Sounds greet garden tourists

Published 12:00 am Sunday, May 4, 2008

NATCHEZ — Amidst Spanish opera and Gershwin numbers, sightseers at Saturday’s Symphony Garden Tours event were treated to the sights of The Cedars Plantation and the sounds of singer Sable Rivera and pianist Christian McLear.

“It’s a wonderful event,” Karen Dardick said.

Dardick is the President of Grow Natchez Gardens and helped to coordinated Saturday’s event.

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Saturday’s concert was collaboration between Grow Natchez Gardens, a local gardening club, and the Natchez Festival of Music.

“The music and the surroundings complement each other,” she said. “It’s beautiful.”

And Saturday was beautiful.

As Rivera sang, girls in bright dresses and big dark glasses sipped punch and walked through the grass on the estate.

The older crowd sought the comfort of shade trees and lawn chairs.

The afternoon was something that had to be lived not simply attended.

David Blackburn, musical coordinator for Saturday’s event, called the concert an experience just before the music began.

“And being here in Natchez is an experience,” he said as a lizard caught an insect on a drainpipe. “It is a privilege to be here.”

Jay Owens, Grow Natchez board member, said she also hoped those attending Saturday’s festivities would be inspired to go and begin their own gardens.

Owens added that while many come to Natchez for the garden tours, she would like to see more in the community engaged in year-round gardening.

“It’s such a beautiful place to be,” she said. “We’re lucky to have it.”