May 1, 2015
By: Marilyn Larson
Maclay Gardens Tour. Photo by Betsy Kellenberger
Where do you go to get inspiration for your garden? Books and magazines offer beautiful pictures that stimulate ideas, but many times your result is not as appealing as the pictures. Garden clubs, local nurseries, public gardens, Leon County Extension office and Master Gardeners are options where gardeners can find information about new plant cultivars and standard varieties of annuals, perennials and shrubs. Another local option is the annual Maclay Tour of Gardens planned for May 16, 2015.
Are you yearning to make some changes to your garden, or maybe add some pizazz with bright splashes of color? Maybe you are looking for some new and creative ideas or tried and true examples for inspiration? Then treat yourself to The Maclay Gardens Tour of Gardens, sponsored by the Friends of Maclay Gardens, Inc., as a wonderful one-day event. This tour of privately owned gardens is a fundraising event and is a spring tradition for many gardeners in the area. During the self-paced tour you can leisurely stroll through specially selected residential gardens located throughout our community. You’re sure to come away with some new ideas which you can apply to your own garden. This is the only day you can “peek into private gardens” otherwise not open to the public.
Each of the home gardens has been selected to portray various types of gardens found in this area. Each garden is unique, whether more formal or cottage-inspired. Several on the Tour are waterfront and even though you may not live near a lake or waterfront, theses gardens will get your creative “juices” flowing! You may be inspired to install a water feature that you never before considered. You set the pace for your tour and route and at each garden Master Gardener docents are available to answer your questions.
The definition of “garden” is a planned outdoor space and the most common form is the “home” or residential garden. Every garden is different because it begins with a vision of how it will look and perform. The options are endless as to how one can put their vision to reality on a specified area of land, whether the whole yard or garden bed, through the use of plants, vegetables intermixed with ornamentals, and flowers. The array is endless, which is why the Tour is a great opportunity to view diverse styles of gardens and solutions to common landscape design challenges.
The Tour of Gardens begins at 9 a.m. at Alfred B. Maclay Gardens State Park, with a continental breakfast of fresh pastries, coffee and juice to be enjoyed along with live music by Big Bend Woodwind Quintet. The Tour of private gardens begins at 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Tickets are $25.00 in advance or $30 the day of the event, and may be purchased at the Ranger station at Maclay Gardens, local nurseries Espositos, Native Nurseries, Purple Martin Outpost, Tallahassee Nurseries and Wild Birds Unlimited. You’ll need a ticket to view each of the eight (8) gardens featured on the Tour.
Not only will you be able to stroll through privately owned residential gardens, but Maclay Gardens Park staff will be available to take Tour-goers on tours of the Maclay Gardens before embarking on the residential gardens included in the Tour of Gardens.
Marilyn Larson is a Master Gardener volunteer with the UF/Leon County Cooperative Extension Office. You may also email us at Ask-A-Mastergardener@leoncountyfl.gov with any gardening questions you may have.