The garden Mark Schlueter and his wife Linda have spent years perfecting has something new to discover in every nook: a gargoyle resting in the sun, St. Francis with some animals, an unexpected gnome or a metal stork regularly splashing water into the pond. Schlueter is participating in the Woolwich garden tour next weekend.
Schlueter and six other gardeners across the township of Woolwich are pulling out weeds, mulching, mowing, trimming and pruning as they prepare to host the community in their outdoor spaces.
This year’s tour features seven private gardens ranging in size from postage-stamp size to large acreages, says Barb Smith, the organizer of the event. Besides the gardens, it will also include the Elmira Nature Reserve, land that volunteers with Trees for Woolwich are working to restore and make into a pleasant greenspace for residents.
“Some are very eclectic, some are very formal. Just whatever the homeowner wishes to do,” said Smith.
The point is to inspire visitors for their own gardens at home. Smith says this year none of the gardens are cared for by hired help (though she says one of the gardeners works for a landscaping business).
“People want to see what people can do without expert help, so they’ll be glad to see that. They can get ideas for their own gardens. They’ll say, hey, if she can do it, I can do it,” said Smith.
The self-guided tour will run from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday July 9. Tickets are $12 and can be bought by contacting Smith at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 519-580-7684.
Funds raised will support the Woolwich Gardeners activities which include taking care of flower beds and hanging baskets downtown, hosting educational workshops and lectures, funding a scholarship for a student studying a subject related to horticulture and other causes.
“I think people will enjoy it, enjoy the tour. It’s always a great day to get out and see what’s in somebody else’s backyard and get some ideas for your own backyard,” said Smith.