Any interest in seeing what some of your 70and73.com neighbors are doing in their gardens?
You'll get a chance this Saturday when the Garden Club of Marlton and the Evesham Green Team co-sponsor the debut of the Marlton Garden Tour — sending participants on a free journey to seven gardens around Evesham.
It's being billed as the "first annual," and the self-guided tour will take enthusiasts from private to public gardens. The Garden Club also is holding a plant sale during the same hours as the tour.
This year, the theme is native plants, with the intention to make people aware that they can cultivate native plants in their own gardens rather than non-native ornamental blooms, Carol Otte Prince, president of the Garden Club, told 70and73.com.
Prince said a good example is the stop at 9 Brighton Drive, Evesham, where the homeowner maintains a wildlife habitat with native plants. His creation "looks more like a meadow instead of a mowed lawn," Prince said.
Descriptions of each of the stops on the tour are below.
The tour is "absolutely free," although some stops might accept donations, Prince said. She emphasized it lasts only four hours, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. However, in case of rain the tour will move to Sunday, with the same hours.
Plants will be sold from the John Inskeep House at 10 Madison Court, home of the Evesham Historical Society. Proceeds from the cash-only sale will support the club’s civic development projects and will fund annual awards given to graduating seniors from Cherokee High School and the Burlington County Institute of Technology.
The Garden Club of Marlton was founded 45 years ago to spearhead community improvement and beautification projects. Prince said it has about 45 members and is affiliated with statewide and national garden club organizations.
» MORE: Marlton Garden Tour website.
Here are the stops on the tour, with details from the Garden Club:
- Country Farms is a private garden at 9 Smallwood Court. This garden was a COVID-19 quarantine project that transformed it to a sustainable native garden in which every plant in the habitat has a purpose. This will be the garden’s first full season. Representatives of Rutgers Environmental Steward program will be on hand to discuss the program, which trains volunteers on how they can help solve environmental problems in their communities. Please park on the street.
- Evesboro Downs Wildflower Patch is a public garden in Evesboro Downs Park, on Evesboro-Medford Road that features native plants and shrubs. The Wildflower Patch was planted in 2015 and is maintained by Evesham Township and the Evesham Environmental Commission. This native garden is home to birds, butterflies, insects, and, occasionally, the gray tree frog. Representatives from the Evesham Green Team will be on hand to discuss the organization’s green and sustainable initiatives in the township, as well as its involvement in the Wildflower Patch. A parking lot is available.
- The John Inskeep House at 10 Madison Court is a mid-18th century farmhouse that includes several garden beds and an herb garden behind the house. The historic farmhouse is owned and maintained by the Evesham Historical Society with assistance from the Garden Club of Marlton for the gardens. Representatives of both the historical society and the garden club will be on hand to answer questions about their organizations and the garden club’s plant sale will take place at the house. Please park on the street or in the parking lot to the right of the house.
- Homegrown National Park is the private wildlife habitat at 7 Brighton Drive. Beginning in 2017, the homeowner transformed his backyard into a wildlife habitat using native plants, each year replacing lawn with flower beds and ponds. He did so by following the advice of Doug Tallamy, a University of Delaware entomologist who encourages private property owners to restore biodiversity by creating Homegrown National Parks that "support life, sequester carbon, feed pollinators and manage water." Now, the lush backyard attracts birds, bees, butterflies, frogs and other wildlife. Representatives of the Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation and the Native Plant Society of New Jersey will be available to discuss their organizations and provide advice for using native plants. Please park on the street.
- Taunton Lake Road is a private garden at 259 Taunton Lake Road. The homeowner devoted the past year to improving her backyard for the insects, birds and other animals that visit. While she has not yet reached all of her goals, calling her garden "a work in progress," she has learned much about native gardening. She invites the public to come and see her achievements and learn more about sustainable gardening. Representatives of the National Audubon Society will be on hand to discuss the conservation of birds and their habitats. Please follow the on-site directions for parking.
- Richard L. Rice Elementary School at 50 Five Crown Royal features a rain garden planted in September with students from the school. Stormwater from the school's roof now filters through the garden to help recharge the Kirkwood-Cohansey aquifer, reducing contaminants that otherwise would have made their way into local waterways. Representatives from the AmeriCorps New Jersey Watershed Ambassadors Program will be available at the school to discuss the AmeriCorps program, which was designed to improve the quality of New Jersey’s waterways, nurture community-based environmental activities and empower residents to make responsible and informed decisions regarding their watershed. Glenn Curtis, a local monarch butterfly enthusiast, will also be sharing information. Parking is available at the school.
- Holly Brook Haven is a private garden at 353 Holly Road. The backyard of this home, which backs up to the main stream feeding the lake system for Marlton Lakes, is a Certified Wildlife Habitat with the National Wildlife Federation. This natural habitat is home to countless birds, animals, and plants, including the endangered Swamp Pink. A shade garden and annual and perennial gardens also are featured. Representatives of The Garden Club of Marlton will be on hand to answer questions about the club and its activities. Please park on the street.