The following is a republished press release from Cornell Cooperative Extension and NOT written by the Ithaca Voice … click here to submit community announcements directly to The Voice, or contact me at

Tompkins County Open Day

Saturday August 6, 10 am – 4 pm

Admission: $7.00 per garden

ITHACA, NY – Five very special private gardens will be open for self-guided tours for one day only on Saturday August 6. Each garden is unique, reflecting the personalities of the garden owners and include many unusual features.

Admission to each garden is $7.00. Proceeds from the Open Day are shared between the Tompkins County Community Beautification Program and the Garden Conservancy.

For more information, photos and directions to each garden, go to


Garden Descriptions

The Filios’ gardens, located on Cayuga Lake north of Trumansburg, are anchored by beautiful stone walls and outbuildings, including a potting shed built by Achilles Filios in the style of his native Greece. The gardens include many flowers and ornamentals, but also have a strong focus on food production. A very unique feature of the Filios garden are the “figgeries”, based on a technique for growing fig trees that the Filios’ observed in an English garden.

The gardens at Heron Ridge, also north of Trumansburg on Cayuga Lake, are exuberant, colorful and whimsical. The terraced gardens include stone features, container plantings, a tiny water garden, statuary, quaint outbuildings and beds of annuals and perennials. A boulder-enclosed vegetable garden is sited in a sunny spot next to the driveway.

The Lipari garden in Alpine surrounds an 1840s farm house with borders,  a vegetable garden, and orchard.  Borders of perennials and ornamental grasses are ornamented with old lab glassware perched on metal plant supports.  A dry laid stone wall anchors new gardens on the hillside, using local stone and large boulders as a defining element.

The Orcutt garden in northeast Ithaca is a suburban property that has been developed into a series of garden rooms that make their property feel much larger than it is. Plantings in front of the house include trees, shrubs, ground covers, ornamental grasses and perennials that were chosen for their low appeal to deer, as this area is not fenced and deer pressure is high. A woodland garden next to the pool is planted with a textural mix of shade-tolerant perennials.

The Manzano garden in Freeville are well-integrated with the topography near the house and the surrounding woodlands beyond. Slopes behind the house are planted with a mix of native plants, perennials, shrubs and ground covers. Carlton Manzano is a plein aire artist and dozens of his paintings are on display in a barn on the property which he built himself in the same style as their 1800’s farmhouse.

Michael Smith

Michael Smith reports on politics and local news for the Ithaca Voice. He can be reached via email at, by cell at (607) 229-0885, or via Google Voice at (518) 650-3639.