Working Garden Tours - S of Ithaca


Sunday, July 21, 2024 - 10:00pm




2 gardens in Spencer. Details will be sent to members with June mailing. Nonmembers should contact for details.


FLNPS will host two open native garden visits this year. Unlike traditional Open Garden Days, these gardens are not all picture perfect, nor are they 100% native. They are works in progress, some new, some older, some more formal, some restored meadows. They are gardens whose creators are trying to incorporate lots of native plants within their own esthetic. Most will be self-guided; a couple will have posted tour times. Be sure to check each date for details: July 21 & Aug 25. 

EVERYONE IS INVITED, not just FLNPS members!

July 21 - 10am - 3 pm Spencer

Margaret Hurley - This garden is a mix of native and cultivated plants, shrubs and trees woven within the wooded landscape that surrounds Margaret's home. Started about 9  years ago and complete with a fairy house, a swing , a frog pond , birds, bees, butterflies  and toads. 

Flock (with Summer Rayne Oakes) - Since 2021, the owners have been working to revitalize and beautify ~90 acres in Spencer. Part of the land was managed for 28 years as a garden center and container nursery specializing in Japanese maples and rare conifers—some of which you’ll see “grandfathered in” on the land. Much of the forested land is second growth; some individual trees are probably over 200 years old.

More “managed” gardens around the homes have both native and non-native plantings co-mingling with one another. Thousands of Japanese honeysuckle and multiflora rose were removed to make way for hundreds of (primarily) native tree and shrub plantings with an underplanting of a native herbaceous layer. We are particularly interested in fostering a space for rare, native plants, and you may catch glimpses (depending on the season) of many interesting species.

During the tour, you’ll be directed through mowed paths throughout the fenced in 20+-acre landscape—so as to leave the wildscaped and garden areas free of foot traffic. The land has four ponds that total around 5-acres of water, which incorporates interesting native pond plantings; two small “run offs” and tributaries on either side of the land, meadow, dry upland forests, shade gardens, rock garden, vegetable garden, orchard, pollinator garden, herb garden, and more. There will be plenty to see on this tour—so please give yourself the time to explore and bring your walking shoes.

For a personal one-hour guided tour, please come at 9:00AM sharp. All others who want to tour the land on their own can come at 10:00AM. Parking is available on site. To get a glimpse of some of our garden and landscape projects, you can refer to our website at