beyond the gate

Victoria Garden Tour
showcases six unique gardens
Gardeners' Dirt
October 12, 2012

by Debbie Krueger, Victoria County Master Gardener

Edited by
Charla Borchers Leon, Victoria County Master Gardener
Southern charm is at its best in Charles and Sylvia Rader's gardens. Note the Cora vinca bordering the sidewalk, the crotons reflecting into the pool and the mixture of tropical plants with stately oak trees.
Mary Sumbera's get-away poolside garden has palms, philodendrons, sedum and various eye-catching tropical plants. Of interest are custom-made trellises that complement garden accents and flower bed edging.
Hortensia Beauty basks in the plush foliage and sunshine in the mid-level gardens of John and Linda Elmore.
The upcoming Victoria Garden Tour is scheduled for Oct. 20-21. Victoria County Master Gardeners, along with Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service-Victoria County, are coordinating this event showcasing six unique gardens located in two general areas of Victoria.

Presenting sponsors are KAVU Newscenter 25 and Victoria Advocate.

There will be a highlighted plant sale Oct. 20 at the Hiller House at Keep Victoria Beautiful.

Make note of the following general tour information:

•Hours of the tour will be 9 a.m.-5 p.m. on Oct. 20 and 11 a.m.-5 p.m. on Oct. 21.

•The highlighted plant sale will be Saturday only at the Hiller House, 3003 N. Vine St. from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. with more more than 20 highlighted plants from the six gardens for sale. Come early for best selections.

•Tickets are $15 for admittance to all six gardens.

•They can be purchased in advance at Earthworks Nursery at Main Street and Airline Road; Devereux Gardens in Victoria, 1313 N. Navarro St.; and the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Office, 528 Waco Circle, Victoria Regional Airport, or at any garden either day of the tour or from any Master Gardener. You may also call the Extension Service at 361-575-4581 for information on tickets.


•Gardens of Mary Sumbera - 107 E. Buena Vista

Sumbera's gardens have been recently installed by Earthworks Nursery. What a beautiful getaway from the pool and water features to the outdoor kitchen. It is filled with native and tropical plants, such as blackfoot daisy, dragon's blood sedum, variegated vitex and Mexican mint marigold, which are all highlighted for the plant sale.

A pathway of crushed granite is surrounded by varieties of philodendrons and elephant ears. The smell of Confederate jasmine on a uniquely constructed trellis is delightful. Also, you will need to check out Sumbera's fall vegetable garden filled with herbs and Mexican mint marigolds.

Sumbera loves to enjoy her backyard with her children and grandchildren.

This garden is sponsored by Earthworks Nursery.

•Gardens of John and Linda Elmore - 405 Roseland

The floor plan on this house was designed around huge Anaqua trees. Linda loves to experiment with new plants and designs, including the highlighted plants Japanese fatsia (Aralia), mirror leaf viburnum, Rangoon creeper and chocolate chip ajuga.

The gardens spiral down to multilevel areas filled with various plants and vines giving privacy to the entire backyard. At the end of the yard is one of Linda's pieces of art work (a sculpture of a pig) she obtained from artist Walt Horton, of New Mexico. This oversized bronze beauty is named "Hortensia Beauty" and is resting in the gardens - basking in the sun. She has brought smiles to many faces.

This garden character illustrates how everything in your garden does not have to be live plants. That is what makes gardening interesting. You can give it your own special touch. Don't forget to wave to "Hortensia Beauty" as you exit.

At the lowest garden level is a fall vegetable garden in raised beds John enjoys spending time planting. Check it out to see what he has growing.

This garden is sponsored by Four Seasons Garden Center.

•Gardens of Charles and Sylvia Rader - 401 E. Warren St.

If you want to take a walk with Southern charm this is a garden certainly to visit. Huge oaks surround the garden lining sidewalks with Cora vincas and reflecting crotons in the pool.

Beautiful tricolor stromante greet guests at the front door. You can walk through arch ways, fountains and trails to capture old Southern charm.

How refreshing to be able to relax with a glass of tea by the pool with a cool breeze blowing at your face. Notice the "Twist of Lime" abelia in a pocket bed on the side of the house near the covered carport. The Raders' charming garden is sponsored by Renken's Nursery.


Three other gardens will be included in next week's article. Be sure to look for them - along with a 'pull-out wrap' in this Sunday's Advocate that will have more tour information.

$15 reasonable admit to six gardens

We hope you and your family/friends will come and enjoy yourselves next Saturday or Sunday on the tour. How else can you spend $15 and have two days to visit six beautifully landscaped gardens for new and exciting ideas for your own garden?

All proceeds from the tour will be used to help maintain the Master Gardener's Victoria Educational Gardens at Victoria Regional Airport.

If you have time next weekend, stop by VEG and venture through our gates. You will be amazed at what's inside - and be glad you did.
•  Oct. 20-21
•  9 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday; 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday
• Tickets: $15 for admittance to all six gardens
• Tickets available in advance at Earthworks Nursery, at corner of Main Street and Airline Road; Devereux Gardens in Victoria, 1313 N. Navarro St.; Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Office, 528 Waco Circle, Victoria Regional Airport.
•  Tickets may be purchased at any garden on either day or from any Master Gardener.
•  Call the Extension Service at 361-575-4581.

Saturday, Oct. 20 only from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
The Hiller House, 3003 N. Vine St.
More than 20 plants from the six gardens.
The Gardeners' Dirt is written by members of the Victoria County Master Gardener Association, an educational outreach of Texas AgriLife Extension - Victoria County. Mail your questions in care of the Advocate, P.O. Box 1518, Victoria, TX 77901; or, or comment on this column at