Have you ever driven or walked past a house and wondered what lurked beyond the front yard?
The possibilities are endless. There could be a patio, a grilling area or maybe a swimming pool.
Who knows? There could even be a garden.
On May 20 and 21, the Pensacola Federation of Garden Clubs will let you in on a few of those secrets.
“We don’t care what’s in your front yard,” Pensacola Federation of Garden Clubs past President Lynn Manthei said. “It’s all about what’s in your backyard.”
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For the first time since 2019, the Pensacola Federation of Garden Clubs will be hosting its Secret Gardens of the Emerald Coast tour. Each spring the federation offers the tour of local private gardens as a special treat for members and the general public, as well as to serve as a fundraiser for The Garden Center upkeep.
“COVID put everything on hold, and it had been weighing heavy on us,” Secret Gardens of the Emerald Coast Chairman Virginia Page said. “We didn’t even have one in 2022. So this year, we had to have a tour.”
For $15, sightseers will be given a booklet of information and the opportunity to explore all five gardens and a tiny house at their own pace. Admission is free for children under 12. Tickets go on sale May 15-20 and can be purchased at the Pensacola Garden Center.
But flowers won’t be the only thing that’s front and center. Gazebos, rock formations, statues, ponds and wrought iron fences that accentuate the overall aesthetic will be sure to draw you in. If you like history, you’re in luck. Several of the gardens that were toured in years past were located in areas such as East Hill and Bayou Texar.
“There’s also history in the Pensacola Garden Center itself,” Manthei said. “This building was built in 1962, and we added on to it in 1972. It recently underwent some renovations. Today, we rent out the venue for weddings and parties, as well as hold our meetings and events.”
Page and Manthei hope the Secret Gardens of the Emerald Coast will rejuvenate interest and attract new members to the club. Under the Pensacola Federation of Garden Clubs umbrella, there’s currently 10 clubs and more than 200 members.
The Pensacola Garden Center is located at 1850 N. 9th Ave. in Pensacola, and is open Monday and Friday, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and Wednesday from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. For more information, call 850-432-6095 or visit www.pensacolagardencenter.com.