The Annual Garden Tours are Back

Taken in the annual AAUW Garden Tour for ideas on how to enhance your yard and garden.

garden tours
Take in the many ideas of the various garden on the tour. Picture taken by John Zvirovski 06/20/21.

The time has finally arrived again, the annual AAUW Garden Tours!! I was bummed we couldn’t participate in them last year, but then again last year was so far from the normal for any of us. This is one of the evenings of the year that I always look forward too! If I have said it once, I have said it a hundred times that you just can’t know something about every idea or plant material that is out there. Every time I go on a garden tour I learn about a new plant or design idea that I have never seen or heard of and it causes my mind to expand a little more.

Garden tours are good for anyone, whether you are an avid gardener or just a lover of those that can garden. The beauty that you see alone is worth the ticket price! I take in the garden tours for many reasons. One, I run into like-minded people who love to talk about gardening experiences, accomplishments and failures. Asa we all know, this year has proven to be quite challenging due to drought conditions. Many of us had numerous perennials, shrubs and trees that didn’t make it through the winter. So to see people’s successes through all of this will be inspiring if nothing else. Second, I love to see what people use for plant materials as we don’t all plant the same things. Third, you get to see new design ideas and that really creates my mind to begin to generate new ideas!

These aren’t the only reasons I go on the tours. There are often ideas one can get for patio or deck placement. Some of these can be quite elaborate and complex! Some people have gazebos and covered kitchen areas and other have arbors, trellises and an array of different and unique garden art that will grab your attention. Some gardens even have various types of water features from year to year and others do exceptional work with container gardens. You can have conversations with the owners of each yard and hear about their experiences and ideas. Often ask what has worked for them and what does not. Any gardener will tell you, there are always failures in the process of making a nice setting in the garden. Trust me, not of us get the achieved garden we want within one year. It is an ever-evolving process and one that gives you a sense of pride.

I’m sure this year will prove to be a great success as many people missed out on the canceled tours of last year!! This is the 31st annual garden tour that helps support the Jamestown Branch of the American Association of University Women. The funds raised help support the AAUW Educational Foundation and the AAUW Endowment Fund at the University of Jamestown.


The tour will run from 4 – 8 p.m. on Wednesday, July 21. You will not want to miss this! Tickets are $10 in advance to view four different gardens. If you want to break that down, that is only $2.50 per garden and I consider that a bargain with all of the ideas and information you walk away with. The gardens this year will be viewed at Mark and Dixie Lee, 515 13th St NE, Cara Lere, 501 5th St NE, Archie Oster, 714 3rd Ave NE and that includes the stadium gardens across the street that are tended by the local Prairie Rose Garden Club. Lastly, you will be able to view the Sensory Garden at Solien-Denault Park, 100 18th Ave NE. There is one additional garden to view at the 4th Avenue Bridge Memorial Gardens.

The 4-hour time frame will go by quickly if you take in each of these gardens. I try not to miss a year as there is something new to see each and every time. If you get tickets the day of the tour, they go up to $12, but still well worth the price. You can purchase your tickets in advance at The Arts Center, Don’s House of Flowers, Country Gardens, Lloyds Toyota and the AAUW Bookstore.

I encourage you to invite a friend along with you to enjoy a relaxing and enjoyable evening. In fact, treat them to a ticket to go with, the camaraderie that goes along with it is engaging. I plan on being there myself and I love to visit with others to see their take on many of the different ideas they will be exposed to.

Once you finish the tour, head over to the Arts Center at 115 2nd St NW from 5:30 to 8 p.m. for some refreshments and to see the latest exhibit in the gallery. Make a full night of it and experience the annual event of the garden tours. See you there!!

To read more columns written by John Zvirovski, click here.

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