The 26th Annual Georges River Land Trust Gardens in the Watershed tour will take place Sunday, July 16, from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. rain or shine, in the middle reaches of the Georges River watershed. This year’s tour includes five gardens in Appleton, Hope, and Union.

Along with the opportunity to enjoy the diversity of the area and the individual homeowners’ horticultural creativity, gardening experts will speak at two of the gardens, offering helpful information for guests' own gardens. Amy Campbell, a Maine Master Gardener and nature photographer, will present “The Importance of Pollinators” at 11 a.m. Rebecca Jacobs of the Knox-Lincoln Soil and Water Conservation District will speak at 2 p.m. on “Creating Buffers in Shoreline Zones.”

Attendees are invited to pre-order lunch catered by Home Kitchen Café. Raffle tickets are on sale now at $10 each for a variety of exclusive experiences, including a private garden consultation with Jody Payne, guided kayak tour for two, a stay at 250 Main Hotel, a waterfront home getaway on Rackliff Island, and more.

Advance tour tickets and brochures are now available for $25 from local merchants: Deer Foot Farm in Appleton, Brambles in Belfast, Planet Toys in Camden, The Grasshopper Shop and Eastern Tire and Auto in Rockland, Green Thumb and Plants Unlimited in Rockport, Hedgerow in Tenants Harbor, the Common Market in Union, and at the Land Trust office, 8 North Main St., Rockland. Tour tickets and lunch pre-orders can also be purchased online at georgesriver.org/garden. Tickets will also be available for $30 (cash or check only) on tour day at any of the garden sites.

New this year will be a gourmet reception immediately following the tour at Randall’s Hill Farm in Searsmont. Hosted by George and Karin Look, reception attendees will be treated to food and drink and a view of the northern reaches of the Georges River watershed. Guests will gather in the Looks' restored 1814 barn for drinks and finger-food prepared by former private chef Rene Veilleux.

The reception is limited to 40 guests, and all proceeds will support the land conservation, stewardship and trails programs of the land trust. Tickets are $50 and can be purchased online at georgesriver.org/event/look-reception/ or by visiting or calling the land trust office at 594-5166.

For more information, visit georgesriver.org or phone 594-5166.