Port City's Pocket Garden Tour set for June 21-22

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The pocket gardens feature distinctive combinations of plants, trees and decorative touches. (Courtesy image)

PORTSMOUTH - Hidden gems of horticultural creativity will open to the public in June when the 35th annual Portsmouth Pocket Garden Tour kicks off in the city's historic Little Harbour neighborhood.

Eight private homes have volunteered to welcome visitors to their pocket gardens - so called because they are often tucked into odd, irregularly shaped pieces of land and hidden from plain view. The tours run June 21 from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. and June 22, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., starting at South Church, 292 State Street.

The pocket gardens feature distinctive combinations of plants, trees and decorative touches. Visitors will see a pollinator garden, Japanese maple collection, a seven son flower tree, Betty Magnolias, and an arbor featuring classic rose pillar trellage, anchored to the landscape with clematis, roses and honeysuckle.

The gardens also feature stonework and architectural highlights ranging from pergolas to gazebos, pavilions, and greenhouses, accented by sculptures, planters, window boxes, hanging baskets and more. Hosts and educators will be available for questions. Some gardens will have performances by artists and musicians, and all will offer refreshments.

The gardens are located around homes on Union, Park, Lincoln, Middle and Highland streets and Mendum Ave. They are within walking distance of each other and the tour starting point at South Church, which is also the will-call ticket site.

The Portsmouth Pocket Garden Tour started in 1989 when a group of South Church members were looking for a new fund-raising program. One who had been on garden tours in England suggested the idea might work in Portsmouth.

For more information and updates on the 35th Annual Pocket Garden Tour, visit the event Facebook page at:

Ticket information

$25 each in advance, $30 on event dates

Sales limited to 1,000 tickets.

Purchase online at

Purchase in person at Gardeners Supply in Greenland, (formerly Rolling Green Nursery), Churchill's in Exeter, Wentworth Gardens in Dover, and Eldridge Lumber in York.

Will call site: 292 Church Street, Portsmouth

Tour days and times

June 21, 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.

June 22, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Start at South Church, 292 State Street, Portsmouth

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