Many homes to enjoy on the garden tour

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Many homes to enjoy on the garden tour

Unread postby OwlCaboose2853 » Wed Jun 28, 2006 6:09 am

Many homes to enjoy on the garden tour

This railway is at the Fees’ home, the fourth stop on the tour. Year-round the train runs on a 200 foot track that is surround by miniature plants and bridges.

By Elaine Gagnon, Sugar Springs Garden Club Chairman
Gladwin County Record

SUGAR SPRINGS — The Sugar Springs Garden Club will host its Sugar Springs Garden Tour and Tea on Saturday, July 22 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

There will be five home on the tour with one of them hosting the tea.

The first home is that of Mike and Pat Thomas. When they bought the house in 1998, they didn’t realize the huge project they created for themselves.

The lakefront was totally transformed. It took two years to clear, and two more years to stop the erosion on the lakefront. The hillside is planted with many gift hostas from friends. Many plants were moved from downstate, such as Pat’s favorite peach iris. Seven types of ground covers were used from Pat’s old neighbor, Mary, who had a green thumb.

Pat is anxiously waiting for the first blooms from a 100 year old hydrangea transplant from her friend Jean’s centennial farmhouse. Mike installed a waterfall pond with some family help, and also built the bridge himself. The fire pit was built around a huge tree stump, which is one way to get rid of them. There is no professional work in the garden at all, which makes it so special to the Thomas’.

The second home on the tour is that of Ollie and Mary Lee Parker. This lakeside home has gone from cottage to full residence, but still kept the natural setting and ambiance of the up-north gettaway.

The Parkers have three gardens, with one being a five year old raised bed garden. The roadside and lakeside gardens were added last year and are good examples of shade perennial gardens. All the gardens were designed by Kim Francis if Country Garden Designs, and were planned to be both easy care and low maintenance.

They wanted to have something blooming in each season that they could enjoy. Guest’s will see a variety of plants in different growth stages. The Parkers enjoy being able to keep their surroundings as natural as they can so the grandkids can play.

The third home is a lakeside home belonging to Bob and Sandy Gardner. There are many hostas and perennials including a wildflower garden and many colorful annuals.

The fourth home is the gardens at Cedar Lodge. It is the weekend retreat of Larry and Nancy Fees. It has been a work in progress since they built it in 2000.

Filled with a wide variety of annuals, perennials, shrubs and trees, sun and shade plants, the garden has evolved from what initially intended to be a low maintenance escape to one that truly involves hours and hours of dedicated tending.

This home has something for everyone, features include a serene "English style" garden with stone bordered beds of roses, perennials and boxwood, a terraced lakeside topped with a tree house designed by the grandchildren, and the cozy gardens in front featuring a small pond and waterfall. But, the major attraction is the garden railroad inspired by Larry’s dad, Bob Fees, an avid railroad hobbyist and Nancy’s grandfather, Emmett Anderson, a New York Central railroad man.

Steam and diesel locomotives haul their freight and passengers on the year-round, 200 foot layout surrounded by miniature plants and a number of bridges, trestles and buildings. One featured train, Thomas the Tank Engine and his coaches, Annie and Clarabelle are sure to delight the young and the young at heart.

The fifth home is that of George Jurick. It is also the site of the tea. The garden was the passion of his late wife, Diane, who was loved and admired.

It is a shade garden and is about four years old. It contains many shade-loving perennial and annual plants. George’s family planted the hanging flower boxes and the garden club members put in his annual plants this year. His point on the lake is the perfect place to host the tea.

Bring an umbrella in case of rain, and enjoy the day.

The advance tickets are $10. Tickets are on sale at the Sugar Springs P.O.A., across from the Health Restaurant on Sugar River Road, City Hall in Gladwin, and the Northern Expresso Coffee Shop in downtown Gladwin. Tickets will be sold only at the Sugar Springs P.O.A. the day of the tour for $12.
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