Showcase gardens

Becki Lynch, Linn County Master Gardener, shares information about the group’s  Garden Walk: 

 

Have you heard about the new activity that the Master Gardeners in Linn County are offering?  We are hosting a Garden Walk on Saturday, June 14!  We hope that it will be well received, and plan on hosting a walk every year as a fundraiser. 

 

As you can imagine, we have a wealth of beautiful gardens to showcase, and it was a tough decision for this first year.  We guarantee that if you decide to go on the tour, you will get many creative ideas and helpful hints for your own gardens.

 

Since we know that we all have very different tastes, time, and space, the committee chose five gardens that represent a wide range of those elements.  So whether you have acres to play in, or a 1/4 acre lot, there will be examples geared to your situation.

 

To download a map,  just log on to www.extension.iastate.edu/linn and click on “1st Annual Garden Walk. “ Or, simply call the Hortline at 319-447-0647 and they will be happy to send you a brochure.

 

The hours will be from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., and the price is $5 per person or $10 per family.

 

And now to the fun part!  What gardens will be showcased this year?  Today, I will describe two, and will continue next week with the final three.

 

The Skripsky Gardens – 4296 Fox Meadow Dr. SE, Cedar Rapids –

Ellen Skripsky is a longtime Master Gardener, and won the award for Master Gardener of the Year in 2007.  As a senior, she is an expert on how to garden ergonomically, with minimal strain on muscles.  She has a “Kitchen Garden” outside her back door, which is a square foot raised bed.  She can easily harvest vegetables for her dinner table.  Ellen also is an expert with containers and has beautiful combinations of colors and ornamental grasses throughout her large city lot.  The mature trees provide a canopy and restful shade, particularly at the front of the house. 

 

The Ortberg Gardens – 317 Forest Dr. SE, Cedar Rapids –

            This property is the historic Armstrong Estate, and thus the white home is both elegant and graceful on a large corner lot.  Val Ortberg has refined and built on the beds that surround the house with an English historic garden design theme.  The property has gentle slopes, and she combines myriad perennials with urns, fountain and iron fencing to provide that old world feel.  The beds range from sun to shade, with a color pallet emphasizing pastels.

 

Even if you are not a gardener, come to view the gardens of those who love to plan and beautify their corner of the world.

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