Since 2014 Sally Barnett and Mary Watson have spent hundreds of tireless hours dedicated to the success of bringing The Garden Conservancy’s Open Days program to Jacksonville each year.
Open Days unlock the gates to local private gardens, fueling the public’s passion for gardens and gardening through self-guided tours and special programs presented by experts in many fields.
Because of their leadership, Sally and Mary have raised nearly $20,000 and welcomed more than 650 guests in the 5 years this program has been in Jacksonville.
This year’s event was held on Saturday, April 14. It raised more than $7,000 and welcomed nearly 250 visitors, seeing more than 50% increase in both dollars raised and participation. This increase was due in part to the Southern Garden History Society holding their 36th Annual Meeting in Jacksonville this year. Guests toured four beautiful private home gardens and enjoyed gorgeous Jacksonville weather.
The same weekend the Museum was surprised to be gifted two significant donations from national garden organizations, The Garden Conservancy and The Garden Club of America. These gifts, totaling $30,000, will help fund the reconstruction of the historic Cummer Gardens, which were severely damaged during Hurricane Irma.