GARDENS GALORE: Community college foundation to hold inaugural garden tour
Published 9:03 pm Thursday, April 16, 2015
It’s a new take on an old tour: taking the tour out of homes into the lush gardens that can found hidden behind homes and closed gates, on parcels of land the public rarely gets to see. The Beaufort County Community College Foundation will open up some of these local gardens — some secret, some not so secret — with it’s inaugural garden tour.
The tour will take place on June 20, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. For $20, a ticketholder can set out on their own to explore the lineup of local gardens; for $25, a ticketholder can hop aboard one of two seven-seater foundation vans for a more guided tour. At each stop along the way, refreshments will be offered to the garden guests — and they will be variety of gardens, according to Serena Sullivan, BCCC Foundation director.
“Our focus is going to be gardens. It could be a floral garden or vegetable garden, even a tree garden,” Sullivan said.
Sullivan said she’s been meeting with local master gardeners, garden clubs and homeowners known for their green thumbs to finalize the list of gardens up for touring on June 20, but she’s in the market for more. Offering up a garden for tour comes at no cost, or really inconvenience to a homeowner — those touring will not be entering homes attached to the gardens.
“We’re only looking in Washington and the Chocowinity area because the time frame, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., doesn’t allow for anything outside that area,” Sullivan said.
The funds raised by the garden tour will be used for the Foundation’s many scholarships given to BCCC students each year — last fall that amounted to $53,000; for this spring semester, the total awarded was $17,000.
“It’s a significant amount of money and it could be even more so with us getting out of the loan business,” Sullivan said. “Not having the loan programs available, we may see more of a need for scholarships or emergency grants, so if we can make a thousand (dollars), we can help students in the area.”
While the list of garden destinations is not yet complete, there will likely be some surprises along the way.
“We don’t know who has something fabulous in their backyard,” Sullivan said.
Sullivan said this first tour is a test run — if it goes well, there just may be more in the Foundation’s future.
“We’re hoping to have a successful event and a nice summer day. Hopefully, we’ll have a lot of community support for the students and the college,” Sullivan said.
For more information or to purchase tickets, call 252-940-6218. Those interested in offering a garden for touring can call Serena Sullivan at 252-940-6326.