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Christmas Tour in Ridge Spring

The Elise Herlong home on tour Sunday in Ridge Spring is shown with the only original planting (large magnolias) on the place before she undertook to create a lovely garden with a variety of trees and shrubs, including 3 magnificent hollies loaded with red berries.

Ridge Spring, through the Green Thumb Garden Club, hosted a tour of homes and churches on Sunday afternoon, Dec. 9.  There was a goodly number to see the two houses, four churches and The Arts Center “dressed” for Christmas.

The houses and older churches seemed to be the most popular. Many enjoyed the drive out on Ridgewood Farm Rd. to see the Elise Herlong Horne home, which was full of family history with lovely portraits, family photos, and the lingering memory of a homeowner who loved to entertain.

Three lovely tables set for dinner (or whatever meal was inspired) underscored this homeowner’s love of bringing people into her home.  Each table was special.

The late Mrs. Horne’s two children, Sylvia (who lives nearby) and Franklin (a doctor of renown at Johns Hopkins and given Mrs. Horne’s maiden family name) have kept the home in immaculate condition.

As mentioned in the tour brochure, the unusually large and healthy magnolias out front were the only plantings in the yard before the then Mrs. Herlong (first married to Homer Herlong) took on the task of bringing life to the garden.  The tall holly trees, full of red berries, at the entrance from the driveway brought “oohs” and “aahs” from Sunday visitors.

The Crys and Donna Lybrand home was warm and welcoming.  It was full of Donna’s handiwork.  As a friend of hers who was hostessing on Sunday said, “Donna is really crafty.” (And here she meant someone who does crafts often and well.) There were stockings on the mantel in the entry room that were handmade with special names on them; the Christmas tree was heavy with interesting ornaments, and each room had special touches, especially one bedroom where the walls were full of color blocks, brightening up a large space.

A special appointment, as one might say, was the cerulean blue Adirondack chair on the front porch, a perfect color against the yellow painted walls of the house. What seemed to be a small house from the front opened into a large home with many interesting rooms.

The only church that this reporter visited, due to many happenings on that day to cover, was the Lutheran church which always provides a special quiet and calm in its sanctuary.

Many thanks to the Green Thumb Country Club for offering this Christmas experience each year for those communities in the surround.