The Georges River Land Trust’s 20th annual Gardens in the Watershed tour will take place Sunday, July 10 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at six different gardens in the towns of Hope, Appleton and Union. Tickets are $25 in advance and $28 on tour day.

Tickets may be purchased from The Reading Corner and Rock City Books and Coffee in Rockland, Planet Toys in Camden, Hedgerow in Tenants Harbor, Winter Wind Florist in Union, Brambles in Belfast and the Georges River Land Trust office, 8 North Main St. in Rockland. A gourmet bag lunch provided by the Home Kitchen Café is available by pre-order as well.

Each year tour-goers are treated to a variety of approaches to gardening in the watershed of the St. George River. This year is no exception. From perennial gardens tucked in between stone walkways and walls, to the open vistas so common in this part of the watershed, each gardener has worked with the land they own to bring out its unique characteristics.

A colorful progression of blooms throughout the summer is the forte of one; reclaiming a field overgrown with pine trees and turning the space into flower and vegetable gardens is the accomplishment of another. Still another has stocked her garden with plants from local plant sales and friends and has put in raised vegetable beds as a means of coping with a soggy back yard.

Living lightly on the land might be the mantra for one of this year’s gardeners. The grass lawn was replaced without the use of herbicides and low maintenance shrubs and ground cover was put in to encourage natural pollinators. Vegetables and flowers intermingle.

Reclaiming the land’s agricultural heritage was the task of another gardening couple. They now have several large perennial gardens and more than 1,500 lavender plants.

A mature garden is featured at yet another location, with some of the beds going back well over 10 years. Even so the garden has not remained static with new plantings and groupings appearing each year. Metal sculptures, found objects and concrete basins provide accents throughout.

This year as an added attraction there will be several local artists creating plein air paintings throughout the day in various gardens. These painting are offered for sale via a raffle system whereby those interested may purchase chances on the painting or paintings of their choice. Winners will be notified the day following the tour and paintings can be picked up at the land trust office in Rockland. Each artist has agreed to donate 60 percent of the proceeds to the land trust. In addition to the original artwork there will be many other items available for raffle. These items, donated by local merchants range from a live crabapple tree, to gift certificates from local garden supply stores, to hands-on help in your garden.

As is the case each year, three local experts will give informative short talks on garden related subjects. Lorie Costigan will speak on “Growing Lavender”, Ann Cox will talk about “Favorite Perennials”, and Jesse Watson will speak about “Permaculture Design.”

The premier fundraising event of the Georges River Land Trust is underwritten by a grant from Bangor Savings Bank along with generous donations from many local merchants and private individuals.