The Maine Music Society’s 15th annual Garden & Home Tour will take place from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, July 11, rain or shine. This year’s fundraising tour consists of seven locations, including seven gardens and one home interior.

1. Home and garden – John and Doris Bonneau, Auburn

The home sits on a knoll overlooking Lake Auburn, nestled under a generous sampling of mature shade trees and surrounded by a variety of gardens. The gardens are a testimonial to the foresight and hard work of the original owners, Mr. and Mrs. Albert Hughes and their sons Nick and Steve. The rose garden features collections of hardy roses. Hostas outline two shade gardens where boxwoods, bleeding hearts, columbines, astilbes and azaleas thrive. In the late spring and summer, the perennial garden overlooking the lake is filled with white and pink phlox, white cimicifuga, variegated white and red peonies, lilies, iris and white, pink and purple astilbe. A walking path beside the perennial garden boasts an abundant variety of rhododendrons and azaleas. Since purchasing the property two years ago, the Bonneaus are entrusted with the pleasant task of maintaining and rejuvenating the grounds.

2. Home and garden – Richard Davenport and Kerry Eldridge, Auburn

The garden of Richard and Kerry is a combination of established perennials with a smattering of annuals for constant color. There is a mixture of garden areas – formal with statues of the four seasons and brick walkways; free formed gardens with a wide variety of grasses, day lilies, hosta and ferns; and a garden pond hosting a family of goldfish, the oldest being 18 years old. The gardens have evolved over 20 years with expansions and new gardens. This is the third time the garden is a part of the tour.

3. Garden – Gordon Marshall, Auburn

Driving by one may look up and notice a striking red Japanese maple and a gazebo, but the real surprise comes all the way up. When purchased, the property was mostly tar and lawn, with no real entrance. A major remodeling 15 years ago changed that. Tar was hauled away, garage doors were moved to the front and a new driveway installed where the lawn once was. An entrance porch was built with a connecting pergola to the gazebo. Two ponds edged with stone provide a focal point with a waterfall, fountain and aquatic plants. A wide variety of hardy perennials, trees and bushes fill raised beds. The garden also contains a moss-covered, patchwork cement patio and a shade garden under the “Oreo trees” (two maples with a white birch in the center). Berry bushes and raised beds provide space for organic square-foot flower, fruit and vegetable gardening. The peaceful sounds of water, frogs, birds and chipmunks help one forget that the city is just over the hill.

4. Garden – Jeanne Pacheco, Lewiston

Pacheco’s garden has been a work in progress for many years and was a great challenge to establish due to water problems on the property. The garden is confined within a stockade fence encircling the entire backyard. The yard’s perimeter is ringed with flower beds containing both perennials and annuals. A new rose garden was added last year as well as several new perennial beds. The yard has arbors, brick walkways, stained-glass stepping stones and statuary. Pacheco collects seeds from friends and grows many of her annuals in her new greenhouse. A new rain barrel was installed to catch rainwater from the roof to help conserve summer water use.

5. Garden – Lewiston High School Memorial Courthyard Garden, Lewiston

The Memorial Courtyard Garden at Lewiston High School is featured again this year. The garden offers specimen trees, daylilies, Asiatic lilies, hosta and astilbe. Visitors will also enjoy the commemorative plaque honoring World War II armed forces. Public restroom facilities are available at this location.

6. Garden – Dan and Sandy Marquis, Lewiston

The Marquis’ gardens were started in the summer of 2003. The site was a long-neglected field created from yards of fill from years of road construction. Even though the garden is only 8 years old, it appears to be much older. Many of the shrubs and perennials were saved from their previous home, which help to create this small oasis in the middle of the city.

The National Wildlife Federation has designated the yard as an official Backyard Wildlife Habitat. A pond build along with the home provides a focal point and is easily viewed from the kitchen window. The pond is home to several green frogs and birds as well as irises and eight varieties of water lilies. A pair of mallard ducks use the pond as a resting place for most of the summer. Three crabapple trees provide food for wintering birds. Hummingbirds relish many varieties of lilies and daylilies. A row of pine and fir trees provide cover and food. Other trees include two specimen birches, a smoke tree and a unique tri-color beech tree.

Several sun-tolerant hosta varieties are planted around the pond, helping to soften the natural rock border. More hostas line the stepping stone path, winding its way behind the pond through the shade garden created among locust trees. Mixed in are a variety of ferns, astilbes, lungworts and other shade-loving plants. An extensive selection of coral bells ranging in color from yellow and orange to deep burgundy contrast nicely with blue and green hostas.

A nature photographer, Dan will display photos the day of the tour for sale with 20 percent of proceeds donated to the Maine Music Society.

7. Garden – Gerry and Pam Hamann, New Gloucester

The garden was conceived 30 years ago as the owners lived in the basement of their new home. Today, that is hard to believe. The brick cape is completely surrounded by cottage gardens, adding charm to the property. Walk through antique rod iron gates into a courtyard of roses and lilacs. Grapes hang down over marble columns near a millstone fountain. Flowers adorn every corner. An ancient rock wall is now embedded with luscious moss and ferns. Giant hostas in hues of blue and green catch your eye. Brick pathways lead to a raised bed vegetable garden intermingled with flowers.

Tickets are $12 purchased in advance. They are available in late June through the L/A Arts office (call 782-7228) and at Provencher’s Landscape and Nursery, Mr. Paperback, Ivy Cottage, Lewiston and Auburn Hannaford and Shaw’s supermarkets. Tickets, $14, will also be available the day of the tour. If interested in volunteering at any of the homes or gardens on the tour, call Melanie Ness at 783-6764.


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