More than two centuries old, Shepherdstown is certainly historic, but its many private gardens will be the drawing card next weekend when visitors can view everything from more formal, elegant gardens such as the one pictured here, to more playful, unique gardens.  All lush and beautiful, visitors are sure to be inspired!

By TRINA RUNNER

News & Journal Staff Writer

With spring in full bloom, there is no better time to visit Shepherdstown, West Virginia.  For 21 years, the town has created a living backdrop of beautiful gardens and opened it to the public during the Back Alley Gardens & Tea Party.  Sponsored by the Shepherdstown Community Club, it will take place on May 19-20 in Shepherdstown, with free parking at Shepherd University.

The event gives patrons the opportunity to stroll through private outdoor spaces of over a dozen homes in the oldest city in West Virginia.  Both gardens and homes reflect the city’s history, including 200-year-old carriage steps and centuries old stone walls and structures. Self-guided tour maps are available, followed by an elegant afternoon tea.

Some featured gardens have been designed by professionals and some have a personal touch, but all of them are full of lush flowers and plants that are both interesting and innovative.  Whether formal, casual, large, or small, each garden featured on the tour is sure to embrace the essence of spring and the creative side of the homeowners.  New this year will be the gardens of Popodican, the official residence of the President of Shepherd University.  Landscapers will be on-hand to answer design questions and offer suggestions.

Town Run, a little stream that runs through Shepherdstown, outlines the tour from the south of town into the Potomac River, cutting through twelve gardens, natural water features and designs made entirely of plants. A Monarch butterfly station will be featured during the event also, sponsored by the Monarch Alliance, who will have…

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