Garden enthusiasts can discover the beautiful spaces of a 19th century New York State city in a whole new way. Every year, the city of Troy hosts The Hidden Garden Tour. With the COVID-19 pandemic in full swing, the event coordinators decided on a safer approach. This year, the 21st annual garden tour will occur online, offering an opportunity for Canadians to attend virtually.
The gardens are roughly 600 square feet in size, each incorporating a variety of pathways, water features, and flora. On typical years, the tour covers 40 gardens in historic Sage, Washington Park, and surrounding neighbourhoods. Over the course of a single evening, the event has attracted at least 1,000 attendees in previous years. Historically, it was so popular, it sparked real estate purchases in the area.
This year’s engagement will cover 28 gardens, each with a 360-degree view of the surroundings.
The Hidden Gems Tour features private gardens, highlighting innovative landscaping. Peter Grimm, president of the Friends of Prospect Park, the association that organizes the annual event, said that earlier this year, members of his organization realized they would be unable to host the tour in the normal manner. He understands its importance to locals and visitors alike and sought to salvage the situation. “We set to work bringing the garden tour to you,” he says.
Event organizers and attendees are eager to embrace the benefits of this year’s virtual formula. It serves as an opportunity to highlight the ways in which technology can bring us closer to nature. Organizers say that the event is usually scheduled rain or shine. This year, it’s guaranteed to offer optimal conditions for garden viewing. The digital tour also provides access to sites for those with mobility restrictions, access that would not have otherwise been possible.
While donations are welcome, the event is free of charge. It ensures that proud homeowners in Troy have an opportunity to showcase the results of their tireless landscaping efforts. The Hidden Garden Tour provides inspiration for gardening enthusiasts. It’s a powerful way to embrace the warm season from the comfort of home.
This virtual tour offers insight into the innovative efforts of gardeners while helping us to stay connected while apart. •