Open Gate Garden Club to Hold Annual Summer Tour on Sunday
Seven gardens will be featured including English, chakra, lake and woodland plots.
Ever drive by a lush splash of bright garden and want to know more?
That's how organizer Debbie Tegard-Harroun discovered most of the seven gardens featured in this Sunday's Open Gate Garden Club 14th Annual Summer Garden Tour.
"I do lots of driving around," said Tegard-Harroun, who lives in Holly and visits Fenton frequently. She often sees something from the road that grabs her interest, or finds out about a unique garden through word of mouth.
"Gardeners are all lovely and wonderful people," she said. "They all like to share their gardens."
The Open Gate Garden Club will hold its annual event from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday, July 10. Tegard-Harroun encourages anyone with an interest in gardening to attend.
"They will find many new ideas," she said.
In addition, participants will be able to talk with the homeowners, most of whom did all of the work in their gardens.
"It's a wonderful day," she said. "We have people come from all over. It's a big draw for our community, and it gets better every year."
There have been as many as 600 participants. With the purchase of a ticket, people receive a map of where the seven gardens on the tour are. They can follow this route, directional signs along the roads or visit the gardens in the order they choose. Participants move at their own pace, visiting the gardens on the tour between the hours of 10 a.m. and 5 p.m., Tegard-Harroun said.
Master Gardeners will be able to answer questions and provide information, and plants will be labeled at each garden on the tour. It's less than a 16-mile drive to visit the seven garden on this year's Summer Garden Tour, she said. The gardens feature the personality of each gardener.
"Everyone is different. Everyone has different ideas."
Some of the gardens are smaller, while others are quite large, so participants are sure to get new ideas for their own plots, no matter what size garden they have, she said.
The gardens include three alongside lakes, including one with a waterfall. One has woodland ponds, and both shade and sun gardens will be featured. In addition, there will be an English garden on display.
"She's English herself," Tegard-Harroun said. "It's definitely something from her knowledge of gardens from England."
And a chakra, or healing, garden is part of the tour as well. This type of garden features colors, scents and a mixture of perennials for healing, soothing and meditation.
Another garden is in total shade, a woodland garden. It's not handicap-accessible, since it's built into actual woods, she said. "It's a beautiful garden, full of little, miniature gardens." These include a bunny, secret, fairy and "Mr. McGregor's" gardens.
Refreshments will be served at one of the gardens on the tour, and water will be available at each stop.
Children 12 and under can attend free of charge. Advance adult tickets, for $8, are available from Open Gate Garden Club members and from:
• Bordine Nursery, 9100 Torrey Rd., Grand Blanc
• Gerych’s Distinctive Flowers and Gifts, 713 Silver Lake Rd., Fenton
• Heavenly Scent Herb Farm, 13730 White Lake Rd., Fenton
• Holly Township Library, 116 N. Saginaw St., Holly
• The Iron Grate, 103 W. Shiawassee Ave., Fenton
• Yard ‘N Garden, 603 Silver Lake Rd., Fenton
On the day of the event, tickets are $10 and will be available at the A.J. Phillips Fenton Museum, 310 S. LeRoy St., Fenton, and at most of the locations listed above.
Next year's garden tour will move toward the Holly area, Tegard-Harroun said. It's been awhile since Holly was featured, and the tour generally focuses on Linden and Fenton or Fenton and Holly. Those who are interested in having their garden featured on a tour can fill out a signup sheet at this year's garden tour.
For more information on the tour, contact organizer Debbie Tegard-Harroun at (248) 634-8453.
The Open Gate Garden Club is a nonprofit group, and money it receives goes back to the community, Tegard-Harroun said. It emphasizes education and sharing the love of gardening.
Those who would like to attend an Open Gate Garden Club meeting can do so as a guest. Meetings are at 6:30 p.m. on the third Wednesday of the month, from September through May, at St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church's Activity Center. Meetings feature speakers, who share information on specific topics.