Friday, June 22, 5:00 pm – 8:00 pm, and Saturday, June 23, 9:00 am – 3:00 pm – 23rd Annual South Church Pocket Gardens of Portsmouth


Originated as a way to raise funds for the upkeep of South Church’s own pocket garden at 292 State Street in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, described as “a semi-private haven for passersby,” the annual event has grown dramatically. Today some 125 volunteers include church members, garden owners and garden lovers, musicians and artists. They make the arrangements, host the gardens, bake cookies to welcome visiting guests, play music and create works of art in the gardens.

The best idea is to accompany a friend on this lovely walking experience to take in this year’s all-new tour, featuring 10 gardens in Portsmouth’s historic South End. Discover delightful nooks and crannies of sweetness and beauty. Private spaces spilling over with aromatic flowers, rock gardens, benches, flowering trees and even stunning seaside views. The gardens will keep getting more beautiful as the day goes by. How often do you get invited to enjoy such places?

As well as garden viewing, listen to the sounds of local musicians performing in several gardens – self-indulgence of the best kind. You’ll hear solo flutists, jazz guitar – or maybe even a shanty band. Portsmouth history will not be far from your awareness. You’re also more than likely to occasionally see artists at work in the shade of a lovely flowering tree.

A ticket pamphlet contains all the information needed: A list of the homes’ addresses, plenty of flowery detail, and maps to get around town. The garden walk should last about three hours. The ticket price is $20 in advance or $23 the days of the tour. Tickets ($20 in advance, $23 day of tour) can be reserved through the church, www.southchurch-uu.org, or call 603-436-2762.  Thank you, www.nhmagazine.com, for the photo below.