Open the gates to the spring garden tour
April 7, 2005
Victoria County Master Gardener
Have you ever been intrigued with what lies beyond a partially open gate? Do you enter, or do you not? With inviting surroundings, I just might step forward beyond the gate. In fact, being a lover of springtime and with an ongoing garden tour theme like "Nature's Beauty Beyond the Gate" I know I will enter the gate!
It is April and that indicates a number of things in the
gardening world. This month marks National Garden Month with home gardeners,
schools, businesses and communities across
The Annual Garden Tour, co-sponsored by Trinity Episcopal School and Victoria County Master Gardener Association - Texas Cooperative Extension, is the best of efforts to provide education and share the pleasures of gardening throughout the Coastal Bend. It is planned for 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, April 30, and Sunday, May 1.
This year the tour is "Nature's Beauty Beyond the Gate." It will provide inviting surroundings to welcome visitors through each gate leading to beautifully planned and kept gardens. Without exception, each of the gardens on the tour has a gate through which you enter to a perfectly pleasing garden setting. Some are hidden treasures, others are expansive; all will provide more than satisfaction that the gates were entered.
Typically devoted to publishing "ground rules and tools" on the first Thursday of the month, the most significant rule for this month is to attend the Annual Garden Tour. As co-chair of this event with local gardening expert John Fossati, I can assure you that beyond each gate at all five locations, there will be something to see for anyone interested in gardening, even those who just want a spring weekend outing on both days. Numerous gardening tool ideas will be visible in the gardens on tour.
The garden beyond the gate at the Robby and Tami Burdge residence on
Designed and planted in 1973, the Averill Duson gardens on
Of note is the dichondra, known by some as a weed, creatively planted in the stone cement sectional cracks on the patio. Small raised garden beds of vegetables, herbs and roses are hidden behind a decorative brick wall. A garden equipment workstation leads into yet another secluded garden of only green and white plantings as an extension of the inside formal dining room. Two garden structure dogs with mouth-held baskets offer flowers on the small patio flanked by callas, caladiums, begonias, and hostas. Dwarf mondo grass is strategically planted in between stepping stones for soft, dark green texture. These various small gardens behind several gates are compactly planted with design and flare. Container gardening training will be offered at workshops at this location during the weekend of the tour.
Two of this year's featured gardens exist in Old Victoria within two blocks of one another. Both home structures have been restored and owners noted for their preservation efforts. Descendants of the original owners of their now restored home, David and Kathleen Edwards have devoted equally as much effort to designing the surrounding gardens as they have in preserving the home.
The gardens on
Hidden behind backyard gates is a peaceful, tropical pool garden with bird of paradise, jasmine, a lemon tree, and a huge staghorn fern. A collection of bonsai plants is displayed on the driveway where bonsai workshops will be conducted during the weekend of the tour.
The gardens of Gary and Mary Hall on
The backyard garden beyond the picket fence archway gate has evolved over time with design elements created by the Halls. A quaint greenhouse designed and constructed in keeping with the turn-of-the-century home is a focal point. A newer brick patio and flagstone walkways invite visitors to a colorful setting of planted beds and containers. All are aesthetically in place amidst four water features.
"A little taste of a lot" best describes the
Sawyers gardens on Champions Row in Benchmark. Master Gardener Martha Sawyers
has designed and planted an array of color, size and variety of plants that
have come to life in recent weeks. The list could resemble a plant catalog, so
only a few will be mentioned. In the front are prolific foxtail fern, bulbine, a red yucca and several varieties of dwarf nandina. Beyond the side gate is an expanse of color and
texture. Ten Texas Superstar plant varieties can be identified including
several hibiscus, esperanza,
bluebonnets, and Belinda's dream and knock out roses. There are fruit trees,
four varieties of crape myrtle trees, striped cannas in the
So are you ready to step through the gates and take a look?
Mark your calendars and make sure you can do so by purchasing advance tickets
available this week from any of the five locations: Earthworks Nursery, The