Unseasonably cool weather and threatening skies could not deter garden enthusiasts as they turned out in record numbers for the Durango Botanical Society’s (DBS) 2019 Gardens-on-Tour. The tour was canceled for 2018 as the all-volunteer DBS focused its time and resources on building the new Arboreta on the north side of the library. That turned out to be prescient considering that the devastating 416 Fire subsequently started on June 1, 2018, just weeks ahead of usual June tour date. The delay only whetted the appetite of many. At least one tour participant was heard to say: “I really missed the tour last year; this is where I get my gardening inspiration." (Click photos below for enhancement. Photos courtest of Pete Varney.)
Inspiring it was as a variety of gardens were on tap this year ranging from the smaller, urban sanctuary of Annette and Bill LeMaire in Durango to the expansive properties of Michael and Sandy Bruce at Rancho del Perro Feo and the historic Barr Orchard property owned today by Eric and Alice Foutz. Panoramic views of the Animas valley and a stunning water feature were highlights of the Rick and Jane Anderson property while John and Theresa Anderson showed how a once muddy, new construction lot in Edgemont Highlands could be transformed into a highlands oasis. If you wanted to see how flowers can turn a property into a kaleidoscope of color you enjoyed seeing Kim and Ed Warshauer’s property. Marilee White’s property offered a unique interpretation of the garden aesthetic as “edible landscape,” focusing on fruit trees and other edibles. Much of White’s abundant harvests gets channeled into worthy local causes.
John and Theresa Anderson summed up the feelings of most garden hosts: “For passionate and avid gardeners there is nothing to compare to a day sharing your plants with friends who are committed to creating their own gardens filled with the beauty and vitality of growing things.”
Folks registered for the Tour at the library providing attendees with an opportunity to see the work of the new Arboreta, comprising the Arboretrum of larger trees and shrubs alongside the Miniature Tree Garden, both located immediately to the north of the library.
According to the tour committee of Connie Markert, Carol Wallace, Camilla Potter, Shirlee Krantz, Jill Hoehlein, and Barbara Johnson, 228 people purchased tickets, mostly online but many at the door. In addition to the hours put in by the committee, there were another 27 volunteers working at various gardens.
Additionally, a number of musicians and artists were sprinkled around the seven private gardens on the tour as well as a number of firemen who made themselves available to discuss fire mitigation strategies with homeowners.
Thanks everyone: Attendees, Firefighters, Musicians, Artists, Volunteers, and Hosts!
If the tour whetted your appetite for more gardening inspiration, consider joining the Durango Botanical Society or renewing your membership by visiting our web site’s membership page at https://durangobotanicalsociety.com/page-1513945