Tours to see what’s good inside and outside in Macon

May 2, 2014 

A peek inside downtown Macon homes and Ingleside gardens will be the focus of this year’s Hay House Spring Stroll.

The three-day event begins Friday with the Secret Gardens Tour and the Historic Interiors Tour. The tours require a ticket, but the Spring Stroll also includes a Garden Market and gardening seminars, which are both free.

“Five gardens on the garden tour and five interiors on the house tour, and they are all unique and wonderful,” said Tom Wight, who is one of the chairs for this year’s event.

Both tours are self-guided but include a book of personal stories and information about each property and its owner.

“People who take either of the tours also get a complimentary tour of Hay House and the neat, new thing they will experience this year is FloraBrilliance,” Wight said. “We’ve got some really talented floral designers who are going to do their own floral interpretations in rooms on the main level and we’re going to work it so that people who have seen the house before you can take a short tour on that level so you get to see the floral exhibit.”

The full Hay House tour will be offered on the hour and the short tour will be offered every 30 minutes.

“While we think this is an incredible tour and a real opportunity, it is also still an important way the community can support Hay House by taking these tours since it is our largest fundraiser,” Wight said. “You’re getting an awful lot of value because of the opportunity to tour the house and see this awesome new FloraBrillance.”

The Secret Gardens Tour is held daily during daylight hours and will highlight a range of garden sizes and varieties, including the Fickling family garden where the first Yoshino cherry trees in Macon were discovered and cultivated.

“This is what we call old Ingleside this year,” Wight said. “That’s the way we keep this your weekend fresh, we move the garden area from year to year.”

The Historic Interiors Tour will happen Friday and Saturday evening and features two homes and three lofts.

“The nighttime tour, you get the wonderful juxtaposition of a mid-1800s Italian home, a 20th Century Revival home and then you got those three lofts, which really speak to the resurgence of downtown,” Wight said. “I think so many people don’t realize until they go on a tour like this and go into some of these spaces just how much is happening downtown in Macon.”

The Spring Stroll is in its 21st year and got its start at the urging of Joe and Evelyn Adams who had done a similar garden tour in Atlanta.

“We didn’t have a garden tour really in Macon and Joe thought we should,” said Wight, who also chaired that first event. “He and Evelyn lived in Stanislaus at the time and they came to us with the idea and that’s where we did the first tour was in the Stanislaus neighborhood. ... Over the years, this event has grown so it’s now three days and it’s two tours.”

The Garden Market will be held on the lawn of the Hay House and the seminars will be in the lower level of the Hay House.

“We’ve got our two biggest plant vendors returning this year,” Wight said. “Agape Nursery here out of Macon and Easy Living Gardens out of Perry. So people who are used to knowing they find wonderful things there can be assured that they’ll be back here on the lawn.”

Hay House Spring Stroll

When: Secret Gardens Tour, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. May 2-3 and 1-5 p.m. May 4; Historic Interiors Tour, 5-8 p.m. May 2-3; Garden Market, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. May 2-3 and 1-5 p.m. May 4; Garden Seminars, 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. May 2-3, 2 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. May 4.

Where: Hay House,

Cost: Tours are $20 each or $35 for both. Garden Market and seminars are free.

Information: www.hayhousemacon.org or 478-742-8155

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