AAUW Garden Tour features four gardens

Garden Tour Wolters Color Scheme two.jpg
Yellow is the definite color theme at Rod and Teri Wolters' home and yard. John M. Steiner / The Sun

If you go

What: Jamestown AAUW Garden Tour

When: 4-8 p.m. Wednesday, July 17

Where: Four Jamestown residences, reception from 5:30-8 p.m. at The Arts Center

Cost: $10 advance; $12 day of tour. Purchase advance tickets at The AAUW Used Bookstore and Dakota Store, The Arts Center, Country Gardens Floral & Greenhouse, Don's House of Flowers, Comfort, Lloyds Toyota and from AAUW members. Purchase tickets on tour day after 3 p.m. at The AAUW Used Bookstore, The Arts Center and tour sites during tour hours.


Gardens on tour

Connie Kanwischer, 1601 10th Ave. NE

Don and Karen Schumacher, 3321 Hwy 20 North

Yvonne Wibstad, 306 5th Ave. SW

Rod and Terri Wolters, 908 13th St. SW


Garden lovers will find small and large properties when they take in the 30th annual AAUW Garden Tour on Wednesday, July 17, in Jamestown.


Sponsored by Jamestown AAUW, the annual garden tour raises funds for the AAUW Endowment Fund at the University of Jamestown and the AAUW Foundation which provides grants and funding for projects that promote equity for women and girls.

Here are bits and pieces from the four gardens on the tour.

Don and Karen Schumacher

The Schumachers have lived on their large property for about 25 years and Karen says it’s been a gradual process to add gardens and complete projects such as the garage located further back on the property that she calls “Don’s man cave.” That, too, will be open on the tour.

While the couple usually have a vegetable garden, this year it wasn’t to be.

"It’s resting this year,” Karen said. “This spring was so late and we’ve had wildlife interference and so we just decided we’d let it rest. Every so often we let it rest just like farming.”

There are water features including a rock waterfall and pond, where a metalwork pelican keeps a watchful eye, and other unique garden art such as chickens, which belonged to Karen’s mother and are displayed in her memory.

“I enjoy going to different street fairs, Don and I both, to find original art, garden art,” Karen added. “So we kinda try to look for unique things.”


Karen likes perennials and annuals and trying different colors in pots. The Schumachers also have a variety of trees.

“You will see weeds on the garden tour, but as in life, there’s weeds,” she said. “Life isn’t perfect and neither is my garden. But we do what we can and make the best of everything and enjoy what you have.”

Yvonne Wibstad

Yvonne Wibstad moved to Jamestown in 1994 from Montpelier, is a retired teacher and says she can usually be found outside working in her small yard. Before she moved to Jamestown, she said she usually spent four hours mowing at her home and didn’t have much time to enjoy gardening.

“When I got here and got a small yard" she began enjoying gardening more, she said.

There were just a few evergreen trees, bushes and hostas in the yard when Yvonne moved to the residence. She’s made a number of changes to the property since then. She added two fences for privacy, a patio and a deck. In one corner, she plans to build a memorial for her daughter.

She had a little bit of help with landscaping, but has done most of the work herself, she said.

She said those on the tour will find lots of daylilies and tiger lilies. She has stepping stones, a “frog place,” a number of perennials and some potted plants.

“I love chimes, too, and just hanging things,” she said.

Connie Kanwischer

Connie Kanwischer likes rose bushes and the color purple. She’s not afraid to try new things, she said.

“I like to move things around, change things around,” she said. “So something that was one year, if it wasn't good, it might be gone or it might be moved somewhere else.”

One new favorite this year is a washtub with petunias hanging out in front of a pump.

“This year I have two fairy gardens,” she said. “I always make a different one of them.”

There are sentimental items in her yard, too - her grandparents’ gate and her brother’s tricycle.

Some of the items in her yard she made herself such as leaf stepping stones made from rhubarb leaves and a large birdhouse.

“I do a lot of craft things too and a lot of decorating things,” she said.

Connie also has a vegetable garden and makes salsa.

“I grew up on a farm and I’ve always liked to play in the dirt. I said it’s good therapy,” Connie said. “I lost my husband to cancer last November and so this year has been really good for me to dig in the dirt.”

She said the enjoyable thing about gardening is “to sit back and look at your result when you’re done, what it looks like. If it’s satisfying and pleasing, just to sit and enjoy it then.”

Rod and Terri Wolters

Rod and Terri Wolters like the scenic view from their backyard. They like it so much, they purposely added plenty of seating to enjoy it.

The Wolters have lived in their home for 15 years, after downsizing from their previous home when their children grew up. There weren’t many things to look at in the new yard at that time. A small island bed in the front yard, a small deck and a cement slab out back, she said.

“We started with a blank canvas,” Terri said.

Today, the yard has multiple flowerbeds, a vegetable garden, trees and a small pond. Terri credits her mother with passing on her design skills to her.

Terri said she likes color.

“I mix everything up,” she said. “When I go flower shopping, I don’t start out with an idea of, OK, I’m going to put this color here and this color here. I just kind of go and whatever appeals to me I start buying. So then I get home and I have all this laying in front of me and now it’s like, OK, now I’ve got to start putting it together. So it doesn’t bother me to have a variety of colors and plants. I usually have no plan when I start.”

The Wolters have about 30 pots and window boxes/shelves that she buys annuals for. She said they pick up a few perennials every year to replace ones that don’t come back but mostly purchase annuals.

Rod built the large birdhouses that are near the enclosed vegetable garden, which developed from a straight fence around it to the look of a rustic garden spot when they were gifted with an old gate.

Visitors will also see “the Roost,” a small building built by Rod that was designed to bring the indoors outside in a cozy way.

Related Topics: HOME AND GARDEN
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