Shepherdstown Garden Fest Weekend

The historic town of Shepherdstown, WV, will hold a "GardenFest Weekend" May 21 and 22. The centerpiece of of both days will be the town's 17th annual Back Alley Garden Tour and Tea, which will include a self-guided walking tour of private gardens rarely open to the public and an elegant afternoon tea. Incorporated in 1762, Shepherdstown has many interesting 18th- and early 19th-century homes. Many of the gardens on the Garden Tour will be located on the grounds of those homes. The town will be hosting other garden-related activities both days, including a Native Plant Sale on Saturday and a Farmers' Market on Sunday. Both days will also include displays by local artists, access to local historic sites, live music, children's events, carriage rides, and special spring menus at many local restaurants. The Tour and Tea and all the other weekend activities will be held rain or shine. Garden Tour hours will be 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. on Saturday and 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. on Sunday. The Teas will be offered from 12 noon to 4:00 p.m. each day. Admission to both the Tour and Tea will be $20 per person through May 18, and $25 after that. Tour and Tea tickets and more information are available online now at The Native Plant Sale will be held Saturday from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Sponsored by the Potomac Valley Audubon Society, it will emphasize plants that benefit endangered pollinators like honeybees and butterflies, and it will include informational displays as well as vendors. Participating native plant vendors will include Hill House Farm and Nursery, from Castletown, VA; Enchanter's Garden, from Hinton, WV; Bluebell Ridge Nursery, from Sharpsburg, MD; and Star Eagle Gardens, from Berkeley Springs. There will also be garden art for sale and a local apiary will be selling honey and offering tastings of different honeys. Master Gardeners, Master Naturalists, bee keepers and other experts will be on hand to answer questions about pollinators and the selection and cultivation of plants that help sustain them. The Monarch Alliance of Washington County, MD, will have literature available, including sample plans for butterfly gardens. All of the weekend's other activities will be free and will follow the same hours as the Garden Tour. For more details about these other activities and information about parking locations during the weekend, go to the Shepherdstown Visitor's Center web site at or contact the Center at 304-876-2786.