After a three-year hiatus, the Franklin-Simpson Garden Club resumed the popular garden tours of local homes and landmarks on Saturday, June 4.
Gardens need not be botanical wonders; sometimes a simple, quiet place with pleasing displays of plants that soothe and delight, that offer a green retreat from daily chores, is all that’s needed.
A good place to start or end this year’s tour was the Peace Garden located between the Presbyterian Church and the Cornerstone Building. A pleasant gazebo provided a shady spot to enjoy the galley style landscape. Refreshments, provided by garden club volunteers, were also available at the Cornerstone. The raised bed along the church back wall is being developed in support of Breast Cancer research with a pink floral motif on display from spring bulbs to fall perennials. Next to the gazebo, two crepe myrtle shrubs were planted in memory of two of our founding members. Need a peaceful moment, a place to snack or just rest? The Peace Garden is open to all.
Across the street at the Old Jail is a lovely butterfly garden and Monarch Way station for a break on their migration route … or to spend the summer with us! With lots of food plants for many pollinators, this area offers ideas for attracting these helpful insects to our own gardens. A pavement mural in front of the garden depicts the life cycle of the Monarch.
From the City Square, it was a short drive along West Cedar to Jan and Jerry Ausbrooks’ home. Pathways and foundations are lined with eye-catching displays of blooming plants. Among the many flowers are coreopsis, day lilies, cornflowers also known as bachelor’s buttons, larkspur, blanket flowers and swamp milkweed, which is a favorite of the Monarch and other butterflies.;
In shady spots are ferns and astilbes. Stones were used as ground cover to great effect at the Whitaker home on Rolling Road Drive. With sculpted greenery and raised beds, the front yard presents a dignified sweep of lawn while the backyard is divided into distinct parking and work areas again with the use of stone as ground cover to mark the areas. The lawn and shrubs provide an oasis of green as a cool contrast to the hardscape. An attractive patio with table, benches and umbrella, with hanging baskets and other containers of colorful flowering plants, invites visitors to linger awhile.
As with many gardeners, what started out as a small cottage-style garden embraced by curving pavers leading to the front porch soon morphed into multiple beds with pavers and stones outlining them at the Hall residence on South College.
Libby Hall said she used to grow different lettuces, mustard, kale and spinach right there with the flowers. However, the “salad” garden seemed to be taking over, so it has its own space in the backyard now, along with tomatoes, cucumbers, snow peas and various herbs. The shade garden is stalled for now due to development construction behind the homes in the neighborhood.
Rob and Kristin Wilson completed an ambitious plan to enhance their sloping lawn with stone walls that add elegance as well as multi-level terraces to benefit the many flowers that grace them. Along with a senior who needed a prom dress and all the accoutrements that graduation demands, these busy parents and homeowners managed to sail through with humor and “true grit.” A job well done on all fronts!
Hope you’ll join the Franklin-Simpson Garden Tour next year as we admire the efforts of our local gardeners who are busy as bees in that clover patch! The Garden Club meets the third Wednesday of each month at 1:30 p.m. at the Cornerstone.