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Press Release for Blithewold Mansion, Gardens & Arboretum

Private gardens open for Blithewold - and the houses too!

City gardens - and the houses - in Providence’s Historic District of Elmwood are opening their garden gates and front doors for this year’s much-anticipated GARDENS OPEN FOR BLITHEWOLD scheduled for Friday and Saturday, June 22 and 23. An annual fund-raising event to benefit Blithewold Mansion, Gardens & Arboretum in Bristol, Rhode Island, GARDENS OPEN has become a hugely popular event for both avid gardeners and the generally-interested alike. June is such a joyously uplifting time of year and strolling through gardens and historic houses can only lift your spirits even higher.

Many of the wonderful houses so graciously offered as part of this tour were featured in Bob Vila’s wonderful television series on restoring historic buildings: Home Again. The series first aired last year in November and will air again on Channel 12 on June 5th. Vila’s series, is also a permanent feature on - click on “Neighborhoods.”

Located in the southwest corner of the city of Providence this beautiful Historic District of Elmwood has a rich history that sets the stage for the growth of Providence as a city. The area was part of Roger Williams’ Great Purchase of 1636 and became an agricultural adjunct to Providence. A rural district at the beginning of the 19th century, the area slowly grew in popularity as a suburb of the city and was annexed to Providence in 1868. Largely a neighborhood of houses built between 1865 and 1930 today Elmwood is a desirable residential area enhanced by pockets of light industry and commercial development.

Elmwood residents are fiercely proud of their neighborhood and strive to maintain its historic integrity. They talk lovingly of their homes, the community and, of course, their gardens. Brent Bachelder and Peter Haraty, owners of 195 Lenox Avenue and both new England natives have tried to bring a little slice of Northern New England to their garden in the city. In their words, their approach to gardening is “Darwinian.” They plant many things but also allow nature to surprise them with what she wants to grow. Native species and exotic plants happily coexist in their garden to create a more exciting surrounding.

All gardens and houses will be open from 10am to 4pm. Advance purchase of tickets is $20 for members of Blithewold, $25 for non-members. On the day of the tour the tickets are $25 and $30. Tickets are limited so advance reservations are highly recommended.

Tickets can be purchased on the days of the tour at the Alan Shawn Feinstein High School on the corner of Elmwood Avenue and Ontario Street. Parking is also available at this location.

Delicious box lunches will be available both days, served on the elegant porch of a beautiful 1912 home in the District. Blithewold will need advance reservations for the lunches. For more information, or tickets, contact Blithewold at 401-253-2707 or visit the website at