We love glossy garden porn as much as the next guy, but the best way to get ideas for gardening in your specific climate is to get out and see what other people have done. Summer is the time for annual garden tours, and we've compiled a list of ten in and around the Boston area.
1. Visit the many beautiful, diverse gardens in the South End — from pocket-sized patio spaces to rooftop terraces and community gardens — at the 17th Annual South End Garden Tour on June 19.
2. Meet the talented and resourceful gardeners who grow fruits and vegetables in Somerville at the Incredible Edible Gardens of Somerville on July 25. Over two dozen gardens and urban farms will be featured.
4. On June 13, the Secret Gardens of Cambridge will be celebrating their 10th anniversary. This year, in addition to the private gardens featured, there will be a newly-launched sustainable garden project, an urban wildlife habitat, a native plant garden, and a garden that functions as an outdoor classroom.
5. The annual Rockport Garden Club Coastal Gardens Tour will be held on July 9 & 10. The tour include 16 magical private gardens at 10 unique locations.
6. Out on the Cape, the 13th Annual Secret Garden Tour on July 11 begins with a self-guided walking tour of gorgeous gardens in Provincetown's east end. The Sandwich Garden Tour on July 14 allows you to visit a number of lovely private home gardens at your leisure.
7. On September 5, you can catch An Intimate Garden Tour: A Summer Home in Narragansett, which features the dramatic seaside project of Rhode Island horticulturalist Louis Raymond.
8. The Westford Friends & Newcomers Garden Tour on June 12 is a self-guided tour of private home gardens in picturesque Westford, Massachusetts.
9. Enjoy the beauty of eight private gardens in Kennebunkport, Maine at the 16th Annual Private Gardens of the Kennebunks on July 17. The tour will also include a ninth bonus garden of syndicated talk radio Garden Club host, Paul Parent.
10. Get happily lost wandering the side streets of historic Portsmouth, New Hampshire at the 21st Anniversary Pocket Garden Tour on June 18th. A unique feature of the tour will be the presence of local musicians performing in several of the gardens.
For additional listings of garden tours throughout New England, check out the Garden Conservancy's Open Days program.
Images: Mark Micheli, Marlene Karas and Rick Friedman