The day was threatening, but the spirits were high. With a chance of showers, more than one member carried a n umbrella. But fortunately, the garden gods gave us their blessing and we made it through three fantastic gardens with no real rain, and even periods of bright sunshine.
The first home of the day was Jeanne Top. She had just revamped a major portion of her perimeter gardens so there were multiple new gardens to enjoy, including a new "patio in the woods" and a garden at the rear of the house that incorporated cattails that had grown up on their own.
Our second home was Evelyn Belzer. She has series of classic gardens including a beautiful arbor of purple clematis, banks of hydrangea, and a wonderful view of the lake that is incorporated into the conservation area. The sky did open up for a brief moment, requiring the deployment of a few umbrellas, but then quickly subsided.
Our third home was right next door at Sandy Kalas. The gardens surround her home include both classic ornamentals as well as native plants. She too overlooks the conservation area, but the main draw of her garden is the cute "English country-like" garden at her front door, surrounded by a white picket fence. There were hydrangea climbing the walls, a cornucopia of colors, and eye-catching bottlebrush buckeye.
At the conclusion of the walk, we all hurried into Sandy's which, due to weather, had become the new location for our Annual Picnic.
A brilliant, sunny June day emerged to provide us with the best possible conditions for our Annual Garden Walk. This year our walk was hosted by the FACE-IT boys we work with at the Depke Correctional Center. This is a project started 7 years ago and graciously funded by the Garden Club the entire time.
As Garden Club members arrived, one or more boys escorted them from garden to garden. They described their individual work in bringing the gardens into existence, pointing out flowers they knew, and proudly identifying their own "personal" plants (purchases of individual plants were made possible by the Club).
The boys were proud, and rightly so, of the four major gardens they had created, including flowers and a few vegetablres in pots (peppers and tomatoes). One of the gardens included a double pond with running water and it's own set of dragonflies, damselflies, and a visiting hummingbird. The tour also included big smiles as the boys described their construction work on picnic benches, recent mulching of the entire garden, and a new shed where they are able to keep their gardening supplies (the pond, shed and benches were a joint project with the Garden Club and Boy Scout Troop 78 Eagle Scout projects).
After the tours, Robert Cesar, Director of Depke, thanked the group for our ongoing support and described the significant positive impact the program is having on the boys. Ann Maine then described the seven year history of the program, its many accomplishments, and how more than 70 boys have been touched by the Club's work.
We concluded by mingling with the boys and expressing our own individual admiration and support for their work.