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19th annual Back Alley Garden Tour & Tea to show off gardens

By Staff | May 13, 2016

The weekend of May 21-22 marks the 19th occasion of the Shepherdstown Community Club’s Back Alley Garden Tour and Tea.

The weekend will focus on gardens all around as GardenFest coincides offering more opportunities to show off the beauty of the town.

One of the gardens visitors can experience is that of Elise Baach at 110 S. King Street.

Baach’s beautifually landscaped backyard lends itself to relaxation, especially finding the stone path leading to Baach’s quiet reading space.

This is not Baach’s first year on the tour, but she says that each year her garden looks different.

“It’s trial and error,” she said of the variety of plantings she has growing. She shared that she had, at one point, done roses, but they were very labor intensive and now have been transplanted in someone eles’s garden.

The goal, Baach said, is to have a “park setting” in her yard. She achieves that by having multiple plants, along with a waterfall flowing down one corner.

At the top and bottom of the falls, there are “thinking” rocks where one can ponder and enjoy the noise of the running water or watch the fish that can be seen (as long as they avoid the herons who come to have them for lunch).

A standout feature in Baach’s garden is the stone pathway that allows handicap access to the multiple points in her yard.

Having a son with a disability, Baach shared that accessibility was a key component in redesigning the garden when she moved to the home nearly 12 years ago.

Visitors can find touches of color throughout this quaint garden as well as throughout many of the other homes that will be open to the public for the weekend’s event.

The tour will include a self-guided walking tour of private gardens rarely open to the public and an elegant afternoon tea.

Garden Tour hours will be 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday. The Teas will be offered from 12 noon to 4 p.m. each day.

Admission to both the Tour and Tea will be $20 per person through May 18, and $25 after that. All proceeds from the Tour and Tea will be used to support the two important community resources the Shepherdstown Community Club owns: the War Memorial Building and Morgan’s Grove Park.

Tour and Tea tickets and more information are available online now at www.backalleygarden.org. Tour and Tea tickets and more information are available online now at www.backalleygarden.org. Tickets are also on sale in the town at the Valley Florist, Sweet Shop and Four Seasons books store on German Street and Yarnability on South Duke Street.

In addition to the Tour and Tea, Garden Fest, sponsored by the Shepherdstown Visitor’s Center, will offer events throughout town including displays by local atists, access to local historic sites, live music, children’s events, carriage rides and special spring menus at many local restaurants.

The Potomac Valley Auduobon Socieyt will also feature a native plant sale from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday. More information on these events can be found at www.shepherdstown.info.