On Saturday, June 7, three private gardens in Alton and Godfrey will participate for the first time in the Garden Conservancy’s Open Days program, welcoming the public from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
The event is rain or shine, and no reservations are required. Admission to each garden is $7; children 12 and under will be admitted free. Discount admission tickets are available in advance at Cottage Gardens, 6967 Route 11, Piasa. Call (888) 842-2442 or visit www.opendaysprogram.org for information. The Madison County Open Day is sponsored locally by St. Louis Homes and Lifestyles magazine.
Included on the June 7 Open Day is the Steve and Kim Pope Garden, 68 Danforth Road, Alton, where visitors will enter the upper garden through a rose- and clematis-covered arbor and can admire a view of the Mississippi River, an outdoor dining area shaded by wisteria, 100-year-old white oaks and a newly planted crescent-shaped boxwood hedge. At Sevenoaks - Garden of Amy and Philip Alfeld, 736 Ramona Place, Godfrey, a series of outdoor rooms are inspired by the owners’ travels, featuring vintage garden furniture, a clematis-covered screen separating a formal 18th-century garden from a Mexican-themed patio with Talavera pottery, and a gazebo similar to one at Mount Vernon in Virginia. The Bluff Top Garden of Chuck and Joan Sheppard (a shuttle will take visitors to the garden from the parking lot at Clifton Terrace Park, Great River Road, Godfrey) sits atop limestone bluffs and has evolved over a 57-year period to include a “moonglow” garden, a riverside deck with extensive container plantings, multiple owner-constructed fountains, a rock garden, a hillside shade garden under the canopy of century oaks, sassafras, river birch and Stewartia trees, and specimen Japanese maples throughout.
In addition, the Monticello Sculpture Gardens at Lewis and Clark Community College, 5800 Godfrey Road, Godfrey; and The Nature Institute, 2213 South Levis Lane, Godfrey, will both welcome visitors on this date; admission is free.
The Garden Conservancy introduced the Open Days program in 1995 as a means of introducing the public to gardening, providing easy access to outstanding examples of design and horticultural practice, and proving that exceptional American gardens still are being created. The Open Days program is America’s only national private garden-visiting program and is made possible by the work of volunteers nationwide. For information, a complete schedule of Open Days, or to suggest gardens for inclusion in the program, visit the Garden Conservancy website at www.gardenconservancy.org.