Roses along a split rail fence. Photo Bonnie Barnes

This year the Mad River Valley Arts Garden Tour celebrates the gardeners in The Valley who have beautified the earth. There are six gardens on the July 16 tour, each located in a different part of The Valley. In each garden there will be an artist, painting and/or showing their work, which is all for sale.


Participants can visit a garden on the very top of North Fayston Road, a home surrounded by perennial beds, falling down rocky slopes full of color and texture. Edging the property are original walls made from wood logs. The owners have been creating and nurturing these gardens since they moved permanently here 20 years ago.

The next two gardens feel like secret poems. One on Phen Basin Road falls downhill and overflows with bushes, perennials, annuals, birdfeeders and sculpture. A riot of color and casual design, it is a garden straight from the heart and hands of the owners according to organizers. The second on Roxbury Gap features flowers controlled and surrounded by extensive and impressive drystone walls and terraces.

There are more gardens on the tour. A home and garden near the Warren-Sugarbush Airport is surrounded by vistas over fields of waving grasses. Perennial gardens encircle the home, with lovely trees and lilac bushes as well as a trellised terrace covered with grape vines. This home has a vegetable garden as well.

One of ultimate gardens in the tour is found on the top of Stagecoach Road. The sweep of the entire setting is extraordinary. “The smell of soil and flowers pervade the extensive gardens and take people to an unforgettable dry stonewall. It is important to roam far and wide here to find hidden sculpture in secluded areas,” previewed Bonnie Barnes, spokesperson for Mad River Valley Arts.


People will also be able to visit the experimental gardens of George Schenk at American Flatbread. His interest and studies are in the medicinal and healing value of nutritionally dense foods. Schenk celebrates diversity both in food and in society and is always studying and learning more, Barnes said. He is happy to talk about what he is doing when people visit the Flatbread vegetable gardens.

In addition to the gardens, tour participants can check out a display and sale of flower arrangements by members of the Mad River Gardeners at the Festival Gallery in the Village Square in Waitsfield

The tour is self-guided and a ticket holder may travel from garden to garden at their own pace in rain or shine. Tickets may be purchased online under EVENTS: or in person at the festival gallery: 1 to 5 p.m. On the day of the event tickets may be purchased at the Lareau Farm with checks or cash.  There is also a cocktail party on July 15 in anticipation of the tour. On the ticket will be names, addresses and a map for the tour. Visit for ticket prices and other details.