It's the season to start touring houses and gardens


April 24, 1994|By Dorothy Fleetwood | Dorothy Fleetwood,Contributing Writer

This week many of Maryland's homes and gardens are being meticulously groomed before they open to the public. The Maryland House and Garden Pilgrimage begins its 57th year Saturday with a tour in Anne Arundel County. It continues for three weekends through May 15 with tours in five counties and Baltimore City.

The tour visits houses in and around Annapolis on opening day, stopping at some of the town's 18th-century residences and urban gardens. Sunday's pilgrims will travel to St. Mary's County, site of the state's original colony. Eighteenth-century manor houses stand in pastoral settings, and descendants of some of the original families still live here. The second weekend, the pilgrimage visits two Eastern Shore counties: Talbot on May 7 and Queen Anne's on May 8. With more than 600 miles of shoreline, Talbot County has many homes with splendid waterfront views. Queen Anne's tour is concentrated in Centreville, the county seat, which is celebrating its bicentennial this year.

On May 14 tour-goers will follow the trail into Washington County in Western Maryland to see 18th-century stone farmhouses and properties that were once a part of a forge or mill complex. The pilgrimage concludes with a walking tour of the Mount Vernon district in Baltimore City, where elegant townhouses are

reminders of how fashionable Baltimoreans lived in the mid-19th century.

Tour hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. Admission is $20 for a complete tour or $5 for an individual house. Proceeds will be used for preservation and restoration projects in Maryland. For a tour book, send $2 to Maryland House and Garden Pilgrimage, 1105-A Providence Road, Baltimore, Md. 21286, or call (410) 821-6933 weekdays (except Wednesday) between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m.

'Old Dover Days'

"Old Dover Days" will attract visitors to Delaware's capital next .. weekend with two days of festivities. Events kick off with a parade Saturday at 9:30 a.m., followed by opening ceremonies on the Green at 10 a.m. The day continues with Maypole dancing, a pancake breakfast, Civil War encampment, Victorian ice cream parlor, art fair, craft show, an international food festival, and entertainment. Saturday's featured attraction is a garden tour of six historic gardens and six modern ones from noon to 4 p.m. Tickets cost $6.

Sunday's agenda includes a bicycle race, a 19th-century baseball game at the Delaware Agricultural Museum, and the Wesley College International Festival featuring a fashion show, entertainment and food from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Call (302) 734-1736 or (800) 233-KENT.

Celtic festival

The clans will gather on Saturday at Jefferson Patterson Park and Museum, a 512-acre historical and environmental preserve on the Patuxent River in St. Leonard, for a full day of Celtic fare from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

The 16th annual Celtic Festival of Southern Maryland celebrates the heritage of Scotland, Wales, England and Ireland with athletic games, piping, fiddling, dancing, storytelling, crafts and ethnic food.

Admission is $7 for adults; $4 for seniors and children ages 6 to 12. Call (410) 257-9003 or (301) 855-8623.

Union Mills museum opens

Union Mills Homestead Museum near Westminster opens for the season next weekend with its 25th annual Flower and Plant Market and fourth annual Antiques Show Saturday and Sunday.

The 1797 main house will be open for tour, and three floors of the old restored gristmill will be filled with antiques by regional dealers. Outside there will be wagonloads of flowering and vegetable plants, herbs, hanging baskets and bushes for sale. Horse-drawn wagon rides will be available, and breakfast and lunch can be bought on the grounds.

Hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday; noon to 4 p.m. Sunday. There is a small admission fee for house tours and the antiques show. The Homestead is seven miles north of Westminster on Route 97. Call (410) 848-2288.

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