he Maine Music Society’s 10th annual Garden Tour on Saturday, July 10, will include seven beautiful gardens with special surprises in each one.

This year’s celebration also will include special events in each of the gardens throughout the day, including gardening and landscaping tips from a professional landscaper, a photographer’s suggestions for better garden photos, performances by musicians and singers, and artists will be painting.

The tour will revisit a garden from the original tour 10 years ago. Russ and Joan Moors’ Auburn garden was part of Maine Music Society’s first tour and the plantings have grown and matured over the past decade. Armed with a passion for planting, the couple has grown spectacular irises, day lilies and more than 300 varieties of hosta. The hosta, featuring varieties such as the older Montana and the newer Night Before Christmas, grow from 2 inches to 4 feet in height. They are planted against the backdrop of a stockade fence, along a path and in a center bed. Over the years, this garden has grown into a dazzling display of perennials.

The two, 60-year-old silver maple trees in front of Roger and Marcienne Beaulieu’s Lewiston home frame a spectacular view of a valley below. A perennial-bordered pond, a vegetable garden and two flowering apple trees surround the house, built in 1792. Honeysuckle, forsythia, hosta and junipers grace the patio area, and beds of seasonal annuals abound. Their gardens include perennial geraniums, bleeding heart, phlox and roses, plus future plans for a gazebo.

A fountain centerpiece

Blue and pink spirea, rhododendrons, hosta and clematis grow near and around a fountain in front of Gerry and Judith St. Laurent’s home in Lewiston. An area in the back of the house features a pool surrounded by annuals, statues, flowering apple trees, a vegetable garden and a raspberry patch. The St. Laurents’ real passion, however, lies in the various bushes and grasses they have found and planted over the years. Dogwood, weigela and smoke bushes, as well as Japanese, morning light and flame grasses can be seen throughout the property. Tall and ground phlox, lilies and Russian lilacs are also part of their gardens.

The Lewiston gardens of Donol and Annette Clark are filled with Stella Dora lilies and cleopsis, giant dahlias and balloon flowers. When a corner of their lot was first landscaped due to construction, they decided to plant a few perennials. Ten years later, they’re still planting. The property features a stone wall and statuary surrounded with 30 varieties of perennials. There is an ornamental outhouse, and annuals dot the yard with color.

Mona and Jim Ervin’s Auburn back yard is lined with a privet hedge, arbovitaes and lilacs – both the common varieties and hybrids. Within the yard, they have maintained a 40-by-40-foot vegetable garden, two separate asparagus beds and a boxed herb garden. Under a maple tree they have created a shade garden, with a whiskey barrel fountain as the focal point. Throughout the yard are small beds of day lilies, oriental lilies, irises, hosta, peonies and many annuals. Whimsical pottery animals are scattered about the yard, and the patio and deck are decorated with many unique hanging baskets.

Hummingbirds’ haven

Nestled in the middle of a working orchard in Auburn, the gardens of Dick and Joyce Potvin feature phlox, black-eyed Susans, hollyhocks and bee balm to attract hummingbirds. When they moved into this house nine years ago, they brought purple coneflower, irises and peonies from his previous garden. Since then, they have added an old-fashioned cottage garden bordered by a picket fence, which wraps around the foundation of the house. This garden features roses, delphinium and more than 30 varieties of perennials. Birdbaths, figurines, Shasta daisies and asparagus add to the beauty of the garden.

This year’s garden tour will again include the Memorial Courtyard Garden at Lewiston High School. Tickets will be on sale there on the day of the tour and the garden, located in the courtyard of the school, will be open for visitors to enjoy the trees, shrubs and many varieties of perennials that have been planted to bring color and beauty to all four seasons.

With the recent addition of irrigation, more than 150 Asiatic lilies and many varieties of day lilies have been added. Comfortable benches make the courtyard a lovely space in which to relax and enjoy a quiet moment.

The tour runs rain or shine from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on July 10.

Tickets are $10 in advance and $12 on the day of the event. People can call the Maine Music Society at 782-1403 for information or visit their Web site at www.mainemusicsociety.org.

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