Garden party

Gallery on Gazebo will hold its "Rhododendron Rhapsody" garden party from 3 to 6 p.m. May 22, 2022, at a private property in Richland Township.

JOHNSTOWN, Pa. – The beauty of spring will be in full bloom at this party.

Gallery on Gazebo will hold its “Rhododendron Rhapsody” garden party from 3 to 6 p.m. May 22 at a private property at 166 Krings St. in Richland Township.

Event chairwoman Laura Huchel, a Johnstown City Council member, said the party highlights private gardens throughout the community and showcases creativity.

“This is our second time at this particular venue,” she said.

“We thought that it was so spectacular and there’s so many opportunities that we could offer an entirely new experience and still let people who weren’t able to attend last year see what a beautiful estate garden that exists on Krings Street.”

The garden – known as Winterset – sits on a 100-acre property and features colorful rhododendrons and seasonal perennials.

“While there are rolling hills and beds everywhere you look, it’s not a formal English garden,” Huchel said.

“It’s informal.”

“You’re not walking from bed to bed looking at carefully curated gardens.

“Each one has its own personality and character.”

She said the garden provides an opportunity to explore.

“It’s an enchanting experience, and you would expect it to be on the grounds of an English castle,” Huchel said.

“You definitely forget that you’re in the Greater Johnstown area. Because you’re really protected by old growth forests, and many of these rhododendrons were propagated by a previous owner of the property. We’re also offering this event later in the year, so we’ll likely see more rhododendrons in bloom than last year.”

When attendees arrive, they will be greeted by Jeff DeLisa, of Westmont, with his bagpipes.

For those interested, there will be two guided tours of the grounds led by horticulturists.

“They will take a look at what’s growing there, along with the different types of rhododendrons and seasonal items that pop up in the gardens at different times of the year,” Huchel said.

“There will also be a discussion on what companion plants can look like to make your garden beautiful all year long.”

Live music will be provided by Community Strings and keyboardist Rich Kangera.

Balance Restaurant will offer an array of catered specialties.

Fine wines will be served by Classic Elements.

There will also be a silent auction featuring garden art and creative gifts, and plein air artists will be at work throughout the garden.

In addition, a regulation croquet field will be set up.

“We hope people will enjoy a beautiful escape into a different experience from their everyday lives,” Huchel said.

“It’s magical and something they can remember and look back on as something very special. There’s a lot of small experiences tucked into the whole event, so I hope they’ll walk away with something that has really touched them.”

Proceeds will benefit ongoing projects at Gallery on Gazebo.

“We’re the only nonprofit arts organization in downtown Johnstown, and we’re trying to help the community be able to have accessible and beautiful arts,” Huchel said.

“There’s a lot of talk these days of ‘third places,’ and we certainly hope the gallery can be a third place for a lot of folks.”

The garden party is sponsored by Somerset Trust Co.

Those attending should wear comfortable shoes.

Donation is $50 per person.

Reservations are required by Wednesday and can be made online at Detailed location directions will be provided with the reservation.

For more information, call 814-243-2224.

Kelly Urban is a reporter for The Tribune-Democrat. She can be reached at (814) 532-5073. Follow her on Twitter @KellyUrban25.

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