The Secret Garden Tour


I’ve been pretty busy lately and it’s gotten in the way of writing, which is what I should be doing. It’s what I would rather be doing, for sure. But, I accepted the responsibility of chairing The Secret Garden Tour, here in Cape May as a favor for a friend.


The event is this coming Saturday and I can’t wait for it to be over. Mind you, there have been some upsides to this and I’m grateful for that. I’ve met some new friends thanks to stalking gardens and that’s always a good thing. Finding new friends, not stalking.

What I mean by ‘stalking gardens’ is that’s how I found the gardens that will be featured this year. We’re fairly new to the area and I don’t know that many people, (perhaps I should get out more?), and when I took this on it was January which makes finding beautiful gardens a bit difficult here in the Northeast.

My friend, Kate, was very helpful and the two of us were pretty much the entire ‘committee’. We figured it was best to use the cold months to find the perfect venue, which we did. Willow Creek Winery will be the home base for the tour and we have hired 3 trolleys to take the people around and get them back in time for lunch at noon.


We needed to find artists and ask them to donate their art for the art auction, which was a big success last year. We have fewer artists this year but, we’re adding another table for what’s called a ‘Chinese Auction’. I have no clue how it got that name but, it’s where you sell tickets for chances to win items, which have a bag in front of them and you put the tickets into the bag. Then someone, probably me, will pull out the winning ticket.

That’s what Kate and I spent most of the winter doing. Finding art and gathering gift certificates for things like a spa day or golf outing, etc. for the drawings. The art will be bid on individually. Does that make sense? It sounds confusing I know. I’m donating a pet portrait. Not one I’ve already painted, obviously, but one for the highest bidder who has a pet.



So as spring arrived I was walking and riding around looking over people’s fences and peeking into their yards to see if they had a nice garden that others might enjoy seeing. If I liked what I saw I either knocked on the door or left a note about the tour with my phone number so they could get back to me.



I automatically put our garden on the tour. I recruited a few neighbors I knew who had beautiful gardens then went off to recruit strangers. It was challenging, for sure but, thankfully I found some lovely people who have some amazing gardens to share with everyone this weekend.

Of course, my personal gardener, Dave, has been working his butt off to get ours ready for everyone. I can say right now it is spectacular! These photos prove it!


I had to get a shot of Buddy in!

So,if you are near Cape May this weekend PLEASE come join us! It’s too late to add you for the lunch, but if you ask me nicely I might be able to fit you in! 😉




  1. Gail

    Beautiful photos and it sounds like a fun time! Enjoyed reading this!

    • Barbara

      I’m really hoping it’s a good time, Gail! But, I’m also looking forward to it being over. Thanks for the kind words!

  2. Alana

    Alas, I am not near Cape May. In fact, I’ve never visited there although my brother in law loves it. You’ve put in a lot of work and I wish you well.

    • Barbara

      Thanks very much, Alana! We are hoping for a strong turnout!

  3. Barbara Chilcott

    Your garden is beautiful as always. I know the tour will be a huge success… because you are involved! Love to you and Dave.😘😘

    • Barbara

      Thanks, Barbara!

  4. Lee Romano Sequeira

    You have certainly found your niche in pretty Cape May — you are perfect for being the chair of the garden tour event! I know the work on this must’ve been hard, but I’m sure all of those smiling faces will be a sweet payoff 🙂

    • Barbara

      I’m just looking forward to the ‘after party’ on my back porch! Thank you for the vote of confidence, Lee.

  5. My Inner Chick

    Oh, I so wish I could come
    to see your gardens & Buddy! xx

    • Barbara

      I really wish you could come, too, Kim!! Buddy would love to give you a hug! Me, too!

  6. Janis

    We have an annual garden tour in our area and I know how much work it is to put it together. Our garden was included a few years ago and even that alone took a lot of time (we don’t have a gardener). Your garden looks beautiful!

    • Barbara

      The beauty of this year’s garden tour, Janis, is everyone tends their own garden! I think that makes it even more special! Wish you could join us!

  7. Kathy

    I’m really forward to the garden tour. I’m looking for ideas for our shady and wet property. See you Saturday.

    • Barbara

      You will love the 1st house on the tour, Kathy! Beautiful shade garden!

  8. Style Maniac

    Gardens + Art = a perfect combo for you! I know it will be a success.

    • Barbara

      Thank you, Doreen! Wish you could join us!

  9. Adrienne

    Love Cape May – wish I was closer! Sounds like you’ve worked very hard – good luck and take a well deserved rest in your beautiful garden when it’s done! 🌺🌷🌸🌹

    • Barbara

      Thank you, Adrienne! I wish you were closer, too! Anytime you are coming this way, please get in touch!

  10. Suzanne Fluhr

    Thank you so much for letting me know about the Secret Garden Tour. You are to be commended. I’m sure there were snafus, but it seemed pretty seamless to those of us who participated. And, my visit to West Cape May (for the first time) has provided grist for my own blog.

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