2017-07-14 / Community

Garden tour will benefit Fort Williams foundation

The public will have an opportunity to tour 10 gardens on Saturday, July 15, during the seventh annual Maine Home+Design Cape Elizabeth Garden Tour, presented by the Fort Williams Park Foundation.

A highlight of the tour will be the recently opened Children’s Garden at Fort Williams Park. The result of several years of planning and fundraising, the one-and-ahalf acre garden combines features such as a tree house, footbridge and underground tunnels with native plant species that provide a natural habitat to various wildlife.

The self-guided garden tour will feature nine privately owned properties in the Cape Elizabeth area that are not usually open to the public. All gardens undergo a strict selection process that involves a site visit by foundation members, guaranteeing that everything on the tour will please the eye and provide inspiration. The tour is timed to coincide with the peak season of many blooming plants. Participants will be greeted by ocean side views, historic homes, beachfront scenery – even a couple vineyards – as they wander around dozens of species, including daylilies, daisies, bee balm, hydrangea, water irises and hostas.

All proceeds from the garden tour will go toward the Fort Williams Park Foundation, a nonprofit dedicated to preserving and promoting Fort Williams Park and its legacy. The foundation’s premiere project is the arboretum, which is the most extensive environmental restoration in the park’s history. In addition to being home to Portland Head Light, one of the most famous lighthouses in New England, Fort Williams Park housed a military base from the late 1800s to the early 1960s, and many historic structures from that period can still be explored today.

The garden tour will run 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Participants will register at Fort Williams Park in Cape Elizabeth, where they will be provided with a booklet that contains a map and information about each garden. Tickets cost $25 in advance and $35 the day of the tour, and are available online at fortwilliams.org and at the following locations: Jordan’s Farm, Fort Williams Park Foundation office, Cape Elizabeth Community Center in Cape Elizabeth, Broadway Gardens and Nonesuch Books in South Portland. Tickets will also be available on-site at the park the day of the tour.

Raffle tickets for a guided tour of Portland Head Light for up to 12 people will be available for purchase at the Garden Tour ($5 each or five for $20; cash only). The raffle will be drawn immediately after the Garden Tour.

For more information, visit fortwilliams.org.

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