Garden Tour June 2022

The Stonington Garden Club invites you to visit Gardens by the Sea, our triennial garden tour. This easy walking tour will feature a handpicked collection of rarely seen gardens behind the walls and gates of Stonington Borough’s historic properties.

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Our Tour gardens offer the diversity of waterfront vistas to intriguing stonework and patios surrounded by lush and unusual plantings. Visitors will explore a variety of gardens from formal perennial plantings to intimate pocket gardens; from flowering borders to grassy seaside vistas overlooking Stonington Harbor. Labels and garden plans will highlight plantings for identification, and knowledgeable Garden Club members will be on hand to answer questions. 


A unique feature of the Tour is a juried selection of “Plein air” artists, who will create art in gardens and selected locations in the Borough. A collection of their work will be available for sale in the Artists in the Borough Pop-Up Gallery at the La Grua Center in the Borough. This Gallery is open to the public.

New to this year’s Tour is our Celebrity Speaker, Charlie Nardozzi, who will speak on both days of the Tour at 1:00 pm at the Stonington Harbor Yacht Club in the Borough. Charlie is a regional Emmy® award-winning garden writer, speaker, radio, and television personality. He has worked for more than 30 years bringing expert gardening information to home gardeners through radio, television, talks, tours, online, and the printed page. Charlie delights in making gardening information simple, easy, fun, and accessible to everyone. These talks (which will be different each day) are ticketed separately; seating is limited.

A special Preview Party will be held on Thursday, June 9, at 6:00 pm at the La Grua Center in the Borough. Get an exclusive preview of the gardens that will be on the Tour. See our artists’ artwork on display for sale. Plus, for Tour ticket holders, you will receive your Tour Guidebook so no waiting in line on the day of the Tour! This event is ticketed separately; tickets are limited.

In addition, a tented Marketplace will be held on Wadawanuck Square and will have a variety of vendors offering garden-inspired accessories, crafts, clothing, jewelry, home décor, and gift items.


TICKETS

$35 Tour Tickets in Advance (good for both days; rain or shine)
$40
Tour Tickets if purchased on site the days of the Tour

$25 Charlie Nardozzi Talk June 10
$25 Charlie Nardozzi Talk June 11

$50 Preview Party June 9

Access to the Marketplace and the Artists in the Borough Pop-Up Gallery are open to the public – no ticket required.

All tickets are non-refundable. The Tour will be held rain or shine.


FAQ

Where can I pick up my ticket and Tour Guidebook?
All online tickets will be issued via Eventbrite. Please bring a paper or digital copy of your receipt(s) to pick up your Tour Guidebook at our Tour Ticket Booth on Wadawanuck Square in the Borough. Your ticket is good for both days. Your Tour Guidebook will be your “entrance” pass to each garden.

The Tour Guidebook has been underwritten by our generous advertisers. Please click here for a list of our tour advertisers.


Is it a self-guided tour?

Yes, and walkable. Each garden is clearly marked on the map provided in the Tour Guidebook. Look for a green umbrella; a host will be at each entrance. Knowledgeable docents will be in every garden to offer further guidance and answer questions.


Where can I park?

Parking volunteers will direct you to the closest parking lot. Please see below for further parking & direction information. We do encourage carpooling if at all possible.


Why should I buy a ticket for the Preview Party on June 9?

You will get an exclusive preview of the gardens that will be on the Tour. See our artists’ work for sale in the Artists in the Borough Pop-Up Gallery before the public. Plus, Tour ticket holders will be able to pick up their Tour Guidebook so no waiting in line on the days of the Tour! Wine and hors d’oeuvres will be served. Tickets will be $50 and are available online. Tickets are limited, so first-come, first-serve!


Is Gardens by the Sea a fundraiser?

Yes. All of our net ticket revenue directly supports the Stonington Garden Club, which is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization. After expenses are met, 100% of proceeds from the tour are donated to local, state, and national horticulture, environment, and conservation causes, projects, and organizations. Please see the List of Projects & Organizations and GIfts & Scholarships for details. 


