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Barbara Lombardo of Saratoga Springs, NY, is a journalism adjunct at University at Albany and retired executive editor of The Saratogian, The Record and the Community News. Follow her on Twitter @Barb_Lombardo.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Sowing the seeds for the next Secret Gardens Tour

After I agreed to teach a journalism class again next fall at University of Albany, I vowed to take on fewer extra-curricular activities.
Then Lyn Whaley called.
“Stacie will co-chair if you co-chair,” said the incoming president of Soroptimist International of Saratoga County.
She was talking about the group’s 2013 Secret Gardens Tour, for which work begins now. She made the same pitch, in reverse, to Stacie Mayette Barnes.
It worked.
First of all, the Secret Gardens Tour raises several thousand dollars for terrific programs and projects, including Domestic Violence and Rape Crisis Services of Saratoga County. And people seem to really enjoy the event.
Second of all, I am proof that you can be a lousy gardener but a successful garden tour organizer. This will give me more excuses for not weeding – or planting anything, for that matter. How long can I leave a bad of dirt in my yard and still make people think I am about to plant something?
Third, I dare you to say no to Lyn Whaley. I can’t. She does so much, how can I claim to be too busy? A longtime fixture in the Saratoga Springs school system, for years she provided The Saratogian with promising interns from the high school. And for years I’ve been a customer at her family dry cleaning business, Cudney’s. Besides, it was I who asked her to be a Soroptimist a while back.
Fourth, I will enjoy working with Stacie, whom you may know from Home Made Theater. We had a pre-meeting meeting earlier this week, and with an active committee and assistance from garden tour veterans, it will be another great year.
A great tour depends on great gardens, of course. So if you have any suggestions for gardens for next July’s 19th annual tour, and any feedback from this or prior years on the tour, drop me a line.

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