URI’s ‘Gardening with the Masters’ tour, July 14-15

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KINGSTON, R.I. – June 26, 2007 – Expert gardeners trained through the University of Rhode Island’s Master Gardener program will open their gardens to the public for the third “Gardening with the Masters” tour on July 14 and 15.

Sponsored by the URI Master Gardener Association, the 29 private gardens and four public gardens scattered around the state will be open rain or shine from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on both days. Master Gardeners will serve as guides at each site, and educational materials related to the features of each garden will be available.

“This is a great opportunity to see many, many beautiful gardens designed and tended by expert gardeners, and to get some ideas and advice for your own garden,” said Earle Perkins, a URI Master Gardener from Wakefield who is organizing the event with his wife Ann. “Most Rhode Islanders will find at least a couple of gardens on the tour that are just a few miles from their home.”

Sixteen of the garden sites open for tours are in Washington County, while six are in Kent County, five in Newport County, and 6 in Providence County. Most of the gardens are handicap accessible. (Note to editors: To interview a participating Master Gardener in your circulation area, please call the number above.)

Guidebooks, which serve as admittance tickets and provide directions to each garden, must be purchased in advance for $15. The guidebooks are available through the URI Master Gardener website at www.urimga.org, or at Lincoln Gardens, Lincoln; Schartner Farms, Exeter; Chaves Gardens, Middletown; Jacavone Garden Center, Johnston; Clarke Flowers, Providence; Choppy’s Garden & Nursery, Warren; The Farmer’s Daughter, Wakefield; Highland Farm, Wakefield; and at the URI Cooperative Extension Education Center, Kingston.

Proceeds from the event will benefit gardening education programs of the URI Master Gardener Association. For more information, call the URI Cooperative Extension Education Center at 874-2900.