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Eat lo­cal, buy lo­cal, grow lo­cal is the trend of the decade. And what could be more lo­cal than one’s own back­yard? With spec­i­men trees and flow­ers, herb and veg­etable gar­dens, and chick­ens, ducks and lambs roam­ing through sev­eral of the prop­er­ties, the six gar­dens on the 2011 Lyme/Old Lyme Gar­den Tour take the lo­ca­vore move­ment to heart, beck­on­ing us to re­turn to our roots: back home, and back to the land.

The tour prom­ises lov­ingly tended veg­etable gar­dens, peren­nial beds, and flow­er­ing trees; herb gar­dens that stand ready to en­hance a spe­cial recipe; and a botanist’s gar­den that seems more like an ar­bore­tum than a back­yard, ac­cord­ing to Ellen Cole, one of the or­ga­niz­ers. Vis­i­tors can learn how gar­den own­ers share their space with their an­i­mal friends and dis­cover the added ben­e­fits of keep­ing chick­ens at home — be­yond fresh eggs ev­ery morn­ing.

From a vil­lage home on the banks of a tidal river to a con­tem­po­rary dwelling high in the Lyme hills— the tour of­fers

32 vis­i­tors a day of wan­der­ing through six pri­vate gar­dens at the first blush of sum­mer, amid the coun­try set­ting of the lower Connecticut River Val­ley.

This year’s Lyme/Old Lyme Gar­den Tour takes place on Fri­day June 17 and Satur­day June 18. The self-guided tour runs from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and vis­i­tors should give them­selves about three hours to com­plete the tour.

Catered boxed lunches will be avail­able for $12, for those who re­serve by June 12, and a Gar­den Bou­tique will of­fer an ar­ray of unique and dis­tinc­tive items for home and gar­den. Ed­u­ca­tional talks, in­cluded in the ad­mis­sion price, will fea­ture gar­den­ing ex­perts dis­cussing such top­ics as or­ganic gar­den­ing, grow­ing your own veg­eta­bles and herbs, and rais­ing or­chids.

Tick­ets for the 2011 Lyme/Old Lyme Gar­den Tour are $20 in ad­vance, $25 the day of the tour. Ad­vance sale tick­ets are avail­able at The Bower­bird in Old Lyme and other lo­ca­tions in Es­sex. Those or­der­ing lunch should spec­ify which day they plan to at­tend.

All pro­ceeds from the Lyme/Old Lyme Gar­den Tour ben­e­fit the Child and Fam­ily Agency of South­east­ern Connecticut, a pri­vate, non­profit or­ga­ni­za­tion ded­i­cated to help­ing at-risk chil­dren and their fam­i­lies.

For more in­for­ma­tion on the agency or the Lyme/Old Lyme Gar­den Tour, call (860) 443-2896, ext. 901; email ly­megar­den­tour@sbc­; or visit the web­site at www.childand­fam­ily. com/gar­den­tour.htm.

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