The 17th annual Croton Arboretum Garden Tour kicks off at 12:30 p.m. on Sunday, and runs until 5. The brutal heat wave should be history, and it’s a good way to get outdoors again and see seven private gardens in the Croton-Ossining area that are still looking swell in mid-summer.
(In the shade of a giant tulip tree, a lovely stand of ‘Mariesii‘ lacecap hydrangea greets visitors to this garden in Croton-on-Hudson, one of seven that will be open on Sunday for the 17th Annual Croton Arboretum Garden Tour. Photos by Emma Cheshire, daughter of Marc Cheshire, who handles PR for the tour.)
“All of the gardens are new except for one and that one hasn’t been shown in 10 years,” says tour organizer Laura Seitz of Croton-on-Hudson, who previewed 40 to 50 gardens over the last year.
(With its combo of Crocosmia ‘Lucifer’ and yellow false sunflower (Heliopsis helianthoides), hummingbirds are a big fan of this garden, one of seven that will be open on Sunday for the 17th annual Croton Arboretum Garden Tour.)
“You ask everybody you know and you try to be as persuasive as you can be,” she says with a laugh. “I think it’s a particularly good tour this year.”
Tickets, which will be limited to 200 tour-goers, cost $20 each or two for $35 if purchased in advance. All proceeds go toward the upkeep of the Croton Arboretum and Sanctuary, a volunteer nonprofit group that provides environmental stewardship for 20-plus acres of wetlands and woods at the Jane E. Lytle Arboretum in Croton-on-Hudson.
(Along the property line of this Croton garden, hedges of Canadian hemlock, Schip laurel and hydrangeas are the backdrop for beds of yellow and white lilies. It will be open Sunday for the 17th annual Croton Arboretum Garden Tour.)
Among the highlights:
A grand old Ossining estate from the 1930s with a 72-year-old garden that includes a lake, orchard, fenced berry patch, raised vegetable beds, two Japanese gardens and winding paths through a woodland garden and groves of mature mountain laurel and rhododendron.
A rambling old Victorian in Ossining with more than 20 rooms that’s been divided into apartments, with each tenant getting a piece of the garden. Seitz calls it an “environmental wonder,” with solar panels for electricity and cisterns to collect rainwater from the roof for the gardens.
A bog garden that’s been created over the last 40 years on land in Croton traversed by a stream.
A beautifully maintained 106-acre farm that was used initially as a home for long-distance Arabian race horses. Along with the horses, the organic farm is now home to goats, chickens, bees and an extensive vegetable garden.
IF YOU GO …
What: 17th annual Croton Arboretum and Plant Sale
When: 12:30 to 5 p.m. on Sunday, July 21
Where: 7 private gardens in the Croton-Ossining area, two of which will offer sweets and iced tea and lemonade. One garden will be selling home-grown plants.
Tickets: $20 each, or $35 for two if purchased in advance; limited to 200
Information: 914-487-3830, www.crotonarbo retum.org. Get maps and remaining tickets from 12:15 to 3:30 p.m. on Sunday at St. Augustine’s Episcopal Church at 6 Old Post Road North (corner of Grand Street) in Croton-on-Hudson.