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Sandy Hook Garden On Garden Conservancy’s Open Days Tour

The Garden Conservancy’s Open Days Program annually offers hundreds of opportunities to learn and exchange gardening ideas, or to simply explore and enjoy magnificent gardens not normally open to the public.

The Garden Conservancy will offer an Open Days Program on Saturday, June 22, from 10 am until 4 pm, that will allow the public — in exchange for a $5 donation per person — to visit the gardens of Jean Sander, who lives with her husband Lincoln at 211 Walnut Tree Hill in Sandy Hook. Children age 12 and under are welcome, free of charge.

Proceeds benefit The Garden Conservancy, which has been dedicated to preserving exceptional American gardens for the education and enjoyment of the public since 1989.

The Sanders have been living in and enjoying their home, the 1748 Benjamin Curtis House, since 2002. After focusing on their historic home for four years, the couple turned to the garden and woodland walk on the property at the corner of Walnut Tree Hill and Glen roads. Their first project was the construction of a 325-foot long stone wall.

Mrs Sander’s garden features 18th and 19th Century stone watering troughs planted with alpines (which she calls her “troughery”), a cottage garden surrounded by a yew hedge, and a third garden space surrounded by a taxus hedge.

There is also a woodland walk overlooking the Pootatuck River and Lake Zoar. Planted a few years ago and featuring more than two dozen native and ornamental trees, “the woodlands have really matured,” Mrs Sander told The Newtown Bee on June 11.

Reservations are not required for Open Days programs, and the event will run rain or shine. Admission fees are collected at each garden.

Discounted admission tickets are also available through The Garden Conservancy by calling 888-842-2442, or online at www.OpenDaysProgram.org. Each booklet contains six tickets for the price of five admissions ($25; $15 for Garden Conservancy members). These tickets do not expire and can be used year to year.

Those ordering the booklets must allow at least seven business days to receive tickets after placing an order, however.

The 2013 Open Days Program opens this weekend with two gardens in Litchfield County open on Saturday, June 15, and then gardens in Hartford, Litchfield and New London counties open on Sunday, June 16. Mrs Sander’s garden is the only one in Fairfield County that will be open on Saturday, June 22; another seven gardens will be open on Sunday, June 23, all in Litchfield County.

Visit the Open Days website or call 888-842-2442 for additional information, including the full schedule for this season, which continues into September.

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