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Take a tour of area gardens, July 8

Last year's Tour of Gardens provided a variety of landscaping ideas. (Echo Press file photo)

Are you looking for a great way to spend a beautiful, sunny summer day? Are you interested in seeing creativity and a big imagination combined with a passion for gardening and the desire for uniqueness? The perfect opportunity awaits you!

On Sunday, July 8, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., the Douglas County Master Gardeners present their annual Tour of Gardens.

The Tour of Gardens is a great opportunity to see a diverse variety of horticultural masterpieces right here in Douglas County. Six local gardens are included in this year's tour, each with its own individual style and theme.

1. Come see the different and unusual plants located at the Fette's. This yard feature calla lilies that have been in the family for four generations. You will also see a variety of cherry trees, dahlias, pink Annabelle, tiger eye sumac and, the real eye-catcher, the flapjack succulent.

2. For an opportunity to take home some helpful tips and tricks, come visit the Schmidt garden. The 24 tea hybrid roses are his real passion, but he also has 10-foot tall cannas, an assortment of tomato plants, three different types of raspberries and a collection of other interesting flowers. Don't forget to check out his unique underground watering system and greenhouse.

3. The Johnson's three-acre property is full of color and creativity. This garden is home to 240 shrubs, 150 trees, 310 daylilies and 90 hostas.

A small sample of what you will see includes a blooming magnolia tree, Japanese maple, pin oak, tulip tree, phallopia japonica and three varieties of peonies. The three-tiered walled garden, water fountain and pond are also highlights of this stop.

4. Do you have a passion for gardening but an overwhelming schedule? Check out the Drexler's garden for some ideas on quick and easy ways to plant a colorful and eye-catching garden that is also easily maintained.

5. Drop in at the Wenner's "WOW" garden, which was featured on Prairie Yard and Garden. This garden is home to many fascinating kinds of shrubs, trees and plants. It also features remarkable garden art made up of wooden stumps, boulders, rocks and mulch.

6. No garden tour would be complete without a stop at the Woodland Elementary School garden. This exclusive garden was supported with a State Health Improvement Program grant. It is the result of a strong partnership between District 206 Food and Nutrition services, Summer Compass, 4-H, United Way and Master Gardeners.

This garden provides exceptional learning opportunities for the children of the community by giving them hands-on experience in planting, growing and harvesting. All crops raised are served in the school cafeteria and donated to local organizations. An exceptional result of a joint effort throughout the community!

The cost to participate in this event is $5 payable at your first garden stop. Visit in any order, and spend as long as you wish at each stop.

For more information and for tour brochures, call the Douglas county Extension office at (320) 762-3890 or stop by and see us in the Douglas County Service Center Building at 720 Fillmore Street in Alexandria. Hope to see you there!