Garden tour June 10 will benefit AMC Cancer Fund, Hopkins Pediatric Oncology Center

Sunday, June 10, marks the 13th annual Private Garden Tour of Harford County. The tour, which is sponsored by the AMC Harford County Chapter, offers flora aficionados the opportunity to browse the gardens of Harford homeowners as well as gardens sponsored by the Bulle Rock Garden Club.

Tickets for the tour can be purchased at Brad's Produce, Country Garden Center, Jonathon's Weddings and Flowers, Kroh's Nursery, Preston's Stationary, Richardson's Florist and Tea by Two, for a cost of $20 in advance or $25 on the day of the tour. Funds raised from ticket purchases will be donated to the AMC Cancer Fund and the Johns Hopkins Pediatric Oncology Center.

Stops along the tour include the following gardens. The addresses and driving directions for the gardens listed are included with a purchase of a ticket for the tour.

The Donovan/Stiles gardens feature climbing roses, Natchez Crape Myrtle and a functional French kitchen garden. While the Donovan/Stiles garden includes several ponds for fish and frogs and are a National Wildlife certified animal habitat. This means that the gardens contain water, food, shelter and nesting sites. Consequently, the gardens are saturated with bird song throughout the spring and summer.

The Tiekert gardens and the Menzer gardens both feature Asian influences. The Tiekert gardens include century-old trees native to Maryland, a Japanese dry pond and a machiai, a traditional Japanese garden bench. Within the Menzer gardens, the gentle movements of the breeze among the branches of the weeping pussy willows and Tanyosho pine trees are a visual counterpart to the peaceful sound of water trickling through a small fountain within the garden.

The Hudgens gardens, entitled "Fern Dell," features more than 400 types of ferns as well as rock gardens and a brook that flows through the 4.5-acre garden. The Clark gardens are significantly smaller but no less special. The centerpiece of the garden is a Koi pond framed by flowering plants and ornamental grasses.

The Hallett gardens create a pleasing effect by using both landscaping, such as colorful perennials and potted annuals, and hardscaping, such as bird baths and a patio. The Matricciani gardens are described by Valerie Matricciani as a "Labor of Love." Love's labor is certainly not lost within her garden, which includes charming combinations of perennial and annual flowers and a carpet of creeping thyme.

The landscape of the Stump gardens is focused on trees such as hawthorns, dogwood, red maple and Leland Cypress. Planted among the trees are ground plants and butterfly bushes. The Carriere gardens include a formal rose garden, as well as a less-structured garden wherein paper bark maple trees, weeping dogwoods, magnolia and a variety of other plants are grown.

Information about the gardens on display within the Bulle Rock community can be obtained at the Bulle Rock Resident's Center. Bulle Rock, a gated community, will be open to the public on the day of the garden tour until 6 p.m.

Additionally, members of the tour are encouraged to stop at Broom's Bloom Dairy, voted home of Harford's Best Ice Cream every year since 2006, for the $10 AMC Garden Tour lunch special.

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