to 6pm—is a ten year work in progress, which was informed by traditional Japanese aesthetics. The property features quiet white gardens, flowering trees, and perennial beds focused on form instead of color. Curving stone pathways, multiple terraced spaces, and walls encourage solitude and contemplation.
The Garden Conservancy's Open Days Directory provides a comprehensive listing of all the private gardens partaking in these events. More information about the Open Days program can be found at the organization's website.