All over South County summer is in full bloom, and there are few things more relaxing than wandering a garden path while admiring the sights and scents of the natural world. Tours are available all over the state, but there may be some in your own backyard you have yet to explore. Whether following a guide or browsing at your own pace, visiting a garden can be a natural fit for the whole family.
For nearly 70 years, visitors have been marveling at more than 500 varieties of azaleas and other flowers, shrubs, and trees at the backyard property of Tony and Elizabeth Kinney Faella. Photogs will love the picturesque Moon Gate, along with the Wildflower Walk, Troll Bridge, and other sights. Peak visiting time is June, but gardens are in bloom through the summer. There is no entrance fee, but donations keep it all going; find the donation box at the entrance. A $25 donation fee is suggested for professional photographers. No pets. Open during daylight hours. 2391 Kingstown Road, Kingston
Picture yourself on the stately gazebo surrounded by 4,000 plants and you’ll feel as if you’ve stepped onto the luscious lavender fields of the French countryside. Sitting on 14 acres, the lines of lavender – spanning 10 different varieties – share the ground with animals from sheep and alpacas to a donkey and peacock. Lavender lovers can purchase tickets online for farm events or shop the artisanal lavender-infused soaps, lotions, and scrubs available at the farm stand. Guests may also book a stay in the luxurious farm suite overlooking the lavender field and enjoy a rustic and chic retreat. 3814 Commodore Perry Highway, Wakefield
Peruse the grounds that have been pleasing passersby since 1992 with its carefully
crafted array of blooming buds. Catch a glimpse of roses studding the paths or make your way to the perennial garden where butterflies flutter. Open every day from sunrise to sunset, the gardens are a tucked away treasure on the University’s sprawling campus. Check online for updates on events, educational workshops, 6 Greenhouse Road, Kingston
Twenty-six private gardens designed and maintained by URI Master Gardener
volunteers will be open to the public for two days for the tenth biannual Gardening with the Masters Tour. Tickets cost $30 and include admission for one to the gardens on both tour weekends, a new smartphone app, and a link to a guidebook with garden descriptions. Local gardens on the tour includeCharlestown, East Greenwich, Narragansett, and South Kingstown with additional gardens in Stonington. Proceeds benefit the educational programs of the URI Master Gardener Program, including the Gardening and Environmental Hotline, free soil pH testing service, information kiosks and public presentations. Rain or shine.