NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

PortWatch

June 11, 2014

Flower power

Local gardeners open yards for West Newbury tour

With so much to see and plenty of places to sit and relax, the owners of the gardens featured in a tour this weekend hope that guests will stay for a while.

For the first time in several years, the West Newbury Garden Club is hosting the West Newbury Garden Tour, featuring four properties on River Road and Moulton Street in West Newbury and East Broadway in Haverhill.

Along the Merrimack River, Cindy and Tom Fazio have spent 30 years working on their gardens, which are mostly inspired by Colonial Williamsburg in Virginia.

“My husband and I have always loved Colonial Williamsburg,” Cindy Fazio said, adding that they try to visit once a year. “We decided to build a copy of a home at William & Mary.”

The brick, Georgian-style home is accompanied by a garden house and other outbuildings that are modeled after ones at the living-history museum. A formal garden includes a white picket fence and paths made from crushed oyster shells.

But there is no hands-off policy at the Fazios’ house. Grandchildren and pets alike have free rein over the property, which also includes woodland areas, an orchard, a perennial garden and a replica of Winnie-the-Pooh’s 100 Aker Wood.

“It’s well-loved and well-used,” Fazio said of her property. “It’s fun for kids. There are little surprise things all around.”

The idea for 100 Aker Wood was born during a trip to upstate New York 25 years ago. Fazio was in a store when she spotted stone statues based on the illustrations in A.A. Milne’s original “Winnie-the-Pooh” stories.

“I thought they were so charming, and I decided to bring them home,” she said.

She placed them in a section of her yard that she thought resembled the 100 Aker Wood and created Eeyore’s house of sticks, Owl’s and Pooh’s tree homes, Roo’s play space, and other locations from the stories.

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