Seeking Beauty with the Maryland House and Garden Pilgrimage by Craig Fuller


The 81st Annual Maryland House and Garden Pilgrimage came to Talbot County this past weekend allowing hundreds of people to tour homes and historic sites. These tours in our county and throughout Maryland support the mission of the House and Garden Pilgrimage dedicated to historic preservation and restoration.

My part in all of this was small, but I’ve reflected on what I observed for the past couple days.

One of the homes on the tour belongs to good friends who live just a few houses from us. So, I helped transport those who came to tour the house by driving a golf cart. As hours passed, I met people going into Owls’ Nest on Canterbury Drive in Easton. Then, I saw them coming out.

They entered this beautiful home with great expectations. They came out with expectations seemingly exceeded.

In my three or four minutes with these hundreds of visitors, I found one common theme – they were searching for beauty. The wonderful thing is, they found it.

For the better part of a day, people could seek out the beauty of homes and gardens and find satisfaction. There was a smile on every face and anticipation that as wondrous as the experience just realized had been, the next stop might hold something even more beautiful.

I asked each group in my golf cart if they enjoyed their visit. They never just said “yes.” It went more like, “who couldn’t have a great time in the midst of so much beauty?” Or, “I just can’t believe how perfect everything was in that home.”

People of all ages participated. A number of people dedicated themselves for a day of walking in beautiful places who actually had great difficulty walking.

I’m pretty sure not one home on the tour had the 24/7 cable news shows running. And, I’m certain not one visitor missed the opportunity to hear the latest “Breaking News” tidbit breathlessly delivered. These folks had something more important they were seeking, at least for a day; they wanted to see beautiful things.

Events like this do not happen without great organizers, wonderful volunteers and, of course, those who open their homes to hundreds of unknown visitors. While the organizers will probably find ways to thank those who made a donation to tour the locations in Talbot County, it is we who should thank them for giving so many the opportunity to seek out the beauty in our neighborhoods.

There are Pilgrimages remaining in Cecil County and St. Mary’s County. For more information about these and the Maryland House and Garden program, visit their site. To learn more about their work in Talbot County, click here

Letters to Editor

  1. Pam Keeton says:

    This article was wonderfully written and captures the emotions of the day. I am the president of the Talbot County Garden Club and cannot give enough thanks to the hundreds of volunteers who made the event a smashing success, as well as th homeowners who opened their homes to hundreds of visitors and to the hundreds of people who bought tickets. I also very much appreciate the coverage in the Talbot Spy and Craig Fuller who both volunteered for and covered the event. The Talbot Spy embodies the value of a local media outlet.

    It takes hundreds of volunteers to make this work. We had volunteers from the Garden Club of the Eastern Shore and the Oxford Garden Club, as well as from the general public, and, of course, spouses.

    And visitors came from several states, as well as from our neighbors to the north — we noticed a lisence plate from Ontario!

    The Pilgrimage is our largest fundraiser and helps us maintain the Talbot Historical Garden, the children’s and fountain gardens at Idlewild Park, the gardens at Easton library, our junior gardener program, meals on wheels, arrangements at Hospice and so many more projects.

    And we also hope that businesses in Talbot County benefited from this event as well.

    Many thanks to The Spy for your excellent coverage!

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