How can my organization help spread the word about the Tour?

We have posted a variety of marketing materials for use by other garden clubs, community organizations, etc. to help market the tour to a wider audience. Click here for the Marketing Materials page.

Can I purchase tickets on the day of the tour?
Yes. Tickets will be available on the day of the Tour, cash and credit cards will be accepted. Save $5 by purchasing your Tour ticket in advance online via Eventbrite. Tour tickets are good for both days, rain or shine, and are non-refundable.


How many gardens will I see?
Gardens by the Sea includes eight residential gardens and the COMO Children’s Learning Garden – Stonington Garden Club’s major community project, which features regenerative gardening techniques. All the gardens are within walking distance.


Tell me more about the COMO Children’s Learning Garden

The COMO Children’s Learning Garden includes over ten vegetable beds, a cutting garden, a butterfly/pollinator garden, and many other sources of learning. It is an excellent example of regenerative gardening. It is a major hub of activity and education for the COMO kids and will be a highlight of the tour.


How accessible are the gardens?

Our Gardens by the Sea Tour is about one mile long and easily walkable. Here’s a tip – wear your most comfortable shoes. We do have some uneven sidewalks, and you’ll be walking on stone pathways and lawns. And please, no high-heeled shoes or strollers in the gardens. Not all gardens are wheelchair accessible. 


Are children allowed?

Yes! Children 5 and under are free, but all older children must have a ticket. Children 17 years of age and under must be accompanied by an adult at all times. Strollers and baby carriages are not allowed in the gardens.


Are pets allowed?

In consideration of our garden hosts, please leave Fido at home. We are happy to make an exception for service animals.


Where can I eat?

There are several eateries within a 1/2 mile of Wadawanuck Square and all of the gardens. Please visit our Food & Drink page for a complete list. We recommend making a reservation when possible.


DIRECTIONS & PARKING

The hub of our Garden Tour is located at Wadawanuck Square just one block after crossing the bridge into Stonington Borough, also called “the Village.” Attendants will direct you to the closest parking area, and a short walk will find you back at the Square. Purchase your tickets online and pick up your Tour Guidebook at the Stonington Garden Club tent. You will also find the tented Tour Marketplace with a variety of vendors. For your convenience, you may check your purchases for safekeeping at the Information Tent so that you may tour unencumbered.

The tour tents will be located in Wadawanuck Square at the corner of Water and Broad Streets (21 Broad street).

21 Broad Street, Stonington, CT 06378
GPS: 41.33690523721172, -71.90661925791598


Directions

From 95 Northbound

  • Take exit 91 for CT-234 toward North Main Street/Stonington/Borough
  • Turn right onto CT-234 W
  • Turn left onto N Main St
  • After about 2.3 miles, turn left onto US-1A N (at stop sign at Trumbull Ave)
  • Turn right at the first stop sign onto Alpha Ave; go over the viaduct
  • Keep left at the bottom of the viaduct onto Water St.
  • Take first left onto Broad St. 
  • Look for Parking Attendants to help you with passenger drop off or to direct you where to park your car (free parking)

From 95 Southbound

  • Take exit 91 for CT-234 toward No. Main Street/Stonington/Borough
  • Turn left onto Taugwonk Rd; continue onto CT-234 W
  • Turn left onto N Main St
  • After about 2.3 miles, turn left onto US-1A N (at stop sign at Trumbull Ave)
  • Turn right at the first stop sign onto Alpha Ave; go over the viaduct
  • Keep left at the bottom of the viaduct onto Water St.
  • Take first left onto Broad St.
  • Look for Parking Attendants to help you with passenger drop off or to direct you where to park your car (free parking)

To download a printable PDF, please click here.

Stonington Garden Club
P.O. Box 385
Stonington, CT, 06378
The Stonington Garden Club's objective is to educate and encourage interest in the environment, conservation, community projects and to stimulate the knowledge and love of gardening.