The annual Tour of Gardens is Sunday, July 11 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sponsored by the Douglas County Master Gardeners and University of Minnesota Extension Division, the event features six Douglas County gardens, which may be viewed in an open house format.
Tickets are $5 and are available at any tour location the day of the event, or at the Douglas County Extension office in advance. The gardens may be toured in any order. Hosts will be available at each site to guide you and answer questions.
Barbara Williams, 807 Bryant Street, Alexandria
Barbara has strived for a country look with her challenging yard. What she calls a "plunk-it" garden surrounds the house and includes a water fountain, gazebo, numerous plants, rocks and petrified wood from her travels to Arizona.
Take 10th Ave. West off Broadway to Bryant St., turn north. Last house you see as you go down hill.
Richard & Linda Kellerman, 6758 Highland Circle NW, Alexandria
This stop features informal country gardens with perennials, lilies, herbs, vegetables and a year-round greenhouse, a delightful fairy garden, a gnome garden, a pond with gigantic fish, and many hostas.
Follow Nokomis/Hwy. 29 N to turnoff at Co. Rd. 42 (by Holiday Gas). Follow 42; turn off on Co. Rd. 34. Turn off at Highland Circle; 2nd house on left.
Larry Zilliox, 360 Karens Way NW, Alexandria
Larry, a retired Douglas County Extension Educator, hosts Prairie Yard and Garden and keeps busy traveling, working with the University of Minnesota, and operating a bed and breakfast at his home overlooking Lake Mina. His gardens reflect thoughtfulness, color and planning. Karen's Garden is a tribute to his wife. Hanging porch pots are set up with drip irrigation for water and fertilizing. He has several fruit trees, a blue garden, pond, grape arbor and native grasses. Be sure to find the hops vine. A half mile walking trail can extend one mile for the ambitious.
Take Co. Rd. 82, turn south on Town Hall Rd., travel 1 mile, turn west on Latoka Beach Rd., travel to Karen's Way.
Roger & Carol Thalman, 2100 White Oak Circle NE, Alexandria
This couple loves hostas. There are 700 plants with 380 named. Each hosta bed is themed, such as: Arbor Mist, Up Stream, Down Under, American Way, etc. This large lot has three planted islands containing flower beds and a salsa bed. Yard art adds to the charm of this garden area.
Take Hwy. 29 N to stoplights at McKay Ave., turn north on McKay, turn west on Whispering Oaks St., turn onto White Oak Circle.
Brian & Laura Wilson, 8375 Sethney Lane SW, Alexandria
The Wilsons have a 40-acre organic produce farm. They started a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) garden this year, which involves growing organic food and selling shares to the public who receive food through the summer and early fall. Strawberries are a big item, as are pumpkins. The Wilsons are adding eggs to their product list.
Can be reached from Hwy. 114 off Hwy. 27 W (go under I-94 overpass) or from Co. Rd. 40 off Co. Rd. 82.
Keith & Coleen Hoeschen, 8934 Sugar Sand Lane NW, Alexandria
This rain garden was featured on Prairie Yard and Garden. It's an example of what a lake owner, city owner and the municipality can do to prevent water run-off from going into a lake or other body of water to keep lakes clean for future generations.
Follow Nokomis/Hwy. 29 N to turnoff at Co. Rd. 42 (by Holiday Gas). Follow 42, turn off on Co.?Rd. 34, turn west on Sugar Sand Ln. (before Cozy Nook). Follow to #8934. Park on road.