The Garden Club of
OPEN HOUSES AND GARDENS
The Open Houses and Gardens Programme is the major annual fund-raising project of the Club. By courtesy of members and friends, homes and gardens are open to the public. Proceeds go towards horticultural related civic improvements and scholarships.
A traditional Bermuda wedding is a joyous occasion. Please mark your calendars for what promises to be a very special day. Church and houses will be beautifully decorated by our award winning floral designers, and a traditional Bermuda wedding will be depicted throughout the day.
Christ Church (Presbyterian Church of Scotland) will be decorated with flowers and greenery and filled with celebratory music of the organ and the Hand Bell Choir.
At 11:00 a.m., Miss Bermuda, Katherine Arnfield portraying the lovely bride, will step from an elegant carriage with her “groom” to welcome guests at Christ Church front entrance. Enhancing the fantasy, a fine and steadfast, “topiary” horse will stand in its leather traces at the front of the carriage. (Traditionally, a Bermuda wedding party arrives at the church in a handsome, horse-drawn coach, its white ribbons fluttering in the wind, with a uniformed driver at the reins.)
After a visit to the church, visitors are invited to walk across Middle Road to a narrow lane and the gardens of Kirkdale Farm where a fashion show begins at 12:45 p.m.
Beneath the tents, lemonade and baked goods, Mother’s Day bouquets, wreaths of spring flowers, plants and seedlings will be offered for sale.
Adding to the festivities, Bermudian musicians, including the Suzuki Strings, the St. Paul’s Recorder Group, Antoinette Davis (flute) and Andrea Hodson (keyboard) plan to give morning and afternoon concerts while Plein Air artists, at their easels, will be painting and selling their art.
Children can express their own creativity by decorating containers to fill with flowers for Mother’s Day. Afterwards, they might explore unknown territory in The Enchanted Garden, made for play and discovery.
Tours of the
Churchyard at Christ Church and the gardens of both Kirkdale Farm
and The Cocoon, given by local historians and horticulturalists, are
scheduled at the following times:
Church (Presbyterian Church of Scotland),
Middle Road, Warwick
Christ Church (Presbyterian Church of Scotland), the setting for “A May Wedding” is believed to be the oldest Presbyterian Church in the Western Hemisphere. (Presbyterianism in Bermuda dates from the early 1600s, soon after the settlement of the Colony.) Built in 1719 on land given by Thomas Gilbert of Warwick Parish, the walls of the original church still stand although over the centuries, alterations and additions have been made. The Baptismal and Communion silver pieces, beautifully wrought in the 17th and early 18th centuries, are the work of Bermuda silversmiths Thomas Savage, James Perot and George Hutchings. The handsome mahogany pulpit beneath a canopy or sounding board, built in 1837, displays the craftsmanship of James Williams who had been freed from slavery a few years prior to Bermuda’s Emancipation Day, August 1, 1834. Dr. Francis Patton, a son of Bermuda and President of Princeton University, preached from the pulpit of Christ Church as did United States President, Woodrow Wilson.
3 Kirkdale Drive, Warwick
Kirkdale farmhouse was built in 1820 by William Obadiah Dunscomb on rich, fertile land protected from winter winds by a hillside on the north and cooled by the prevailing southwest winds in the summer. In close proximity to Christ Church, Kirkdale Farm takes its name from the Gaelic words meaning “church valley”. The cellars of the house were used to store vegetables and farm equipment; domestic life took place in the rooms above. Particularly beautiful among the antiques, furnishing the living and dining rooms is a small, 18th century cherry sideboard made in Newport, Rhode Island. Although the land is no longer farmed, a vegetable garden and the citrus orchard are still bountiful. Lilies and roses grow in profusion and orchids are cultivated in the slat house at the far end of the property. Ornamental fan palms border the pool and a terrace that is partially shaded by a rose-covered pergola.
Kirkdale Drive, Warwick (a few hundred yards down the lane from
The Cocoon is a spacious home, beautifully designed and decorated by the owners, one of whom is a painter (a talent shared by both her father and her daughter). The original cottage was built in the 1960s and enlarged in the 1990s; nonetheless, it resembles an old Bermuda house. The furnishings are 18th and 19th century English and American antiques; recollections of their provenance often offer entertaining and intriguing tales. It is said that the splendid grandfather clock, standing in one corner of the living room, arrived in Bermuda on a British warship returning to its island naval base after the sacking of Washington in the War of 1812. Art enlivens every room and includes French Impressionist paintings, primitives and exquisite still lifes handed down through generations of the family. Noteworthy, by the office doorway are three framed scrolls signed by H.M. Queen Elizabeth II, honouring the owner and both of his parents as Members of the British Empire, an exceptional achievement for one family. There is a fine collection of blue and white Chinese porcelain and carved screens collected on sojourns in Asia. On the dining room sideboard, the groom’s cake, made especially for “A May Wedding” reception, is covered in gold leaf to symbolize prosperity. As the centrepiece on the dining room table, the bride’s tiered cake is covered in silver-leaf, symbolizing purity. Traditionally, a tiny cedar sapling is placed on top, later to be planted, representing the couple’s growing love.
Beyond the house, a wild and natural garden contains ruins of an early 19th century cottage that was destroyed by fire. The slat house is built around the original bread oven of the ruin.
Tickets: $20 adults, $10 children ages 10-18, under age 10 free admission.
All proceeds will benefit the Garden Club Scholarship Programme and Community Projects.
How to get there:
Marriage In Bermuda:
A Sneak Peek.......
Garden Club members are hard at work making, baking, growing and generally readying to make our event a great success. Between now and May we will post some 'teasers' of what is in store.....