Gloucester Garden Tours

Generous Gardeners primary annual fundraiser is out Gloucester Garden Tour.  This event began in 2013 to raise funds for flowers for the Fishermen’s Wives memorial.  Each year in a different part of Gloucester, generous garden owners open their private gardens to the public for one day to benefit all of the public gardens in Gloucester.  

2019:  GOOD HARBOR BEACH BACK SHORE NEIGHBORHOOD – next years Tour will be Saturday, July 6th from 10-4 and will include gorgeous gardens and ocean vistas.


The sixth annual Gloucester Garden Tour was in the intriguing Lanesville neighborhood.  Over 600 visitors explored more than a dozen lovely private gardens, quarries and enjoyed the gorgeous ocean views.  Originally accessible only by stagecoach, Lanesville is the northern-most neighbor-hood of Gloucester. In the 1800’s Lanesville granite was quarried, cut and shipped from Lanes Cove via “granite sloops” to pave roads in New York, Philadelphia and Boston. Even the stone overpasses of Route 128 were con-structed with Lanesville granite in the 1950’s. The granite industry was ac-tive in the area for over one hundred years. Scenes from the granite quarry-ing business and related themes appear in art work created by artists who discovered the neighborhood. Paul Manship and Walker Hancock both built their studios on abandoned quarries in the 20th century. Virginia Lee Bur-ton established her famous Folly Cove Designers and wrote children’s books still beloved today, including Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel. Today, Lanesville continues to inspire artists and authors


The fifth annual Gloucester Garden Tour was in the historic neighborhood of Magnolia.  Attendees toured 14 impressive gardens, including one designed by the famous Olmsted firm. The village of Magnolia straddles the border of Gloucester and Manchester-By-The-Sea. In its heyday Magnolia was a fashionable destination for the wealthy to summer. The huge Oceanside Hotel and the smaller Magnolia Manor drew the rich and famous to the village. There were posh stores like Tiffany’s lining Lexington Avenue and mansions along Shore Road.   Today Magnolia is a quiet residential neighborhood but it still retains remnants of grander days. This tour was a  a varied mix of cottage gardens, rose gardens and estate gardens with fabulous ocean views as you stroll along Shore Road. 


Gloucester is a city of neighborhoods and Eastern Point is undeniably the most exclusive of all. Eastern Point has been settled since at least 1728 but it was after 1887 that it became a vacation spot for the wealthy who built magnificent “cottages.” So exclusive is this neighborhood that a State Supreme Court ruling in 1859 actually affirmed the right to bar the public from entering Eastern Point. Fortunately, visitors were allowed to pass through the stone gates and view 11 incredible estate gardens.  In addition, Historic New England opened the gardens of Beauport, the historic home built by Henry Sleeper from 1907 to 1934



in 2015 Generous Gardeners presented a walking tour of fifteen gardens in the Annisquam village neighborhood of Gloucester. The village of Annisquam was first settled in 1656. Annisquam is said to be an Indian name, “squam” being the Indian word for harbor, but the early settlers found no evidence of natives. They developed the village for shipbuilding and eventually for trade. Much later it be-came popular as a summer resort. Many of the houses in the village are historic and the architecture is quintessential New England. Vehicular traffic is very limited by a single entry road into the village. A drawbridge, built in 1847 over Lobster Cove, once served carriages but it was replaced in the late 1980’s by the current pedestrian only footbridge. The footbridge is a rare example of a wood pile and timber stringer bridge and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.


 The second Generous Gardeners tour included twelve fabulous gardens located along the Back Shore of Gloucester.   Some of the gardens were expansive, others are intimate, and many had breathtaking ocean views. In addition, one of the gardens featured a unique “man cave” and another garden included a classic car collection. 


Generous Gardeners held the first garden tour in West Gloucester.  Hillary Holdsworth opened her wonderful gardens and Susan Kelly and other Biskie Head Neighbors were also on this first tour.  Generous Gardeners also included the then small Stacy Boulevard Gardens.