Brown County Master Gardener Garden Tour: How does their garden grow?
The Master Gardener tour is held the same week each year. In late June, the gardens have time to grow. This year had heavy rain, but recently, New Ulm received plenty of sun to help promote growth.
The tour is being held from 4:30 to 8:30 p.m. Thursday, June 20. Each year the tour features five exceptional gardens in the area. The name and location of the gardens are kept a secret. In order to find a complete list of the gardens those taking a tour must buy a ticket from Hy-Vee.
If you go:
Brown County Master
Gardener Garden Tour
Thursday, June 20
Available at Hy-Vee
The first garden on the tour is hidden away in a narrow backyard between the house and garage. The perimeter is lined with rock beds and a seasonal building is located in the center. Next to the garage is a firepit and chairs for entertaining. The garden is a great example of using space. Nearly every foot of the back yard is dedicated to the garden, but it makes the tight space seem immense.
The second stop is the only garden on the tour located primarily in the front yard. It is also the only garden connected to commercial business. The entire garden is visible from the sidewalk. The walkway leading to the house is flanked by flowers to invite visitors. Shrubberies surround the front deck creating a soothing environment to spend a summer’s day.
The third garden fits the hidden gems theme. The garden begins on the side of the house but opens up in the backyard. The garden features homemade material. The owners have a clay spinning wheel and a flair for creativity. A backyard patio area is designed to serve guests. Wisteria can be found growing on the alley side of the house, which is difficult to grow from seed, often taking decades.
The fourth garden is accessed through an alley on the south side of town. The entire area is fenced in with a unique gate design. Flowers grow along the fencing. The corner features a relaxation corner with outdoor chairs. The garden is an example of how to create a full garden in a smaller yard.
The final garden is on the north side of town and has a little bit of everything. A fairy garden surrounds a tree near the entrance. Stepping stones lead a path through dense plantings. A new herb garden is thriving on at the end of the path. In the far corner, the garden features a reimaging of the classic lawn flamingo made from metal.
Master Gardener Ingrid Liedman said each year the gardens are selected from a list of exciting gardens. A few of the gardens on this tour were identified during last year’s tour. This year’s tour has no specific theme, but by most of the gardens are located in secluded backyard areas and could be described as hidden sanctuaries.
Two of the five gardens need to be accessed from the alley side. Liedman said baskets with balloons will help people find the garden entrance.
Liedman said the main purpose of the Brown County Master Gardeners is to educate the public. Every Master Gardener is required to go through a continuing education course to stay on top of all things gardening.
The garden tour is a great opportunity for both veteran and rookie gardeners to learn through the example of what can be done with a home garden.
The tour is also a fun activity. Liedman said many going on the tour go together in groups. Visiting gardens is a great chance to take a break from the frantic part of life and enjoy nature.