Now in the 15th year, the Irvington Garden Tour is going strong. This year, the tour will be held Sunday, June 28 from 1- 5 p.m. and feature 10 gardens. Tickets are $10 and proceeds of the tour support the Irvington Garden Club’s works to beautify the community through plantings, stewardship of the historic Kile Oak, and many other projects.
Advance tickets are available at Bookmamas (9 S. Johnson), Habig’s Garden Shop (11th and Arlington), and the Antique Mall of Irvington (corner of Ritter and East Washington St.). On the day of the tour, patrons can purchase tickets at the Benton House (312 S. Downey Ave.) and at the Irvington United Methodist Church (30 N. Audubon).
One of the secrets to the longevity of the Irvington Garden Tour is that there is great variety in the gardens themselves. This year’s tour highlights a “secret garden” created by owners who transformed an overgrown yard to a quiet retreat — a place to sustain the soul. Close by, there is a garden full of vegetables, fruit, and herbs artfully arranged — a place to sustain the body. Still another garden boasts a tulip tree descended from a tree planted by George Washington, a weeping willow given to the owner as a present on her 80th birthday a few years ago, and a favorite childhood picnic spot — a place to sustain the heart.
To capture all the beauty and uniqueness of the gardens, artists will be painting outside throughout the tour, and their work will be on display at the Bona Thompson Memorial Center afterwards.
One of the stops is the Bona Thompson Memorial Center, 5350 E. University. Admire the gardens outside, but go inside for the exhibit “Indiana Seasons” and a display of flower photos with their meanings. Also go around the corner for your free plant start at the Conservatory entrance. All the plants are donated by the Irvington Garden Club members and volunteers.
To cap off the day of walking through great gardens, visit the Irvington United Methodist Church, 30 N. Audubon, from 1-4 p.m. for their annual Strawberry Festival and Patriotic Concert. Enjoy strawberry shortcake with the “works” for only $4, and the kids will enjoy children’s activities. A free patriotic concert, featuring the choirs of Irvington United Methodist Church and Union Chapel United Methodist Church will begin at 4:30 p.m. in the sanctuary.
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