Back Alley Gardens & An Elegant Tea Party

Gardens Open Rain or Shine
Saturday, May 19, 10 AM to 4 PM
Sunday, May 20, 11 AM to 4 PM

Enjoy the opportunity to stroll through the private outdoor spaces of over a dozen homes in historic Shepherdstown. Small details from the past are evident everywhere — two hundred year old carriage steps, one hundred year old iron fences and very old stone walls accent stuctures both old and new, restored, reworked, and renewed, lovingly, over time. Some gardens are professionally designed and some are intensely personal but all are interesting and innovative. The twin challenges of the snows of last winter and the ever encroaching deer population have introduced some new ideas into the mix as well. We have large and small formal gardens, cottage style, urban gardens and small unexpected plantings to welcome you.

The little stream we call The Town Run rushes merrily along its stone lined course, originating South of town and flowing North into the Potomac River, cutting through over half of the gardens, and creating a natural water feature often ingeniously integrated into the gardener's designs.

Afternoon tea is held from 12 noon to 4:00 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday at the War Memorial Building. Each admission ticket is good for entrance to one tea on either day, but not both. The hot teas are served in fine china cups and saucers from the Shelley A. Marshall Foundation. Cold tea is also served. Everyone is given a plate filled with savory bites and desserts of their choosing.

The second floor meeting room is transformed with abundant fresh flowers and elegantly prepared tea tables.

Local flowers arranged by Meg Spurlin are offered for sale at the War Memorial Building with all proceeds going to the Morgan's Grove Park Walking Path Maintenance Fund.

The tea and some of the gardens are handicap accessible. However, because of the historic conditions throughout the town, there are some uneven surfaces. Please wear sensible walking shoes. While one could walk the entire tour in an hour, you would miss all the great details. Some visitors have spent the whole weekend visiting and re-visiting the gardens. So don't fret if you need to omit a stop or two due to physical limitations.

Photography and sketch books are encouraged.

To encourage you to linger and have a wonderful time town merchants will be offering ticket holders discounts and special sales.

There will be free parking at Shepherd University, lot A, on the corner of High and Princess Streets. Street parking is metered during the day.

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