The Providence Preservation Society (PPS) is delighted to announce our special Festival of Gardens taking place on June 12-13 and presented in partnership with The Garden Conservancy. Guests will enjoy exclusive access to a selection of private gardens at historic homes, a community garden that celebrates the city’s diversity, and a garden stewarded by PPS since the 1930s.
Located in four city neighborhoods from the East Side to Elmwood, the eight featured gardens will exhibit a variety of plantings and contemporary interpretations of historic garden design. Six of the featured properties are private residential gardens located at historic houses. Guests will experience flowering perennials surrounding a 21st century garden folly, a whimsical structure popular in 18th century English and French landscape design; a 1970s interpretation of an 18th century boxwood parterre garden, an ornamental form featuring geometric designs that originated in 15th century France; and midcentury Modern outdoor sculpture by internationally recognized artists with RISD connections. Green-thumbed homeowners have transformed their city backyards into urban sanctuaries by using water features, pergolas, and courtyards to accent rhododendrons, mossy vignettes, and old and notable trees. Not just beautiful, many of the gardens are also functional – vegetable beds, fruit trees, herbs, a hops trellis, and beehives await tour attendees. Guests are also invited to tour a community garden established in the 1980s and farmed by local families and neighborhood organizations using organic practices to raise traditional crops from around the world; rooted in community, free produce is available to neighbors experiencing food insecurity. The tour also features the Colonial Revival garden at the 1772 Shakespeare’s Head Building, one of PPS’s historic properties on Meeting Street.
Self-guided garden tours will take place on Saturday, June 12. Guided private garden tours hosted by The Garden Conservancy will take place on Sunday, June 13.