Visiting established gardens offers the opportunity to see firsthand what plants grow well in the Lawrence area, which plants make the best combinations, what landscape plants really look like at maturity (instead of the cute little baby plants at the garden center), and how to deal with certain yard and garden challenges. The Douglas County Extension Master Gardeners are offering that opportunity through their biennial Garden Tour to be held June 3 from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. and June 4 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
The 2017 Garden Tour features seven private gardens, and a plant sale at the Douglas County 4-H Fairgrounds, 2110 Harper Street, Lawrence. Tour-goers visiting the plant sale may also want to allow time to visit the Demonstration Gardens at the Fairgrounds, although they are open to the public and free to visit any time. Tickets to visit the private gardens on the tour are $10 per person. Plant sale hours are 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. on June 3 only.
Location of the private gardens on the tour and complete descriptions of the gardens are listed in the tour ticket.
Private gardens on the tour feature a wide variety of plants suitable for the Lawrence area; landscape ponds, water bubblers, and other water features; creative solutions to slopes and drainage issues; different types of patios, walls, and paths; and unique garden art.
One garden features a dry creek bed, bridge, and arbor among meandering paths, fairy houses, and birdhouses. The gardener-owner is a self-described plant collector.
Another property features a multi-level backyard with flowering plants, vegetables, herbs, and a rain garden. The gardener-owner uses rocks to accent, naturalize, and provide erosion control in the garden.
One garden on the tour is in the country and features the most expansive collection of plants. Tour-goers interested in plant selection and ideas for plant combinations may wish to plan for extra time at this garden.
Tickets may be purchased at local garden centers, at the plant sale at the Fairgrounds on June 3, at private gardens during the tour, and online at douglas.k-state.edu. Signs will be in place to help guide tour-goers to the gardens over the weekend. Please respect tour hours.
Tour organizers also ask that tour-goers leave strollers at home. Carried infants may attend free of charge.
More information is available at douglascountymastergardeners.com and facebook.com/douglascountymastergardeners.
— Jennifer Smith is a former horticulture extension agent for K-State Research and Extension and horticulturist for Lawrence Parks and Recreation. She is the host of “The Garden Show.”