The final garden tour of Belfast Garden Club’s 2011 Open Garden Days, will take place Friday, Aug. 26 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., at the old fashioned perennial garden of Sally Shure, 105 Woodmans Mill Road, Searsmont.

The garden is on the grounds of a lovely 1830s Cape, which has been in the Shure family since the 1930s. The home once housed workers from a nearby tannery, and at that time had no gardens at all.

Sally, who attributes her love of flower gardens to her youth as a Girl Scout, started planting old-fashioned varieties of perennial flowers here and there around the property in the early 1950s when she began spending summers here with her young family. Eventually the home was left to Sally and her husband and they moved to Searsmont to stay.

Flowers and herbs bloom from spring to late fall including; lavender, creeping thyme, delphinium, campanula, and a favored double white hollyhock, interspersed with daylilies of many colors. Ornamental shrubs and bushes such as lilacs and rugosa complete the cheery scene and today Sally’s gardens can be viewed from every window in the house.

Wonderful combinations of colorful blooms dress beds along the driveway leading many passersby to stop and exclaim at their beauty. “Those compliments make this effort so worthwhile!” Sally said, with a smile.

Bright magenta phlox and purple hued globe thistle, crisp white balloon flower and jolly, yellow tansy enjoy blooming in late summer. Around the garage, whimisical copper garden sculptures peek out between mums, blue sea holly, and clematis. These gardens are grounded with small shrubs and trees including Harry Lauder Walking Stick, juniper, and cedar.

Flat fieldstones step down the sloping lawn beside annual beds and Chinese lanterns, leading the way to the cutting garden on the lower level of lawn. The cutting garden boasts as many as 12 varieties of Dahlia, now in full bloom, including favorites such as Patricia, Maxi, and Pretty in Pink.

Each year dahlias, which cannot survive a Maine winter, must be dug up and stored in a cool basement. The bulbs grow well in Sally’s garden soil, and get divided each year — if you’re lucky you can buy one of these bulbs at Belfast Garden Club’s Annual Plant Sale in the spring, to which Sally generously donates her divided dahlia bulbs!

Directions: From Route 3 in Belfast turn on Route 131 and follow to Searsmont village. Go through the village to a right turn on Route 173 which is Woodmans Mill Road. After a half mile, cross bridge and garden is up the hill on the right. Park along the road. Uneven terrain may be difficult for handicapped.

Tickets for Belfast Garden Club’s Open Garden Days can be purchased at each garden, on the day of the tour for a donation of $4. Proceeds from the 2011 Garden Tour will benefit the Club’s civic beautification projects.

For more information about Belfast Garden Club’s Open Garden Days call Diane Allmayer-Beck at 338-3105 or Martha Laitin at 948-2815 or email a question to, or visit

Article written by Annadeene K. Fowler.