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Annual Old Louisville Garden Tours are this weekend

Photo contains greenery in a garden with a yard behind it.
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The tour will take visitors through 12 local gardens behind historic Old Louisville homes.

The Old Louisville Hidden Treasures Garden Tour offers an up close look at one of the nation’s largest Victorian neighborhoods. The event runs Saturday and Sunday.

Old Louisville was originally 48 blocks of Victorian houses built in the 1870s. Most of them have been restored and maintained.

Mathieu Nunery of the tour’s planning committee said that the tours attendees come from across the country, but it seems special to Louisville residents.

“Our residents are just fascinated by these big homes, and oftentimes you can't see what's behind them,” Nunery said. “That's why we've named the garden tour ‘Hidden Treasures’ because this gives you an opportunity to peek behind and see how owners have utilized the space and typically there's small gardens and very creative uses.”

Attendees can peruse gardens as well as the homes' exteriors.

“You'll find a lot of water features and just beautiful shrubbery and plants and groundcovers,” Nunery said. “People just enjoy creating a little haven from urban living that they can enjoy, and then visitors get to see that.”

The tours start at the Conrad-Caldwell House Museum and meander through 12 nearby home gardens.

The planning for the annual tour starts in September the previous year.

“We start scoping out areas of Old Louisville to focus on for the next garden tour,” Nunery said. “We typically have our first full scale planning meeting in November and that's a good time to start reaching out to sponsors as they prepare their budgets for the following year. Especially for charitable giving. Sponsors are a big part of the success of the event along with ticket sales, and then also we have what we call seed sponsors.”

The tour is celebrating its 29th year. Nunery said the idea for the garden tour was initiated in 1993 by two women – Virginia Erlich and Peggy Mims – who presented the concept to the Second Street Neighborhood Association.

“Truly, I just love Old Louisville,” Nunery said. “It's a unique and really special community.”

The garden tours are on June 10 and 11 from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m.

Corrected: June 8, 2023 at 10:41 PM EDT
A previous version of this story misnamed and listed incorrect dates for the Old Louisville Hidden Treasures Garden Tour. The event takes place June 10 and 11.