Uniontown Garden Tour plants new ideas

Brad Knatz was among the people who opened their backyards Sunday for the Uniontown Garden Tour, an event organized to raise money to help improve the historic Uniontown Academy, a one room schoolhouse in need of some structural repairs.

Knatz, who has been gardening for 26 years, took time in the heat to talk to people taking the tour about some tricks of the trade.


"I've made every mistake known to man. It's a very humbling hobby," Knatz said.

Knatz's garden features several varieties of heirloom tomatoes. His wife, Linda, makes tomato sauce with their bounty.

"The tomatoes that I choose to grow are ones I've had luck with in the past. The garden is small enough to be manageable, but yields enough for just the two of us," Knatz said.

The tour included seven private gardens, all on the north side of Uniontown Road. Kit Bloom, the garden tour's committee chair, said the tour offered an assortment of flower and vegetable gardens. Bloom said 160 people took the self-guided tour and nearly $2,000 had been raised.

"Everyone has been working very hard in their gardens and it looks very pretty. It really shows how lovely and charming this historical town is," Bloom said.

Annette Fleishell, of Sykesville, toured the gardens with her family.

"I'm a gardener, so just talking to people I've already learned a lot of stuff," Fleishell said.

Toni Dougherty showed off her garden's interesting nooks and crannies.

"We're happy to do anything we can do to help the village. Community is what makes this all happen," Dougherty said.

Just down the road, Terri Hoover's garden featured a variety of species perfect for cut flowers.

"I like to bring my flowers inside, but while they're in the garden they do a great job of attracting native birds and butterflies," Hoover said.

Hoover said she became involved in the tour because she wants to preserve the Academy.

"I love Uniontown. My grandfather owned the store around the corner so I grew up here. If [the Academy] is not preserved it would be a loss of our history," she said.

Craft vendors were stationed at the end of the tour and musicians performed throughout the village. Plein air artists from the Carroll County Arts Council were stationed around the village to capture the beauty of Uniontown at its peak floral season. Their finished pieces were available for sale through a silent auction from 4 to 5 p.m.


Artist Lisa Sebastian Sheppard worked near the Academy, creating a piece to sell at the tour's Plein Air silent auction.

"There are a lot of gorgeous little spots in Uniontown. The village has hundreds of years of nearly pristine architecture. It's pretty special," Sheppard said.

Sheppard, who is a Maryland Institute College of Art graduate and interior designer, worked in soft pastels.

"The pastels lend themselves well to Plein Air because you don't have the solvents. It's hot and the light is changing so I'm just fighting time," Sheppard said.

Eileen Mummaugh, of Westminster, loves to garden and thought the tour was a great idea.

"It's always fun to learn something new and see what other people have done," Mummaugh said.