Next Saturday, May 26, the West Tisbury Church is hosting a tour of several up-Island gardens. All of the gardens are located on private residences and so, ordinarily, remain hidden to all but the birds and hungry rabbits and deer. But for one day the owners of these gardens have agreed to share the natural abundance they have created and tended. The event is a fundraiser for the upkeep of the historic church, itself a thing of aesthetic beauty.

The tour includes five gardens in all.

Trudy Taylor, the matriarch of the Taylor clan, lives in a house overlooking Stonewall Pond. Over the years her yard has become a perfect mix of natural material combined with stone and wild Island shrubs. Her home also has an attached greenhouse populated by several canaries as well as numerous plants.

David Geiger could be called a mad botanist due to his knowledge of, and experimentation with, hybrid plants. He and his partner, Dr. John Lamb, built their home, called Heron’s Nest, in Chilmark and David personally designed and developed the landscape. The house was recently featured in the Spring-Summer 2012 issue of Martha’s Vineyard Magazine’s Home & Garden.

Peter Norris began planting his four acre property in 2002 with species collections of rhododendrons, Japanese maples, hydrangeas and smaller groupings of mountain laurels. A grove of more than a dozen Beetlebung trees have, over the years, become a damp garden of ferns and other shade-loving plants such as arisema, trilliums, and epimedium.

Holly and Jim Coyne of Virginia are the present owners of the former home and gardens of the late Nina Schneider. The Coynes remain true to Nina’s original design and consider this a legacy garden.

Susan Leland has been quietly developing and planting around her home for 20 years with the help of her husband, Les. She has never opened her garden to the public before and so the experience of wandering the circular stone pathways leading through flowering shrubs, spring bulbs, herbs, and beds of perennials could be considered virginal.

Tickets for the tour are $25 and are available at Heather Gardens, Vineyard Gardens, and Middletown Nursery, as well as in the church office from Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Tickets will also be available the day of the tour at the church.

For more details, call 508-693-2842.