Building Community Through the Arts

Hidden Gardens Celebration

May 9, 2019

Media Contact:
Gina Hyams, PR Consultant
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Spencertown Academy Arts Center Celebrates Hidden Gardens

Spencertown, New York– Spencertown Academy Arts Center’s 15th annual Hidden Gardens is scheduled for Saturday, June 15, with a kick-off garden party the night before. This beloved Columbia County gateway to summer event is designed to inform, inspire, and intrigue garden enthusiasts.

The theme of this year’s Hidden Gardens Tour is “Artful Landscapes” and shoppers will, once again, find treasures at the Garden Market on the Green. Flower farmer Jenny Elliott will give the annual Hidden Gardens Breakfast Lecture and the “Gardens of Delight” art exhibition will be on display at the Academy. Spencertown Academy Board Members Madaline Sparks and Vivian Wachsberger are co-chairs of Hidden Gardens; proceeds benefit the Academy.

The festivities begin with the Academy’s traditional Twilight in the Garden Party on Friday, June 14 from 6:00pm to 9:00pm at Meg and Bill Stratton’s elegant and gracious 1845 Greek Revival home in Spencertown, NY. The house, pool, and newly constructed rustic party barn are surrounded by shade trees and grassy meadows that give way to wooded areas beyond. New friends meet and old ones greet at this festive start to the summer season. Cocktails, sparkling beverages, hors d’oeuvres, and a scrumptious light supper are served. Andres Sarmiento, bar manager of John Andrews Restaurant in South Egremont, MA, will concoct a special signature cocktail for the occasion. A silent auction will feature multiple items ranging from a pair of Wave Hill chairs to a delivered truckload of organic garden mulch. Directions will be sent once tickets are purchased. Tickets are $90 in advance, $110 at the door.

Jenny Elliot, owner and lead grower at Tiny Hearts Farm in Copake, NY, will give a talk titled “Growing Cut Flowers for Your Garden and Home” on Saturday, June 15 at 9:00am (doors open at 8:30am) in the Spencertown Academy Auditorium. Audience members will enjoy home-baked goodies while learning what they can do now to incorporate cut flowers into all sizes and styles of gardens, including soil needs, plant types, and variety choices. Elliot will go into what to look for in cutting plants (grown and foraged), planting, and maintenance, as well as how to get the most out of plants to bring beautiful cut flowers into one’s home all season long. Tickets are $15 in advance, $20 at the door.

The centerpiece of the Hidden Gardens weekend is the self-guided tour celebrating the art of the garden on Saturday, June 15 from 10:00am to 4:00pm. The tour showcases six private gardens in the hamlets of Spencertown and Old Chatham, NY. A variety of garden styles will be on display on the tour: the perennial, herb, and pool gardens of a 1770s center hall colonial home ornamented with rustic fencing, pergolas, and arbors; a recently installed meadow with 1000 native plants; a cloistered rose garden and formal courtyard parterre; a productive kitchen and cutting garden; a charming retreat featuring an award-winning design; a two hundred-acre former horse farm with an English courtyard garden, multiple ponds, sweeping views, and massive islands of perennials, specimen trees, shrubs, and more.  

The tour will take place rain or shine. Tickets are $35 in advance, $40 day of; various package rates involving multiple events are also available. To purchase tickets for Hidden Garden events, go to Day-of garden tour tickets and maps will be available from 9:00am to 2:00pm at the Academy and at the Garden Market on the Green.

The Garden Market on The Green will take place on Saturday, June 15 from 9:00am to 2:30pm at the Spencertown Village Green across the street from the Academy. The market will showcase more than 20 vendors offering plants, home and garden furnishings, birdhouses, antiques, garden books, and expert garden advice, plus shoppers will find bargains on choice garden items and accessories at the Academy’s White Elephant Booth. A percentage of all sales benefit the Academy. Pro Sharp Mobile Service will be at the market to hone pruners and shears to perfection. Drop them off with Bob Sheets in the morning, tour the gardens, and pick up tools by 2:30pm. Food trucks will be on hand offering breakfast and lunch, including Arturo’s Restaurant at Micosta and Larry’s Food, as well as an ice cream sundae booth staffed by Academy members. Admission is free.

The “Gardens of Delight” art exhibit featuring works by Stephanie Anderson, Amy Bergeron, Marilyn Orner, Mary Ellen Riell, Laura Shore, Pamela Stoddart, and Marianne Van Lent will be on display in the Spencertown Academy Arts Center Gallery on Saturday, June 15 from 9:00am to 4:00pm and on Sunday, June 16 from 1:00pm to 5:00pm. Using an array of materials and techniques, the artists explore the theme of magnificent gardens and the flowers, foliage, and insects that populate them. Admission is free and the artworks are for sale.

Founded in 1972, Spencertown Academy Arts Center is a cultural center and community resource serving Columbia County, the Berkshires, and the Capital Region. Housed in a landmark 1847 Greek Revival schoolhouse, the Academy is located at 790 State Route 203 in Spencertown, New York. For more information, please see or call 518-392-3693.


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