Clock tower among downtown sits to be adorned in blooms
by Stefanie Watson
The Hudson Garden Club celebrates the 75th anniversary of its Home and Garden Tour this month, marking it one of the oldest tours of its kind and in league with Charleston’s Festival of Houses and Gardens. The club, led by tour co-chairs Lori Deuberry and Carla Maurer, is organizing a two-day event, Friday and Saturday, June 16-17, to showcase the beauty of the historic town of Hudson to both residents and visitors.
According to Maurer, Hudson’s Home and Garden Tour dates back to 1947, when a garden club from Wooster was invited to tour Hudson’s gardens.
“In 1948, they opened the tour to the public and decided to charge 50 cents per person,” she said. “They collected $24.50 to donate to the community to help replace trees that had died from Dutch Elm disease.”
Today, the tour attracts thousands of visitors from the surrounding area and many from out of state. Proceeds from ticket and garden shop sales are reinvested into the Hudson community in the form of grants, scholarships, plantings and civic garden rejuvenations, book donations and educational programming. HGC has donated over $850,000 in the past 75 years, the club leaders said.
To celebrate the 75th anniversary of the tour, the club is collaborating with local florists to design “flower flashes” in various locations throughout town. Flower flashes, a concept first developed by New York City floral designer Lewis Miller, are spontaneous floral installations of overwhelming color and texture intended to spark happiness. Hudson’s flower flashes will be found throughout town in the weeks leading up to the tour.
“We were so fortunate to partner with talented local floral and design businesses for these installations,” said Deuberry. “Among our local floral designers creating flower flashes are The Greenhouse, The Red Twig, as well as Molly Taylor who will be decorating the gazebo on the Green.”
The flower flash event culminates with the largest installation on the Hudson Clock Tower.
“One of the most exciting new features of this year’s tour is the #flowertheclocktower event, which takes place the weekend of the tour,” Deuberry said.
The Hudson Garden Club raised over $8,000 from local donors and received unanimous approval from the city council for the installation. Visitors can also keep an eye out for a special appearance by the Clock Tower Mouse, who will be decked out in new garden-themed attire made by Katie Coulton, former owner of the Grey Colt. The club will also participate in the Hudson Memorial Day Parade on May 29, with a vintage VW van that will be flower flashed and driving through town.
The tour itself kicks off with a preview on Thursday, June 15, that will feature a cocktail party at House at Hudson, a home décor shop in the Evaporator Works complex. Featuring four homes and five exquisite gardens, the tour includes the extensive gardens of former club president and tour chairwoman April Walton. The Waltons’ gardens have been featured in national gardening magazines and publications and visitors can enjoy an optional boxed picnic lunch provided by Nosh Catering in their front yard alongside a lovely pond.
Also available during the tour, the annual pop-up Garden Shop and Secret Garden Treasures sale is open to the public and is located at East Woods Intermediate School. Shoppers can expect more than plants and garden items. The shop features patio furniture, household items and decor, as well as art, vintage and fashion items. Complimentary tea and cookies will be available from 1-4 p.m.
The tour is one of Hudson’s most visited events, requiring over 500 volunteers from the community who help make it possible.
“It’s really a community effort,” Deuberry said. “We couldn’t do it without all the volunteers who help us year after year.”
More information and tickets for the Home and Garden Tour are available at hudsonhomeandgardentour.org and you can follow the club on social media for updates. Deuberry encourages community members not to miss this opportunity to experience the beauty of Hudson and support the community through what is sure to be an unforgettable event. ∞
FEATURED IMAGE: Hudson High School rising senior Audra Lozina created this exquisite illustration of the Hudson Clock Tower bedecked in flowers. Life will imitate art this month as the Hudson Garden Club unveils floral treatments on the clock tower and in other locales around the city in honor of the club’s 75th year of hosting the Hudson Home and Garden Tour. One of the oldest events of its kind in the nation, the tour takes place June 16-17.