Meeker County garden tour set for July 12

·4 min read


— The annual Meeker County Master Gardeners tour will be from 5 to 8:30 p.m. Tuesday, July 12. The gardens are all located south of U.S. Highway 12.

Tickets are $10, and available at each garden both on the night of the tour and in advance at Stockmen's Greenhouse, Meeker County Extension Office, Zion Lutheran and First Lutheran Churches in Litchfield. Proceeds from the tour will go to Zion youth and MST USA. For more information, call 320-693-5275.

Tour participants should dress for the weather and walking on uneven ground. They should bring bug repellent and their own water bottles.

Two gardens are south of Grove City. No. 6 is on the west side of Long Lake, and No. 5 is south on U.S. Highway 4.

The other four gardens are in the Lake Minne-Belle area. No. 1 and No. 2 are along the east side of the lake. Garden No. 3 is a farm southwest of the lake, and No. 4 is a couple of miles west of the lake.

62150 200th St., Litchfield

Anderson grew up on a farm and has always enjoyed being outdoors and in harmony with nature. After she and her husband acquired their heavily wooded lake lot in the late 70s, she decided to create perennial gardens that did not require a lot of maintenance. She has gradually acquired many hostas with variations of color — from lime green to dark green, blue and variegations of white. Look for Blue Cadets, Sagae, Sum and Substance, August Moon, Love Pat, Big Daddy, Striptease, Francis William, June and Montana Auriomarginata. Marlys has also added other perennial flowers in her gardens for color. She hopes you will enjoy the peaceful beauty as much as she does.

19635 623rd Ave., Litchfield

Debi Decker is a gardener at heart. After she and her husband, Nick, purchased their lake home in 2011, she moved some favorite perennials from their previous home to expand and personalize the gardens that were already there. She describes gardens as a work of art that are constantly changing. She likes the variety of trees on their lot, including Japanese, crimson and burgundy maples, clump birch trees, weeping evergreen, ornamental cherry tree, columnar poplar and the "granddaddy tree" — the burr oak. Look for white lilac, redbud and peegee hydrangea, and many perennials.

18254 610th Ave., Litchfield

John and Connie Thor, along with their niece Jayna Larrea, invite everyone to come out to the farm and enjoy a garden tended by "older folks." See a variety of raised bed gardens built with recycled items such as tractor tires, telephone poles, and stainless steel sinks filled with herbs and vegetables. There are also flowers galore and whimsical garden art. You may even see a fairy along the wooded trail.

58620 CSAH 28, Litchfield

Dave and Sandy Dougherty purchased their land in 2004, and were able to pursue their interest in gardening. They both inherited a passion for planting unique trees and plants. Grandma Helen Anderson provided many different plants, including hundreds of fern peonies which are in front of the house and in the vegetable garden. They have also worked on revitalizing the natural wetland east of the house, finding plants that grow in both wet and dry conditions.

19177 540th Ave., Grove City

Donna Johnson has continued to garden even after the loss of her husband, Larry, in 2015. She started with vegetables and transitioned to flowers, expanding the gardens gradually. Some of the peonies in the center of her yard are more than 48 years old. Over the years, an old grain drill and farm rocks were added, along with other yard art birdhouses and feeders. There are multiple lovely sun and shade gardens to enjoy.

23976 549th Ave., Grove City

DuFoe and her husband have lived on the west bank of Long Lake for 21 years. They planted all the trees and shrubs from seedlings, incorporating perennials and ornamental grasses. Each year, they grow vegetables and hanging baskets of annuals to add color all season. Concrete statues have been collected to add a whimsical touch. See if you can find Nessie, their favorite. They also have water features, bird feeders and bird houses throughout the yard. Please watch your step, as the ground is uneven.