EVESHAM >> A Marlton Garden Tour focusing primarily on sustainable gardening and the use of native plants in the suburban landscape will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, June 5 here.

The tour – jointly sponsored by the Evesham Green Team and The Garden Club of Marlton – will include seven private and public gardens in Marlton. The rain date is Sunday, June 6 at the same time.

“Our goal is to host a tour for the community that not only highlights the beauty of our local landscapes but also teaches the importance of using native plants to share our yards and open spaces with nature,” said Janet Rolnick, Garden Tour Coordinator for the Evesham Green Team.

“We are pleased to be working with the Evesham Green Team to open these beautiful and environmentally sustainable gardens to the public,” said Carol Otte Prince, president of The Garden Club of Marlton. “It is our hope that they will serve as inspiration for others in our community to create their own native backyard habitats.”

The tour is free, although some organizations will accept donations at various stops on the tour.

In addition, The Garden Club of Marlton will hold a plant sale featuring herb planters and seasonal flower planters, as well as perennial specimens from members own gardens. The plant sale will be located at The John Inskeep House. All sales will be cash only.

At each stop on the tour, representatives of various nonprofit organizations will be available to answer questions about their organization and provide information to visitors.

Due to the continuing COVID-19 pandemic, masks and social distancing are required at each stop on the tour. Visitors also are asked to exercise caution when touring the gardens and habitats as they may include uneven terrain, narrow paths, water features, and other potential obstacles or hazards. Participation in the Marlton Garden Tour is at your own risk.

Gardens on the tour may be visited in any order. A list of the gardens and additional information can be found at the marltongardentour.com website. Also on the website is a Google map showing the location of each stop on the tour, as well as a link to provide driving directions to each garden.

Following is a list of the gardens on the tour, as well as the non-profit organizations that will be located there.

- Country Farms is a private garden at 9 Smallwood Court. This garden was a COVID-19 quarantine project that transformed it – after a decade of neglect – to a sustainable native garden in which every plant in the habitat has a purpose. This will be the garden’s first full season. Representatives

of Rutgers Environmental Steward program will be on hand to discuss the program, which trains volunteers on how they can help solve environmental problems in their communities. Please park on the street.

- Evesboro Downs Wildflower Patch is a public garden in Evesboro Downs Park, on Evesboro-Medford Road, that features native plants and shrubs. The Wildflower Patch was planted in 2015 and is maintained by Evesham Township and the Evesham Environmental Commission. This native garden is home to birds, butterflies, insects, and, occasionally, a grey tree frog. Representatives from the Evesham Green Team will be on hand to discuss the organization’s green and sustainable initiatives in the township, as well as its involvement in the Wildflower Patch. A parking lot is available.

- The John Inskeep House at 10 Madison Court is a mid-18th century farmhouse that includes several garden beds and an herb garden behind the house. The historic farmhouse is owned and maintained by the Evesham Historical Society with assistance from The Garden Club of Marlton for the gardens. Representatives of both the historical society and the garden club will be on hand to answer questions about their organizations and the garden club’s plant sale will take place at the house. Please park on the street or in the parking lot to the right of the house.

- Homegrown National Park is the private wildlife habitat at 7 Brighton Drive. Beginning in 2017, the homeowner transformed his backyard into a wildlife habitat using native plants, each year replacing lawn with flower beds and ponds. He did so by following the advice of Dr. Doug Tallamy, a University of Delaware entomologist who encourages private property owners to restore biodiversity by creating Homegrown National Parks that “support life, sequester carbon, feed pollinators and manage water.” Now, the lush backyard attracts a plethora of birds, bees, butterflies, frogs and other wildlife. Representatives of the Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation and the Native Plant Society of New Jersey will be available to discuss their organizations and provide advice for using native plants. Please park on the street.

- Taunton Lake Road is a private garden at 259 Taunton Lake Road. The homeowner devoted the past year to improving her backyard for the insects, birds and other animals that visit. While she has not yet reached all of her goals, calling her garden “a work in progress,” she has learned much about native gardening. She invites the public to come and see her achievements and learn more about sustainable gardening. Representatives of the National Audubon Society will be on hand to discuss the conservation of birds and their habitats. Please follow the directions for parking.

- Richard L. Rice Elementary School at 50 Five Crown Royal features a rain garden planted in September with students from the school. Stormwater from the school’s roof now filters through the garden to help recharge the Kirkwood-Cohansey aquifer, thereby reducing contaminants that otherwise would have made their way into local waterways. Representatives from the AmeriCorps New Jersey Watershed Ambassadors Program will be available at the school to discuss the AmeriCorps program, which was designed to improve the quality of New Jersey’s waterways, nurture community-based environmental activities, and empower residents to make responsible and informed decisions regarding their watershed. Glenn Curtis, a local monarch butterfly enthusiast, will also be sharing information. Ample parking is available at the school.

- Holly Brook Haven is a private garden at 353 Holly Road. The backyard of this home, which backs up to the main stream feeding the lake system for Marlton Lakes, is a Certified Wildlife Habitat with the National Wildlife Federation. This natural habitat is home to countless birds, animals, and plants, including the endangered Swamp Pink. A shade garden and annual and perennial gardens also are featured. Representatives of The Garden Club of Marlton will be on hand to answer questions about the club and its activities. Please park on the street.

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