Mountain Laurel Garden Club Country Gardens Tour

The Mountain Laurel Garden Club will host its Country Gardens Tour on Saturday, June 24, 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. (rain or shine, no pets). The tour features two gardens in the Paradise Point area of Deep Creek Lake, a fern and hosta garden in Mountain Lake Park, and a flower farm off Gorman Road (Route 560).

“Under the Trees” is a lakefront garden in Paradise Point spread over five acres on the property of Deborah and Jim Hutton. The garden has been in development since 1990, when Deborah’s parents bought the property. It features a primrose patch that has been nurtured since the early 1990s, a pine grove winding down to the lake, eight hemlocks, and variety of plants. Sprinkled through the property are fairy gardens, gnomes in the stone wall, a statue of St. Francis preaching to the birds, and numerous other whimsical delights. The Huttons will also host a display of local invasive plants created by the Horticulture Committee.

Shirley Knowles and Janna Naylor are the owners of “Serenity Falls,” a second garden in the Paradise Point area. The garden was completely re-landscaped last year with the addition of a waterfall, viewing deck, and a wide variety of plants and trees. There are also various statues throughout the property, and a cart on rails that was installed in 1986 and climbs and descends the front bank of the steep property.

“Fern Park” is a unique garden at the Mountain Lake Park home of Randy Reichard and his daughter Rachel Reichard. The garden features over 25 varieties of ferns plus several varieties of hollies and azaleas. Reichard is a railway track inspector and has designed the garden paths to be the same distance as that between the two rails on a railway track. A rescued former trainman’s shanty has been repurposed into a garden shed, and electric lamps illuminate the property at night. The Habitat for Humanity Committee will have a display on the club’s ongoing work to plan and create native plant gardens at Habitat homes in Hopeland Village. The UMD Extension service and Garrett County Master Gardeners will also have information on local gardening.

The tour is also featuring “Wildings Flower Farm,” a working flower farm off Gorman Road owned by Will and Lisa Riley. The farm is a quick 15-minute drive from Mountain Lake Park and is well worth the trip. The main cutting garden features a large plot of annuals designed to provide fresh blooms throughout the growing season. The Rileys have embraced sustainable gardening practices such as not tilling the ground and not using herbicides, pesticides, or synthetics. In the center of the property is a memorial garden honoring Lisa’s son, and scattered throughout the property are arbors, pergolas, statures, and fences. The Floral Design Committee will demonstrate how to make spiral hand-tied bouquets using flowers from the farm.

Visit for more information on the garden tour. Tickets to the Country Gardens Tour ($10.00 each) are available from the club’s website, MLGC members, and the following local businesses: Firefly Farms, Mosser Meadow Nurseries, and Green Acres. Tickets may also be purchased at each of the gardens on the day of the tour.

Proceeds from the garden tour will be used by MLGC for the continued beautification of our communities and to encourage gardening and sound conservation practices through club activities and programs. The club offers an annual $1000 scholarship through the Garrett College Foundation and partners with local organizations in support of youth environmental education and civic beautification.