LACONIA — Members of the Opechee Garden Club gathered at the Weirs Community Center Tuesday morning for a greens workshop where they put together dozens of holiday wreaths, arrangements and swag which will be available for sale at the Greens & Gifts Boutique which will be held Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Belknap Mill.
The arrangements will also be used to help decorate the featured homes in the "Homes for the Holidays" House Tour which is being revived by the club this year and will be open to the public from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. both Saturday and Sunday. This self guided tour features five beautifully decorated homes in Laconia and Gilford.
The historic 1823 Belknap Mill is headquarters for the event. Tickets at $20 may be purchased in advance at the mill, Laconia and Gilford libraries and Kitchen Cravings restaurant or the day of the tour at the mill itself.
Visitors to the mill will be tempted with a lovely variety of wreaths, swags, arrangements and handcrafted items for sale, and a raffle table of specialty items. Complimentary refreshments of mulled cider, coffee and home made goodies will be served.
Carolyn Temmallo, chairman of the event, says "the tour promises to delight and enlighten you with a true holiday spirit. Each of the houses boasts of creative ideas and beautifully crafted handmade decorations reflective of the home's era".
In Laconia, a gracious Greek revival style brick home with slate roof, built in 1911 was renovated in the early 2000's respecting the integrity of the original design. Chandeliers, stained glass windows, an ornately decorated tree along and fresh greens are only a few of the delights guests will experience touring this beautiful home.
The second Laconia home, an elegant and beautifully restored Victorian farmhouse, built in the 1800s will delight guests with a 10-foot tree decorated with cascading ribbons, candle lights, ornaments and tussie mussies.
The home is owned by Jim and Linda Belcher, who were recently presented with a Front Porch Award by the City of Laconia for the improvements made to the home. Linda was among those working with club members to put together Christmas wreaths and decorations and said that she was excited about the prospect of having so many visitors in her new home.
Before leaving Laconia, guests will tour a lovely contemporary home on Lake Opechee, designed by the owners, affords expansive views of the lake. Fieldstone fireplaces, etched glass doors, and many unusual striking decorations skillfully made by the owner will be enjoyed by all who visit.
Traveling to the historic Gilford Village, guests will be greeted with a red sleigh filled with holiday dreams and antique sleds at the oldest home on the tour. This charming farmhouse was originally built in 1832, and renovated in 1972 as a traditional European colonial home. Also located in the village, this 1847 dwelling, one of the original homes built in the village, which was expanded in 2013. This magnificently restored, holiday decorated farmhouse, with hand-hewn beams and country décor invokes images of a true 1800's Christmas
Judy Robertson, co-president of the club says "This is such an important event for our club. It provides the funds needed to support our scholarships, grants and community betterment projects throughout the year. Our talented members love creating the many greens arrangements, hand crafted items and decorations seen in the houses and the boutique. I know this year's tour will once again delight our guests."
Co-President Doreen Worthley added " We are so fortunate to have the support of the businesses and our neighbors in the community. Bank of New Hampshire is again our financial sponsor for this major event and we thank them for their continued support."
Taking part in an Opechee Garden Club Greens Workshop at the Weirs Community Center were club members Linda Belcher, Marilyn Lynch and Lynne DeVivo. Dozens of wreaths, swags and other holiday arrangements were made and will be available for sale at the Greens & Gifts Boutique which will be held Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Belknap Mill in Laconia. (Roger Amsden/for The Laconia Daily Sun)
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