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Secrets in bloom


The beauty was in the details. Peony petals floated in a birdbath. Bright orange daisies were paired with lilac lobelia in a container. Dark orange koi swam in a black pond as visitors crossed a narrow footbridge.

Waterfront gardens sloped down to a backdrop of sailboats catching a breeze on Spa Creek.

Several hundred visitors endured the hot, sticky weather Sunday to walk through 14 private gardens in the Murray Hill neighborhood of Annapolis.

This was the sixth year of the Secret Garden tour, which benefits the historic Hammond-Harwood House in Annapolis. The proceeds from this year's tour will benefit education, research and restoration programs.

Some of the gardens were spacious, but most were tucked in small spaces behind the homes. Visitors, many wearing straw hats, were treated to surprises - hot pink impatiens peeked out from under a porch on Murray Street, providing a perfect shady spot.

Shade-loving plants lined ponds and waterfalls. Blue and white china dishes were used as stepping stones at 1 Acton Place, the original Murray Hill home.

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