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(Photos by Carly Snell and Courtney Bitzan/Echo Press)

Tour of gardens set for Sunday, July 13

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life Alexandria, 56308
Alexandria Minnesota 225 7th Ave E
P.O. Box 549
56308

The annual Tour of Gardens is set for Sunday, July 13 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sponsored by the Douglas County Master Gardeners and University of Minnesota Extension, the tour features five Douglas County gardens, which may be viewed in any order in an open house format.

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Tickets are available at any tour location the day of the event. Tickets are $5 for adults and children are free. Hosts will be available at each site to guide visitors and answer questions.

For more information, call (320) 762-3890.

Virgil and Jeanne Batesole 408 Agnes Boulevard, Alexandria

This property dates back to the Hick and Kinkead families, who were early settlers. Virgil and Jeanne’s gardens reflect history and beauty. Located at the highest point in Alexandria, five lakes can be seen from their patio – Winona, Little Winona, Agnes, Jeanne and Henry. Hostas are surrounded by arborvitae, evergreens and pines. This property also features butterfly, damselfly and quilt gardens. Grapes, apple trees, cherry trees, a waterfall, a three-tier annual bed, and many individual beds can also be seen.

From the traffic light at Broadway and Third Avenue, go north, pass the Runestone Museum and Depot Express and head up the road, you won’t miss this garden. Don’t park on the road. Park by the house – watch for garden tour flags.

Harlan and Ceil Campbell

404 N McKay Avenue, Alexandria

This shade garden doesn’t lack for color. A fairy garden can be found on the porch. Window boxes can be seen at each window of the house. A cute potting shed in the side yard is surrounded by art objects, a small garden, and a patio with room for chairs and an outdoor stove. There are two miniature gardens, hostas, a bottle tree, a peony bed, and many annuals.

Starting at Third Avenue (County Road 82) and Broadway, travel east 1.3 miles on County Road 82, turn left (north) on McKay Avenue, travel 0.5 miles, cross railroad tracks, house is on the left side of street (just past Geneva Road). Parking at the Discovery School is allowed, or park in back of the house.

Ronald and Daisy Stahlberg 105 Sumac Drive, Alexandria

This pocket garden asks you to slowly stroll and look. It features hosta, foxglove, weigela, begonia, lilies, wisteria, raised beds, rose bed by the curb, shrubs, ferns, tiger eye, straw bale garden, rain chain and pots. A lot is packed into a small space.

Starting at Third Avenue (County Road 82) and Broadway, travel east 2.2 miles on County Road 82, turn left on Linden Avenue (watch for Geneva Lakes sign), travel 0.8 mile, take second left onto Sumac Drive (this is a dead end road).

Jay Sieling and Deb Dittberner 312 E Lake Geneva Road, Alexandria

A 7-year-old rain garden is the feature. This rain garden stops hundreds of gallons of water from the neighborhood from draining into Lake Geneva. The garden contains swamp milkweed, purple coneflower, sneezeweed, iris and other native plants.

Also a block away is a community garden maintained by Mark and Carmon Watkins (owner of land), Doug and Mary Ellen Thompson, Jay Sieling and Deb Dittberner, and Mike and Paddy Sheldon. A huge selection of peppers, tomatoes, egg plants, zucchini, potatoes, onions, and more are grown in this garden.

Starting at Third Avenue (County Road 82) and Broadway, travel east 3 miles on County Road 82, turn on E Lake Geneva Road. Hints: On County Road 82 you will drive by CenterPoint Energy, then turn left (north) on E Lake Geneva Road at house with brown fence, go 0.3 mile; turn left, go 0.3 mile, turn right, go for 0.1 mile, house is on the left.

David and Loni Kjos

318 E Lake Geneva Road, Alexandria

This garden is a wonderful tribute to the memory of the Kjos’ daughter, Kelsey. A sign declares “My Happy Place.” Many flowers, garden art, a garden with all kinds of plants surrounded by unique boulders, a Memorial Garden in memory of Kelsey, a pullet garden, a fairy garden (look for the fairies hanging in the trees), daylilies, roses, Datura, the flying pig, wild ginger and art hanging from the side of the garage.

Starting at Third Avenue (County Road 82) and Broad-way, travel east 3 miles on County Road 82, turn on E Lake Geneva Road. Hints: On County Road 82 you will drive by CenterPoint Energy, then turn left (north) on E. Lake Geneva Road at house with brown fence, go 0.3 mile; turn left, go 0.3 mile, turn right for 0.2 mile, house is on the left.

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