It was a glorious weekend for the 23rd Annual Hidden Garden Tour hosted by the Westport Historical Society. Despite an abnormally long and cold winter this year, all five gardens were magnificent. We had rave reviews from volunteers and ticket holders alike. This year, tour-goers were offered tasty refreshments, and enjoyed entertainment such as a flute trio, guitarist, croquet, and Qi (chi) Gong, a mind-body meditation practice offered in the Zen Garden. One garden also featured a bee hive, which was an added bonus.

The five gardens illustrated many types of settings, all beautifully done: large areas and small, sunny and shady, rock gardens, wetland settings, pond settings, tight spaces, and more. It was especially lovely how several homeowners made use of sloped properties, with inset pools and terraced beds -- it was an inspiration to so many of us who have these challenges in our own yards. Our heartfelt gratitude to the homeowners who made this year's tour possible by graciously opening up their gardens: Edward F. Gerber, Roma Fanton, David Schiffer and Daryl Duarte, Grayson Braun and Jamie Walsh, and Arlene Scanlan and David Squires.

For those in town during the day, the market offered many vendors under one tented area, with gifts, clothing, accessories, food, collectibles and garden ornaments.

At the end of the day, the tent area was transformed into a candlelit paradise with delicious food provided by local restaurants and caterers, including: The Blue Lemon, CM Gourmet Market, Dash and Drizzle, Eventi Cafe, Finalmente Trattoria, Fortuna's, Geronimo Tequila Bar and Southwest Grill, Gold's Delicatessen, Isabelle et Vincent, The Little Kitchen, Matsu Sushi, Mumbai Times, The Spotted Horse, Rizzuto's and The Shake Shack. There was great wine from the Liquor Locker and private donors, tasty hand-crafted gin drinks from Caledonia Spirits as well as donated drinks from the Miami Bay Beverage Co. The place was hopping, with live jazz music provided by Rabbi Greg Wall and his Quartet. The garden party chairman, Jeff Ruden, really stole the show when he became the auctioneer at the live and silent auctions.

The tour is made possible by the generous support of our annual and event sponsors, including: BNY Mellon Wealth Management, Sheffer Foundation, Adolph and Ruth Schnurmacher Foundation, Berchem Moses & Devlin, Sachs Walsh Insurance, Maplewood Senior Living, Abbey Tent & Party Rentals, Brown's Monument Works, Land Tech Consultants, Weichert Realtors, The Care of Trees, Darton & Co., Delamar Southport, Bankwell, Geiger's Landscape, Brooks, Torrey & Scott, Inc., Catamount Wealth Management, Law Offices of George Judd, LLC, Stonebridge Associates, David Adam Realty, CT Realty & Weston Arborists and media sponsors Westport Magazine/Moffly Media and Connecticut Gardener Magazine.

As the sun slowly set, and the evening breezes swished the skirts of the ladies, we all relaxed with the knowledge that the garden tour and the after-event were great successes. We look forward with anticipation to next year's Hidden Garden Tour.

Susan Gold, executive director

Edward F. Gerber,

board president

Westport Historical Society