Look Beyond the Fence with Highland Park’s Secret Garden Tour
The event features 10 gardens with a variety of outdoor features.
If you have ever wondered what lies beyond your neighbor’s fence, or if the idea of an escape from the concrete and noise of city life entices you, then Highland Park’s Secret Garden Tour might be just the event for you.
The Highland Park Garden Club will host its first Secret Garden Tour from noon to 4 p.m. on July 11. The self-guided tour begins at the entrance to Highland Park, where staff from the Pittsburgh Park Conservancy will be stationed to answer questions and give information about the fountain, reflection pool and gardens on the tour.
The event features 10 gardens throughout the neighborhood. Each one has unique features that range from a spiral staircase and “she-sheds” to koi ponds and outdoor living rooms. At each stop, the homeowners will be available to answer questions and give advice to their fellow plant lovers.
“We have a really nice selection of gardens to show people so they can see the full range of what you can do with an urban garden,” says Nancy Shultz, a member of the Highland Park Garden Club.
Garden club members began organizing the event after the COVID-19 pandemic forced them to cancel last year’s annual house tour. As they walked through Highland Park and realized how starkly the gardens contrasted with the surrounding city life, members were inspired to create this year’s secret garden theme, Shultz says.
“Some people take very small spaces and make them into lovely little havens,” she says. “We were trying to convey the idea that you could be walking down the street and suddenly you find some amazing gardens that you had no idea were there.”
Though not required, masks and hand sanitizer are recommended and will be made available for attendees. The number of people allowed in a single garden at once also will be limited.
“[Highland Park Community Council] has been very helpful to us … they’ve been great in terms of helping us through this process,” says Shultz. “They’ve given us funding to help start everything up.”
Tickets cost $15 prior to the tour and $20 on the day of the tour. For tickets, visit here. The garden club is also looking for volunteers for the event. To volunteer, visit hpgcpgh.org/tourvolunteers.