The 20th Annual Garden Walk sponsored by the Hospital Aid of Waldo County General Hospital will be held Friday and Saturday, July 9 and 10, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. both days, rain or shine. Tickets are $12 in advance and $15 the days of the walk. All proceeds benefit the hospital.

Seven lovely gardens in Belfast highlight this year’s walk. The owners are often present to answer questions. The gardens can be visited in any order and on either of the two days. Aid members volunteer in each garden and refreshments are served. A map is included with the ticket for this self-guided tour.

The Holmes garden is an extensive lot with a view to the ocean. There are hundreds of perennials, roses, hostas, dogwoods, hydrangeas, magnolias and lilacs planted in gardens surrounding the house. There are also a woodland garden, Asian garden and vegetable garden. Because the entrance is on a busy highway, a shuttle van from the hospital’s education center will take visitors to the site.

The tour continues in town with the Richards garden, where visitors will enter through a wooden fence and circle the house on a garden path to a brick patio and rock fountain. The owners have been adding color to this garden for the past 20 years, even extending outside the fence for the benefit of passersby.

The Strickland garden is an extensive perennial garden with fountains, arches, a Palladian-style tool shed and other architectural features. The home and garden originally belonged to Muriel Krakar, the founder of the Hospital Aid’s Garden Walk. Lemonade and cookies will be served on the back porch.

The tour continues near the waterfront with the Whyte Garden. This owner renovated the house, pruned large trees and created an apartment in the garage surrounded by flower beds. The backyard is a grassy oasis with perennials, a hammock and a view of the ocean.

Nearby is the Emory Garden with rock walls adapted to a steep slope in the front yard. The backyard shows what can be done in a small space with towering hosta, a calming stone fountain and comfortable seating.

The next garden is in East Belfast. In the Urick Garden visitors will step through the front gate to be greeted by perennials along a rock wall and a path to the backyard with benches and a river view. A charming garden shed is topped with a cat weathervane. The owners purchased the adjacent undeveloped lot, built a garage and now have a garden of vegetables and flowers in progress, along with a new lawn.

The Cobbey Garden is a large country vegetable garden planted in pie-shaped raised beds bordered by natural logs with lots of fruit trees. A shade garden is in progress at the edge of the woods. The stonework on the outdoor patio is by a local artisan and houses a hidden sink for washing vegetables. Outbuildings store gardening supplies, while the small blue shingled shed is actually a chicken coop.

Tickets for the garden walk are $12 in advance at Brambles, Mr. Paperback and the Hospital Gift Shop in Belfast and at the Left Bank bookshop in Searsport. On the days of the tour, tickets will be $15 and can be purchased at the businesses listed above or at any of the gardens.

Plan to join the hospital volunteers for this event, which is the Aid’s largest fundraiser of the year. For further information, call Wilma Moses at 338-2785 or Sandy Gordon at 930-6739 or e-mail: sgordon@wchi.com.