On Sunday, June 3, 10 Hoboken homeowners will open the doors to their “secret gardens” and share their urban gardening and design secrets in the Annual Secret Gardens Tour, a fundraiser to benefit the Hoboken Historical Museum. The Secret Gardens Tour features a wide range of garden designs by both dedicated gardening enthusiasts and professional designers, with clever solutions to perennial problems of too little space and too much shade. Advance ticket purchase is recommended, and tour goers can save $10 if they reserve a ticket in advance for $25. On the day of the tour, tickets cost $35, with a special discounted same-day price of $25 for Hoboken Museum and Hoboken Garden Club members.
The gardens run the gamut from an architecturally stunning two-tiered garden with a double waterfall-style fountain to some gardens that spring from the endless creativity of the gardeners’ own passion for plants. One gardener renovated her ground-floor kitchen after Superstorm Sandy to include a glass-enclosed conservatory filled with plants to keep her home green year-round, even in the winter months. She creatively repurposes into planters diverse architectural elements, like a vintage chimney cap. Other points of interest will be marked on the tour route, including the community-tended gardens on the islands dividing 11th Street, and gardens at historic sites, such as the Hoboken Public Library and Holy Innocents Church.
The Museum originated the Secret Garden Tour 21 years ago, inspired by materials in the Museum’s archives documenting Hoboken founder Col. John Stevens’ horticultural prowess. Col. Stevens (1749 – 1838) was highly regarded in Colonial America for his elaborate and scientifically cultivated gardens (see image at right). He is credited with importing to America the first camellia, chrysanthemum and several peony varieties.
A ticket-purchase link is posted at www.hobokenmuseum.org. Or call the Museum during operating hours at 201-656-2240.
New this year: The tour is self-guided! On the day of the tour, advance ticket purchasers can pick up their tour booklet at the Hoboken Historical Museum, 1301 Hudson St., or the Hoboken Fire Department Museum, 213 Bloomfield St., between 9 am and 2 pm and visit the gardens at their own pace until 4 pm. The booklet includes a map and descriptions of each of the gardens, as well as some suggestions for brunch, lunch and tea options. (Please note, rain date is June 10.)
At each of the homes, the garden owners, Hoboken Garden Club members or Museum volunteers will greet visitors and help answer questions. The tour takes place on foot; comfortable shoes and sun protection are advised – most tour stops involve climbing a few stairs. The tour, a fundraiser for the Hoboken Historical Museum, is sponsored by Hufnagel Landscape Design and Construction Group, with support and assistance from the Hoboken Garden Club and many local businesses. Volunteers are needed to help lead tours; contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
About the Hoboken Historical Museum
Founded 1986, the Museum’s mission is to educate the public about Hoboken’s history, diverse culture, architecture and historic landmarks. In 2001, the Museum moved into one of the oldest buildings on the waterfront, in the former Bethlehem Steel shipyard, at 1301 Hudson St., Hoboken, where it maintains a series of rotating exhibits. The Museum is open six days a week, 2 – 7 pm on Tues. – Thurs., 1 – 5 pm on Fridays, and noon – 5 pm on weekends. It offers special exhibits, tours, events and lectures, as well as educational programs for adults and children on a weekly basis. An updated schedule of events and an online catalog of many items in its collections are available at www.hobokenmuseum.org. The Museum is a nonprofit tax-exempt 501(c)3 entity.