garden

JOHNS CREEK, Ga. — Johns Creek Beautification will host the third Secret Gardens of Johns Creek Tour featuring gardens from homes in the Johns Creek Community on May 1, 2021.

This unique “secret garden” program began in 2018 and raises money through ticket sales and sponsorships for beautification projects in the city.

Johns Creek Beautification President Lynn Pennington said funds will go toward the purchase of major public art sculptures, landscape beautification projects and to benefit Daffodils 4 Hope, a massive citywide daffodil planting effort that raises awareness of cancer survivorship through a partnership with CanCare.

Chuck Wilkinson, past president of Johns Creek Beautification who helped launch the Secret Garden program, said the effort serves to raise money for beautification and helps highlight all the wonderful gardens of the city.

Pennington said the most recent project the funds have been used for is a botanical horse sculpture by Eric Strauss that will be placed at the Bell Road and Boles Road roundabout. The organization plans to use funds from upcoming garden tours to purchase more art for the city, she said.

“To really make a lovely community for everybody, it makes sense to have art,” Pennington said. “We want to help continue to increase the public art for the enjoyment of everybody, visitors as well as everyday residents.”

Johns Creek Beautification is looking for one or two more gardens to join the tour for 2021. The homes can be within Johns Creek, or just outside the city limits. Some of the characteristics of a “secret garden” are a garden or outdoor room, water features, river views, unique yard art or hardscape, including stone walls, patios, decks or other structures. Wilkinson and Pennington said the gardens do not need to fit a specific list of requirements and definitely do not need to be built by professional landscapers. The garden should bring joy, they said.

“We really try to mix it up,” Wilkinson said. “Some people just want to go look and see the gorgeous, expensive gardens that are like a dream, but they know they won’t be able to do or afford. Others like the gardens that aren't quite as over the top or elegant, but are beautiful and doable, something they could do at home.”

As with past tours, local musicians and artists will be at each home to entertain. Pennington said the Johns Creek Art Center has connected them with local artists in the past, and there have been clay sculptors, painters and watercolorists creating art in the gardens during the tours. Also, a master gardener will be at the homes to answer any plant-related questions.

Pennington said she is confident that the event will happen, even with any lingering threat from COVID-19.

“People can socially distance in gardens,” Pennington said. “It can be conducted safely, I'm confident of that.”

Tickets will go on sale March 1 online at www.johnscreekbeautification.org. Those interested in submitting their garden for the tour, being a sponsor of the event or volunteering can contact Lynn Pennington at lynn.pennington@johnscreekbeautification.org  or info@johnscreekbeautification.org.

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