Garden Touring America: 2012

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Like cherished perennials, garden tours bloom every spring and summer, in every corner of the United States. Often organized as fund raisers to benefit charity, these tours give gardeners and architecture junkies and curiosity seekers the chance to step through gates and front doors few would otherwise have the opportunity to open.

Many garden tours are self-guided and involve a fair amount of walking. Some organizations encourage visitors to avoid parking problems by bicycling to the area. Most tours ask visitors not to bring food or drinks and to avoid taking photographs inside homes. And although you may want to dress up for the occasion, avoid wearing high heels -- they can damage turf and planting beds.

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Hermann Missouri Garden Tours, June 2 - 3

Hermann Missouri Garden Tours offers visitors two picturesque tours, each priced at just $10 per ticket. Stroll through the beautiful gardens of downtown Hermann and immerse yourself in the greenery, or take a driving tour of the country gardens and enjoy the views from the comfort of your car. Can't decide which tour you want to take? Well, you can have the best of both worlds if you purchase a combo ticket for just $15.

Related: Hermann Missouri Garden Tours Information

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Meridian-Kessler Neighborhood Home & Garden Tour, June 16 & 17

In Indianapolis, the Meridian-Kessler Neighborhood Association presents the 39th annual Home and Garden Tour June 16 & 17, from 11:00 am. to 5:00 pm. The MKNA tour features seven homes and gardens in one of the city's oldest neighborhoods. Tickets can be purchased in advance for $12, online or from select merchants. On the day of the event, tickets can be purchased for $15 at any featured home.

Related: Meridian-Kessler Neighborhood Home & Garden Tour Information

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Whidbey Island Garden Tour, June 23

Established to benefit groups dedicated to improving Whidbey Island's common habitat, the annual tour invites visitors to tour four private gardens on beautiful Whidbey Island, about an hour from Seattle. The 2012 tour runs 10:00 am to 4:00 pm, rain or shine.

Tickets, which cost $20 and include garden descriptions and driving directions, are tax-deductible and nonrefundable. The tour often sells out, so it's wise to purchase tickets well in advance.

Related: Whidbey Island Garden Tour Information

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South Carolina Festival of Flowers, June 23 & 24

The friendly folks in Greenwood, South Carolina invite visitors to join them for the 45th annual Festival of Flowers. A highlight of the Festival, the garden tour includes three spectacular home gardens, six community gardens, plus the Benjamin Mays Historic Site and Rice Elementary's Roots & Shoots garden. The tour runs 10:00 am to 5:00 pm on June 23 and from 1:00 to 5:00 pm on June 24. Admission is free. For tickets to other festival events, call 864-223-8411, ext. 232.

Related: South Carolina Festival of Flowers Information