URI Master Gardeners open their gardens to visitors for Rhode Island’s only statewide garden tour, June 24-25

Media Contact: Todd McLeish, 401-874-2116 |

KINGSTON, R.I. – May 30, 2017 – Twenty-six private gardens designed and maintained by University of Rhode Island Master Gardener volunteers will be open to the public June 24 and 25 for the eighth Gardening with the Masters Tour.

The gardens will be open between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. on both days, rain or shine, for Rhode Island’s only statewide garden tour.

Guidebooks, which serve as admission tickets and include garden descriptions and directions, cost $20 and must be purchased in advance. They are available at web.uri.edu/mastergardener. For more information, call 401-874-2900.

Gardens on the tour are located in Barrington, Bristol, Charlestown, Cranston, Cumberland, East Greenwich, Exeter, Newport, North Kingstown, Richmond, Smithfield, Tiverton, Warwick and Westerly, R.I., and in Moosup and North Stonington, Conn. Fourteen of the gardens have never been included in previous tours.

According to Vanessa Venturini, state program leader of the URI Master Gardener Program, each garden is unique. Some are designed to attract pollinators and beneficial insects, while others are kitchen gardens with the perfect soil recipe to produce a bounty of vegetables. Every garden has evolved over the years, reflecting the changing interests and lifelong learning of its gardener.

URI Master Gardeners will greet tour participants in their gardens, ready to share horticultural information and answer questions.

The garden tour is an activity of the URI Cooperative Extension’s Master Gardener Program, which uses a train-the-trainer approach to educate citizens in science-based gardening topics through a semester-long course. Graduates of the course, over 600 active volunteers, then serve as grassroots educators, teaching their fellow citizens in schools, demonstration gardens and public events. Proceeds from the tour will benefit the educational programs of the URI Master Gardener Program.