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Norwalk garden tour is July 14

By PEGGY CASE • Jun 10, 2018 at 6:00 AM

We waited a long time for spring and now it's here for good with lots of flowers blooming. To enjoy some of these flowers in lovely landscapes, plan on joining the annual Master Gardener/Historical Society garden tour from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. July 14.

Six gardens, large to small, professionally landscaped to home-owner designed, are on display.

Tickets will go on sale June 23 at Schild's IGA Supercenter, 171 Milan Ave., and Firelands Museum, 4 Case Ave. On tour day, tickets will be available at both locations starting at 9:30 a.m.

This is a self-guided tour, rain or shine, and will cost $10 each which benefits the Firelands Historical Society. For more information, call 419-872-0124.

Mike Adelman's garden at the Queen Anne Way/Jeffrey Way corner, a couple of side streets off Executive Drive, is a man’s garden. It is a nicely manicured garden of restraint, with a lovely formal entrance flanked by matching pots of vines and annuals. Hostas are featured in many sizes and colors. The front is showcased with colorful shrubbery in early June with a living floral arrangement on his door.

The Adelman back yard is terraced with native stone and features limited grass-mowing and a hot tub. A black wooden fence and brick walkways add charm, while large pots of annuals spark up the patio. A fire pit suggests that this is a place to sit and talk, maybe eat some toasted marshmallows and enjoy pleasant summer evenings.

Jerry and Roberta Gormley's home on Jeffrey Way is more modern, built of beautifully stained brick. Flowers used in the landscape and in big, big pots were chosen to highlight the brick. The feathery Japanese maples also repeat the colors. Lovely hostas of various sizes and shades of green frame the house, while in back the patio enclosure is enhanced with climbing honeysuckle, trumpet vine and wisteria.

Other areas sport an interesting array of trees, flowers and shrubs. Succulents are displayed in clever ways, some planted in a large broken pot. Even more interesting, will be a collection of five restored vintage cars on display for your viewing pleasure.

Tony and Maria Alvarez's home on Rosedale Boulevard is a true hobby garden. The garden has evolved as interests and collections grow. Many ideas for displaying plants, many types of flowers and lots of creativity for you enjoy. Great curb appeal with bright Purple Wave petunias, richly planted pots, drift wood, hanging baskets and in back, water gardens, planted bird cages and other delights. Not to be missed is a fairy garden sited on a tree; actually a fairy world with everything you've seen on Pinterest and more.

The side yard is edged with a perennial border that will have lots blooming on tour day. In early June it was all iris, peonies, columbines and daisies. Among all the color is a host of hostas and succulents. Be ready to take notes on new ways to use plants.

Robin and Eric Rogers have celebrated The Ohio State University with plants and paint. Plus, some signs give evidence that former OSU band members live here; only true OSU band fans recognize these initials, TBDBITL.

Their home at 200 E. Main St. is just right for a young family. Not too much and lots of reliable perennials chosen to have something blooming in every season. Hostas of many sizes and colors, sedum used in new ways and good examples of knowledgeable gardening. Look for a bottle tree, a clever display of herbs, a lighthouse bird feeder and red, white and blue bunting.

The house and its trim are OSU colors; some of the plant colors echo the same song. And – the front porch bench, painted in OSU colors has a permanent guest, a bewhiskered, orange Dr. Seuss guy, the Lorax, lounging on it. Look for a mock-up of The Cat in the Hat's hat, made of flowers. And a wriggly caterpillar of flowers, all stuff for kids to enjoy, as Robin and Eric have two little boys, one aged 3 and one 8 weeks.

We've toured Don and Debbie Helton’s garden at 40 Maple St. before, so you are in for a treat again this year. Plus all the wonderful plantings of a few years back there are new additions, especially a new deck and pool. On June 1, when we checked out the gardens for the tour, it looked like they were completely ready for the tour, everything blooming, immaculately groomed and lovely. There were lots of peonies, early perennials and roses.

The bluebirds are in force – second hatching – the secret is an upside down bucket on the nest pole to keep the snakes and raccoons out. The little garden house, everyone's favorite, has been repainted and landscaped, and should go under the name of “She Shed” as it is Debbie Helton’s domain.

Every great idea you ever saw in a garden magazine is here. Every plant or flower you've ever coveted is here blooming its heart out. Be sure to see this garden in all its glory as it is wonderful.

Russ and Sharlene White's garden on Hasbrock Road is quite different, besides the usual bedding plants, hostas and perennials, they are building a wildlife garden of native plants for birds and animals around their pond. The pond was a result during building their house; they needed more soil for the lawn. There are many native plants in our own gardens that are beautiful: Coneflowers, liatris, daisies, asters, some lilies, grasses, cranesbill, goldenrod, black-eyed Susans, butterfly weed, columbine, milkweed, cardinal flower and others. Some of the natives that the Whites are using they have grown from seed they collected.

They consider themselves to be the victims of the soil and water conservation package, as many of the plants and trees originally planted from that package have over the years been regarded as invasive plants: Russian olive, tartarian honeysuckle, multiflora rose, burning bush, callery pear and others. They have been working to eliminate these and replace them with natives.

They moved to this site in 1987 and over the years, planted more than 60 trees on the land. There are 25 different kinds of apples plus pears, peaches and other fruiting trees. They dont sell apples, but many friends come and pick what they want. The Whites are welcoming you to stroll over the grounds and enjoy the trees and other plants around the pond. They expect this summer to be the first summer with good color from the natives they have planted.

There are lots of great homes with lovely gardens in Norwalk. When you drive around the area, notice how nice they are. Out on Schaffer Road is a nice 'along the drive way' garden and at 401 South Norwalk Road is another.


Peggy Case is a local Master Gardener, serves on the executive board of OAGC as an advisor, judges flower shows and has a small orchard in the New London area.

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