Garden Conservancy's Open Days: Rare viewing chance

The garden of Stanley and Susan Reifer in The garden of Stanley and Susan Reifer in Bridgehampton will be open for tours on July 19 as part of the Garden Conservancy's 2014 Open Days program. Photo Credit: Garden Conservancy

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Just as chocoholics drool at the candy shop, and auto enthusiasts line up at the auto show, garden lovers everywhere delight in the launch of the annual Open Days program, during which they're afforded a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to get behind the closed gates of America's best private gardens.

The program, which began in 1995 to display examples of horticultural excellence, benefits the Garden Conservancy's mission to preserve gardens across the country. For a fee of $5 per garden (children under 12 are admitted free), visitors gain access to properties with breathtaking gardens that are not normally open to the public. During self-guided tours, held rain or shine, participants meet and make gardening friends, gain inspiration for their own plots and exchange tips and ideas with others.

More than 325 locations in 22 states are on the roster this year, with tours scheduled from March through November, including two dozen visiting opportunities on Long Island from May through September. To participate, simply arrive at the tour location at the appointed time and pay $5 for entry.


LONG ISLAND GARDENS ON THE 2014 TOUR

Saturday, May 10

Abby Jane Brody, 44 Glade Rd., East Hampton, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.

Margaret Kerr, 1006 Springs Fireplace Rd., East Hampton, 10 a.m.-2 p.m.

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Dianne B., 86 Davids Lane, East Hampton, 10 a.m.-2 p.m.

Robert and Hélène, 67 Hollow Rd., Stony Brook, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.

Sue Bottigheimer, 61 Cedar St., Stony Brook, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.

Biercuk and Luckey Garden, 18 Sayres Path, Wainscott, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.


Saturday, May 17

Arnold and Karen Blair, 4560 Vanston Rd., Cutchogue, 11 a.m.-4 p.m.

Valerie M. Ansalone, 86 Risa Ct., Flanders, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.

Becker Garden, 42 Jesse Way, Mount Sinai, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.

Woodland Garden, 9 Hunters Trail, Wading River, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.


Sunday, May 18

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Kreye Garden, One Split Rock Rd. Spur, East Norwich, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.

Carol and Jim Large's Garden, 14 Underhill Rd., Locust Valley, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.

Newman Residence, 2000 Knollwood Rd., Muttontown, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.

Howard Phipps Jr. Estate, Old Westbury, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. (address will be provided at other gardens open on this date).


Sunday, June 8

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Susan and Steve King, 165 Dogwood Ave., Roslyn Harbor, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.

Tranquility Garden, 43 Meadow Woods Rd., Great Neck, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.


Saturday, June 21

Abby Jane Brody, 44 Glade Rd., East Hampton, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.

Dianne B., 86 Davids Lane, East Hampton, 10 a.m.-3 p.m.

Carol Mercer, 33 Ocean Ave., East Hampton, 10 a.m.-to 4 p.m.

Arlene Bujese, 40 Whooping Hollow Rd., East Hampton, 10 a.m.-2 p.m.

Previti/Gumpel Garden, 230 Old Stone Hwy., East Hampton, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.


Saturday, July 12

Dennis Schrader & Bill Smith, 1200 E. Mill Rd., Mattituck, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.


Saturday, July 19

Stanley and Susan Reifer, 5 Paumanok Rd., Bridgehampton, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.


Saturday, Sept. 6

Biercuk & Luckey Garden, 18 Sayres Path, Wainscott, 10 a.m.-2 p.m.


To order the 2014 Open Days Directory, which provides descriptions, visiting dates and hours, and driving directions to each garden on this year's tour -- and comes with one free admission ticket to any participating garden, call 888-842-2442 or visit opendaysprogram.org. The directory costs $25.95, including shipping and handling.

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