Spend just a few minutes with Bobbi Strayer in her backyard garden in northwest Lawrence, and her enthusiasm for flowers becomes as crystal clear as the saltwater pool that’s surrounded by the hundreds of plants she loves.
She’ll eventually lead you to the plants that started her addiction: the hostas. A few plants in, and she was hooked.
“Before you know it, I just fell in love with it,” she said.
And the best part of Saturday’s third annual Tour Des Fleurs event, where several area gardeners such as Strayer showcased their gardens for area residents, was that she was able to talk shop with other plant aficionados.
“I get great ideas,” said Strayer, who last year toured other gardens during the Tour Des Fleurs. “It’s inspiring.”
Tickets for the tour cost $10, and participants received special discounts at several area nurseries throughout the day.
The event ended with a garden party at Clinton Parkway Nursery, 4900 Clinton Parkway, that featured live music and an auction, with the proceeds benefiting ECKAN’s Just Food Pantry.
Strayer and her husband, Ron, hosted about 50 guests Saturday. The visitors came by early, and the influx of garden admirers was only briefly interrupted by the midday storms.
Area flower-lover Kathie Stovall dropped by the Strayers’ home and swapped gardening tips with Bobbi. Stovall, who was taking the Tour Des Fleurs for the first time, said she was excited to see gardens she didn’t even know existed.
“You never get to see this driving around,” she said. “Every one is so different.”