The Secret Gardens of Cambridge

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In 2014 the Secret Gardens of Cambridge tour will take place on Sunday June 1st from 10am to 4pm. Tickets will go on sale on May 1st and will be available at all branches of the Cambridge Public Library as well as the following vendors: Bonny's Garden Center, Brattle Florist, Dickson Bros. Hardware, Mahoney's Brighton, Nomad, Pemberton Farms, Porter Square Books, and Rodney's Books. Tickets are $25, but members of the Friends get a discount: $20 (only at library branches). The tour will take place rain or shine.

The Secret Gardens of Cambridge is the signature fundraising event of the Friends of the Cambridge Public Library. Presented on alternate years, this special self-guided tour is usually held on an early Sunday in June, just as spring turns to summer. Since 2000, the Friends have been uncovering secret gardens in neighborhoods all across the city and inviting our friends and neighbors to take a peek!

The Secret Gardens tour has featured over 200 individual gardens in Cambridge, from a hidden swimming pond in a small backyard oasis to a garden that springs to life with thousands of bulbs each year; from a woodland tree-lined front walk to guided contours of border plantings and decorative pots. Some are small and sunny, others are large or shady. Flowers, herbs, sculptures, and stones adorn the deeply diverse variety of gardens found in every nook and cranny of Cambridge.

The Friends’ most recent Secret Gardens event in June of 2012 showcased 24 gardens, 18 of which were new to the tour. A few “open secrets”—beautiful, but not-so-secret, gardens and green spaces you can enjoy from the street view—were highlighted along the garden route as well.

The Secret Gardens of Cambridge tour is the single largest fundraiser for the Friends, raising more than $10,000 at each biennial event. Proceeds from the garden tour ticket sales are used by the Friends of the Cambridge Public Library to sponsor community events and special presentations, to purchase museum passes for public use, to bring guest authors to the library for readings, and to expand the collections at the Cambridge Public Library.

The selection of gardens for 2014 has been made. If you have a garden that should be on the tour in 2016, we'd love to look at it. Contact the Friends to tell us about your secret garden in Cambridge.

*The Secret Gardens of Cambridge book features striking photos of some of the gardens that have been seen on the tour. The book can be purchased at Porter Square Books or the Harvard Book Store in Cambridge, MA. Proceeds from book sales go to the Friends of the Cambridge Public Library.

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