Tucked away behind Hoboken’s row homes and converted factory buildings is a world of lush gardens and cleverly designed outdoor living spaces, as diverse as the city’s residents. Gardeners and non-gardeners alike are invited to indulge their curiosity and pick up urban gardening ideas on the Hoboken Historical Museum’s 20th Annual Secret Garden Tour, Sunday, June 4, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. (Rain date: June 11).
In conjunction with the tour, Little City Books is hosting a talk and book signing by noted gardening expert, Jenny Rose Carey, whose latest book Glorious Shade offers advice for gardeners challenged by tree or building shade. The talk is Thursday, June 1, at 7 pm, and admission is free.
For this year’s tour, nine local residents are opening their gardens to tour goers. Guided walking tours will start from the Museum, 1301 Hudson St., every half hour, and last about two to two and a half hours. Tour groups are limited in size and filled on a first-come, first-served basis. The tour takes place on foot; comfortable shoes and sun protection are advised – most tour stops involve climbing a few stairs. Tickets are $30 in advance at www.hobokenmuseum.org; or $35 on tour day.
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. Volunteers are needed to help lead tours; contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Past is Prelude
The Museum originated the Secret Garden Tour 20 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. He is credited with importing to America the first camellia, chrysanthemum and several peony varieties.
In honor of the 20th anniversary, this year’s tour includes some popular gardens from previous years, as well as some new additions. Some spaces have been cultivated by dedicated gardening enthusiasts, while others are designed more as outdoor entertainment spaces, with the latest materials and design features. A number of gardens have evolved over the years, often with clever solutions to such challenging issues as shallow soil and deep shade. One Secret Garden Tour classic on this year’s tour is the Hudson Street garden featuring faux gothic church ruins and a deep soaking pool, but the plantings have been significantly changed, offering fresh surprises for dedicated tour goers.
Save $5 by visiting the Museum’s website, www.hobokenmuseum.org, by June 3. Or stop by the Museum at 1301 Hudson St., or call 201-656-2240 to order tickets by phone. On the day of the tour, Hoboken Historical Museum members and Hoboken Garden Club members save $5. Children under the age of 13 with a parent or guardian are admitted for free. Volunteers are needed; send an email to email@example.com for information.