North High class of 2008 to sponsor garden tour

May 19, 2006|by JANET HEIM

As local gardens begin to come alive, their beauty and the wisdom of the gardeners who create and maintain them can offer inspiration to others.

On Sunday, the North Hagerstown High School class of 2008 is sponsoring a garden tour of nine private and public gardens in the Fountain Head and Chewsville areas.

The tour, which runs from noon to 5 p.m. will be interpretive, with the gardeners themselves sharing helpful tips.

The garden of Betty Metz is one of the featured gardens. Many motorists have admired Metz's lush plantings, especially her roses, as they pass her corner yard at the intersection of Northern and Pennsylvania avenues.

The Washington County native said she has given tours to garden clubs, but this is the first time her garden has been open to the public.


Metz said her three children graduated from North High, and all five of her grandchildren will graduate from there, including a granddaughter who is in the class of 2008.

Ticket holders will get to see the lavish English cottage garden Metz has created in the 11 years since she moved to the house. Many of the roses and perennials came from her Maugansville garden, where she lived for 45 years.

She is partial to blue, pink and white flowers in the garden, and thinks people will be surprised when they see how large the garden in the backyard is. Visits to Monet's Garden in France, the Chelsea Flower Show and tours of gardens in England and Scotland have inspired her.

Metz, whose father was a gardener, said she has gardened her entire life. She admits she never expected the garden to become as big as it is.

"It just kind of evolved," she said. "I love doing it. It's my passion."

A $10 ticket, which can be purchased the day of the tour at any of the tour locations, allows access to several gardens and an "Afternoon Tea in the Gardens" at Hagerstown Community College, which is the recommended starting point. There, ticket holders can stroll through the featured gardens on campus, then enjoy teas, homemade cookies and finger sandwiches.

Each garden will have a different emphasis, including shade plantings, how to incorporate statuary and water features, ideas for decorating a patio with container gardens, planning a theme garden, caring for roses, growing and cooking with herbs to arrangements of everlastings.

Whitney Colombo, Miss Teen Mountain Maryland, will greet visitors at the Groh home. Some gardens also will feature live musicians, including a vocalist as well as some string groups.

The tour, which will be canceled in the event of heavy rain, is self-paced so ticket holders can linger at the different gardens as they choose. Comfortable shoes are encouraged because high heels can ruin the yards of the featured gardens.

The event observes garden tour etiquette in respect to the gardeners and their private properties. Picking flowers, smoking and pets are prohibited on tour locations.

Courteous and considerate parking in neighborhoods is a must. Public restrooms are available at HCC.

Printed on each brochure/ticket is a map with directions from one garden to the next.

For more information, call Teresa Schoeck at 301-797-2066 or send e-mail to Brooke Allen at

Garden Tour stops

The following are the stops for Sunday's garden tour sponsored by the North Hagerstown High School class of 2008.

  • Hagerstown Community College, 11400 Robinwood Drive

  • Valerio-Hutzell, 21207 Twin Springs Drive, Chewsville

  • Weeks, 12810 Fountain Head Road

  • Groh, 13112 Fountain Head Road

  • Hubbell, 18709 Dover Drive

  • Heimer, 19107 Bonnie Briar Lane

  • Metz, 980 Northern Ave. (park at Fountaindale Elementary School.)

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