Fresh Pick: Southern Butler County Garden Club Recreates Historical Garden

What did a garden in the early 1800s looks like? The club's eighth annual tour features blooms inspired by Zelie Passavant, daughter of Zelienople’s town founder.

photo of passavant house by joseph via flickr creative commons


Take a minute to stop and smell the roses with the Southern Butler County Garden Club’s eighth annual garden tour this weekend.

Taking place from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, July 16, the event features several private gardens in the Evans City, Harmony, Zelienople and surrounding area.

Participants also can get a sniff of botanical history at Passavant House in Zelienople.

Now home to the Zelienople Historical Society, Passavant House once was the residence of Phillipe and Zelie Passavant. Zelie’s father, Baron Dettmar Basse, founded Zelienople after moving to western Pennsylvania from Germany in the early 1800s.

As you may have guessed, Basse, who established a sawmill, brickyard and an iron furnace in the area, named the town for his eldest daughter. Phillipe Passavant, who built a store on Main Street, later would become the community’s first merchant.

After pouring over notes and letters left behind by Zelie Passavant, garden club and historical society members were able to recreate her original garden at Passavant House. New this year to Passavant House — which now serves as a museum and library — is a gazebo funded in part by the garden club. 

Tickets for the self-guided tour are $20 pre-sale and $25 on the day of the event. Each tour location includes a surprise vendor selling wares. There also will be garden-themed raffle baskets and door prizes available at registration.

Registration and day-of ticket sales take place from 9 to 10 a.m. at the Cranberry Township Municipal Center in Cranberry.

For more information on pre-sale tickets, visit the Southern Butler County Garden Club's website.

Proceeds from the event benefit local horticultural programs.

Art Reception

Mark your calendars. From 2 to 5 p.m. on Sunday, July 17, Eastside Gallery in Forest Hills is hosting an opening reception for “Channeling Arthur Dove.”

The exhibit features 12 area artists whose work was inspired by Arthur Dove, an early American modernist painter. The work includes interpretation of nature and surroundings in abstractions through a modernist’s lens, according to the gallery.

The reception is free and open to the public.

(Eastside Gallery, 4240 Greensburg Pike, Forest Hills; 412/465-0140,


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