PITTSFIELD — After two decades of showcasing some of the city's finer residential landscapes, the Pittsfield Garden Tour's 20th year will be its last.
Organizers of the annual green-thumb event have announced July 16-17 as the final weekend for people to view the well-manicured gardens.
Dubbed the "Retrospective Tour," eight of the nine homes opening up to the public have been on past tours, with one new garden, according to the Pittsfield Garden Tour Committee.
Committee co-chairwomen Erin Sullivan and Cathy Congelosi say eight gardens is about average for the tour, but getting permission to tour them is getting harder and one reason for discontinuing the well-attended two-day event.
"Over the past few years, it's been difficult to get people to open up their homes to the public," Sullivan said.
Congelosi feels the event may have run its course, in part, because volunteers are finding it difficult to work planning and/or running the event into their busy schedules.
"We are very proud of our mission to showcase what Pittsfield has to offer beyond the downtown," she said.
However, attendance has never waned, averaging some 500 ticket sales each year, according to Sullivan.
"We have a very loyal following with some years larger than others, but consistent," she said.
The Berkshire summer weather has rarely been a deterrent for local garden enthusiasts.
"I remember in 2002, that Saturday and Sunday it poured both days," she said.
Proceeds from past tours have benefited art and gardening projects throughout the city.
The committee has made donations to Springside Park, The Colonial Theatre, Artscape and "Infinite Dance," an extraordinary sculpture unveiled three years ago in The Common on First Street.
Contact Dick Lindsay at 413-496-6233.