Old Louisville Hidden Treasures Garden Tour by Kirsten Silver

In early June, the Second Street Neighborhood Association hosted the 20th Annual Old Louisville Hidden Treasures Garden Tour, giving visitors a glimpse into one of the city’s most iconic neighborhoods.

Old Louisville is characterized by a variety of stunning Victorian-era homes, many of which are complete with carriage houses and private garden retreats.

Designed as a walking tour and photographed here in 2012, attendees get to experience first hand the grandeur and scale of the residences in Old Louisville, which is a historic downtown neighborhood unlike any other.

The tour always begins at the famed Conrad-Caldwell House Museum at the corner of St. James Court and Magnolia Avenue.

From there, attendees are free to navigate the neighborhood on foot using a simple map that also features detailed descriptions of each of the gardens. Proceeds from the tour help to improve ar.d preserve Old Louisville via the purchase and maintenance of period lighting, a new tree planting program and decorative flower urns.

“Improving our urban landscape is an ecological effort that reduces the impact of auto emissions and pavement on our environment by encouraging people to plant and maintain green spaces,” shared Judy Payne, a co-chair on the tour. “Her garden tour allows visitors to see Old Louisville as a vibrant preservation district with a strong sense of community.”

Today, the gardens of Old Louisville offer a great deal of variety in their design, which ranges from formal, traditional spaces to modem, eccentric outdoor areas. Visitors will also enjoy viewing turn-of-the-twentieth-century carriage houses, many of which are incorporated into the garden design. In addition, the neighborhood is home to a multitude of large, established trees that provide a respite on warm summer days and create the ideal environment for shade gardens.

Hie tour is a living testament to the individual garden owners’ talents, efforts and dedication to improving and preserving the gardens of Old Louisville. These unique outdoor spaces are :he perfect complement to the neighborhood’s majestic architecture and continue to inspire visitors and resident’s alike to make the most of urban landscapes.

In 2014, the tour will be held Saturday and Sunday, the weekend of June 21st and 22nd.

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