A panoramic view of Sally and Charlie Lewis-LaMonica’s garden and a recent garden detail. (Courtesy of Charlie LaMonica)

BELFAST – Open Garden Days, the Belfast Garden Club’s signature summer event series, kicks off Friday, June 24, with the spectacular garden of Sally and Charlie Lewis-LaMonica, two masters in the culinary arts.

The Lewis-LaMonica garden at 2 Northport Avenue in Belfast will be open to the public from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., rain or shine. Admission is $5. It is the first of 10 private gardens the club will showcase this season on most Fridays from June 24 to Aug. 26. Highlights include lavish residential displays as well as the striking gardens at the Penobscot Shores oceanfront retirement community in Belfast and at Oak Hall estate in Bayside.

Sally and Charlie Lewis-LaMonica, both graduates of the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York, managed restaurants together in Connecticut and New Jersey. For 24 years, Sally was chef for the president’s home at Princeton University; Charlie was a longtime executive with Restaurant Associates in New York and later Google’s food service operation, Compass Group. In 2012, when the couple purchased a double lot at Northport Avenue and Allyn Street, they set out to build the garden of their dreams.

A decade later, the one-third acre garden includes a fruit tree orchard, a meadow for native plants, and plots for vegetables, herbs and perennials. Working with designer Lee Schneller of Warren, who is known for her Japanese-inspired landscapes, the Lewis-LaMonicas have been able to knit together their garden’s disparate elements into “a seamless haven for people, birds and pollinators,” Charles says.

In April, the Lewis-LaMonicas were awarded Pollinator-Friendly Garden Certification by the University of Maine. Other features of the Lewis-LaMonica garden include a small pond and fountain, ledge dust paths, a meditation bench, and an outdoor kitchen with a wood-burning oven handcrafted from salvaged cobble stones.

For more on the Open Garden Days schedule, visit belfastgardenclub.org. A season pass may be purchased for $35. Proceeds support the garden club’s school programs, camp scholarships, library donations, and Belfast’s public gardens.