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Jacksonville Private Gardens Open to the Public on April 14 to benefit the Garden Conservancy Open Days and Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens

March 23rd, 2018 · Leave a Comment

On Saturday, April 14, four private gardens in Jacksonville will participate in the Garden Conservancy’s Open Days program, welcoming the public from noon to 4 p.m. The Open Day is rain or shine, and no reservations are required. Admission is $30 for a day pass to visit all four private gardens plus the Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens, or $10 per private garden; children 12 and under free. Day passes are available at the Cummer Museum, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; private gardens are open noon to 4 p.m. Call 1-888-842-2442, or visit www.opendaysprogram.org for more information. A portion of the proceeds from this Open Day will be shared with the Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens.

Jacksonville properties on this Open Days tour include:

  • The Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens, 829 Riverside Avenue; 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.: Begin the day here to purchase day passes, admission to the Cummer is included. The Museum’s two-and-one-half acres of historic gardens are unique examples of early twentieth-century garden design, featuring reflecting pools, fountains, arbors, antique ornaments, and sculptures. The majestic Cummer Oak has a canopy of more than 150 feet and is one of the oldest trees in Jacksonville. After the tours, plan to have lunch in the Cummer Café. Reservations at the café are suggested; please call 904-899-6022.
  • Ann & John Baker Garden, 3710 Richmond Street; Noon to 4 p.m.: The Bakers began to create a home and garden that would look as if they had always been there. David Case of Richard Skinner & Associates designed their home while Sunscapes Landscape Design’s Gerry Crouch and Judy Drake created the gardens. Features of the property include a white garden, fountains, a holly collection, and pots filled with seasonal flowers.
  • Garden of Preston Haskell, 4971 Morven Road; Noon to 4 p.m.: The Haskell gardens comprise three acres of lush plantings, a contemporary house, and fourteen large abstract outdoor sculptures that are integrated into the landscape. The initial design for the riverfront property was created by landscape architect Wayne O. Manning, Jr., circa 1978. Curving hedges of varying heights define spaces within the property and set off the outdoor sculpture, and a lawn opens to the St. Johns River on the east side of the estate.
  • Garden of Ann & David Hicks, 4705 Ortega Boulevard; Noon to 4 p.m.: A walk through an arched pergola along the side of the property opens to a sunny, expansive view of the St. Johns River, and a classical arbor with limestone columns overlooks an oval lawn and a lovely terraced parterre rose garden, reached by a set of English steps. Judy Drake and Gerry Crouch of Sunscapes Landscape Design installed the garden in 1995 and have maintained and augmented it for twenty years.
  • Garden of William H. Morris, 3700 Oak Point Avenue; Noon to 4 p.m.: Formal gardens surround the English Baroque-style house, with more natural gardens away from the house. It is one of the few riverfront properties without a bulkhead, which allows for a natural transition to the river. A number of water features complement the riverside setting of the gardens, which were designed and laid out by the owners. The gardens provide a setting for a collection of outdoor sculptures that the owners have collected over the years.

All Open Days gardens are featured in the 2018 Open Days Directory; a soft-cover book that includes detailed driving directions and vivid garden descriptions written by their owners, plus a complementary ticket for admission to one private garden. The directory includes garden listings in eighteen states and costs $25.00 including shipping. Visit www.opendaysprogram.org or call the Garden Conservancy toll-free at 1-888-842-2442 to order with a Visa, MasterCard or American Express, or send a check or money order to: the Garden Conservancy, P.O. Box 219, Cold Spring, NY 10516. Discount admission tickets are available as well through advanced mail order.

The Garden Conservancy is a national nonprofit dedicated to saving and sharing outstanding American gardens. Since 1995, the Garden Conservancy’s award-winning Open Days has welcomed more than one million visitors into thousands of inspired private landscapes – from urban rooftops to organic farms, historic estates to innovative suburban lots – in forty-one states. Digging Deeper – site-specific Open Days special programs – invite participants to take a closer look at the garden world. Hundreds of volunteers help this robust annual program showcase regional horticultural and stylistic expressions in a national context, celebrating the rich diversity of American gardens. Get out and get inspired with Open Days!

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