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Private gardens open their gates during Garden Conservancy Open Days

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One of the water features of the Lamphears Garden, on display Saturday, June 19.
  • One of the water features of the Lamphears Garden, on display Saturday, June 19.

A well-tended garden, over a period of years, becomes a work of art -- a living painting that transforms in depth, color and texture with each passing year.

In Colorado Springs, five local home gardens will open their gates on Saturday, June 19, as part of the national Garden Conservancy's Open Days Program. The Garden Conservancy is the only national nonprofit dedicated to strengthening public interest in garden preservation and to cultivating appreciation of gardens as living works of art.

All of the gardens on display this year are located in the Old North End neighborhood or on the near West Side. Participants can pick up tickets and directions to the gardens at the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center at 10 a.m. on Saturday and can tour at their leisure until 3 p.m. Michael and Susan Grace's garden combines artfully pruned trees and formal beds with brilliant colors that complement the mustard and green of their North End home. Proceeds from tours of the Grace Garden will be shared with The Colorado College Summer Arts Festival.

Nearby, the Nussbaum Garden is a shady garden set among mature trees that has been cultivated for over 50 years by a succession of gardeners including internationally known designer Kathleen Marriage. The garden appears in the Archives of American Gardens of the Smithsonian Institute.

On the West side, the Lamphears' Garden features a front fountain, statuary and columnar plants lining the way to another fountain and a seating area, and a central garden with a small pool fed by gentle waterfalls. Larger ponds are part of the landscape as well.

-- Kathryn Eastburn

capsule The Garden Conservancy's Open Day, Colorado Springs

Saturday, June 19, beginning at 10 a.m. at the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center; rain or shine, reservations not required

$5 per garden visit; books of 6 for $25 (one free garden visit included)

For more information on the Garden Conservancy and Open Days across the country, call 888/842-2442.

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