AUBURN | Refreshing florals, blooming buds and lush landscapes were the highlight of a beautiful Sunday afternoon.
The Auburn Beautification Commission held its second annual summer garden tour on Sunday afternoon. Local residents and visitors from around the area, took in eight different gardens spread throughout the city.
ABC Garden Club members, Carolyn Kyle, Em Boyce and Alexis Parsons greeted visitors at Hoopes Park and said the success of last year's tour led to efforts in continuing this year.
“We were looking for a fundraiser that would get individuals involved in the community and we saw this an opportunity,” Carolyn Kyle said. “It's great for locals and visitors from around the area to participate and see the different gardens and it gives neighbors the chance to see some of the beautiful gardens growing in their neighborhoods.”
Each garden offered its own original landscape, from the newly built gazebo at the bed and breakfast on 10 Fitch Ave, to the uniquely constructed gateway that greets visitors at the Stankus residence at 119 South St.
Some homes even had a compelling history to go along with their garden.
The 10,000 square-foot home at 107 South St. was two years in the making and is still a work in progress, said owner Victoria Lesch Von Randall.
“This used to be all gravel,” Lesch Von Randall said, gesturing to the large front lawn. “The roof was caving in and it was a major disaster but it's been something we've worked really hard on and it's all starting to come together.”
Today, the home stands amid a landscape of fresh flowers and beautiful greens with a hint of southern charm. The garden also offers a unique feature to the tour. A bottle tree, known in the south as a plant designed to ward off evil spirits, dons different colored wine bottles and is nestled among flowers and shrubs in the backyard.
Ann Perry and Lee Parker were among many out enjoying the garden tour for the afternoon. Parker heard about it last year but didn't have the chance to go, she said. So when the opportunity presented itself this year, she took full advantage.
“We've seen so many stately homes and beautiful yards and it's nice to see some of the old houses being revived and brought back to life,” Parker said. "These residents take the time and effort to create these beautiful landscapes and it's great for Auburn and great for our community.”
Ann Perry, a longtime friend of Parker's was visiting from Tarrytown and said she was blessed to see such beautiful landscapes.
“It's terrific. They've all been really lovely to see and we've enjoyed it,” she said.
Proceeds from the garden tour go to the Auburn Beautification Commission gateway project, to revive and beautify the signs that welcome visitors to Auburn, Kyle said. But more importantly, the garden tour provides a great afternoon for residents and some well-deserved recognition, she said.
“It's a big effort to open up your garden but ultimately it's very rewarding," she said. “A lot of people don't realize what they've created but when they have it available for others to see, it really is great for the community.”