The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

June 12, 2014

Walk to feature six gardens

By Brenda Council
The Clinton Herald

---- — Spring has finally arrived and released the tiresome grip of winter. It has taken a while, but things are finally starting to awaken and green-up with gusto. Everyone is full of questions as to why their plant has not started growing yet. It has been a slow start to the season, but the plants will catch up fast as the days warm. I am certainly enjoying the beautiful blooms of the spring plants on my travels around the city.

The Clinton County Master Gardeners are again sponsoring a Garden Walk in the City of Clinton on June 22 from noon to 4 p.m. I can think of no better way to spend a beautiful Sunday afternoon touring five private gardens and the Bickelhaupt Arboretum with family and friends.

My garden was on the Garden Walk of 2011 and what a fun time it was. Nothing is better for a gardener than to have someone come into your garden and enjoy all the hard work you have done. Gardens can be large or small, and people enjoy seeing how you have designed the area, and hopefully can take away a small idea to incorporate into their landscape.

On the Garden Walk this year, I think we have something for everyone. There are large and small gardens, formal and casual gardens, gardens with special features.

Garden No. 1: Ewing and Carol Miller, 3340 Allie Lane, Clinton. A beautiful formal landscape in front but the backyard holds a host of surprises like a small orchard and casual landscape and playground for family fun and enjoyment.

Garden No. 2: Dan and Carol Mabee, 215 Thorwaldsen Place, Clinton. The woods in this garden border an old Clinton estate, a pond is enjoyed by lots of wildlife, a more casual garden for enjoyment rather than display.

Garden No. 3: Bickelhaupt Arboretum, 340 S. 14th St., Clinton. Fourteen acres with nine specialty gardens, plant collections, and the Heartland Garden Conifer Collection with over 450 different species.

Garden No. 4: Don and Kathy Anderson, 1027 Carriage Hill Court, Clinton. This garden is unique in that some of it spills over into the neighbors’ yard. Kathy also maintains about 20 containers for more needy and unusual plants. Be sure to see this one, it started out with one marigold and a maple tree 30 years ago.

Garden No. 5: The Canticle, Sisters of St Francis, 841 13th Ave North, Clinton. This garden is situated on 40 acres of prairie in the middle of the city. The grounds are planted with tree varieties that provide a food source for many native birds. It has a small pond and gazebo surrounded by perennials. This is a beautiful garden to take a stroll and spend time in quiet thought and reflection.

Garden No. 6: Jerry & Regina Dahl, 2228 Roosevelt St., Clinton. This garden is a work in progress after the loss of a large tree in the front yard. The loss of shade has added challenges that the couple have met with a beautiful berm of sun-loving plants. They have also installed a pondless waterfall — come see how they did it!

All six gardens are labors of love for gardening. Feel free to ask questions, there will be someone on hand at each site. The cost is only $5 for adults (children are free) to view all six gardens and are available at each site. All proceeds from the walk go into the Master Gardener Scholarship Fund to be used for college students who wish to enter the study of Horticulture.

You can start the walk at any garden. Don’t forget your cameras. Enjoy the gardens!

Brenda Council is a Master Gardener, volunteers at the Arboretum and is co-chairwoman of the Garden Walk.