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Master Gardener 16th Annual Spring Garden Tour

Master Gardeners of Tuolumne County will host their Annual Spring Garden Tour Sunday, June 26th from 10:30am to 4:00pm. As with years past, the garden tour will feature four very diverse gardens as well as the Master Gardener Demonstration Garden.

Tickets for the tour are $10.00 each (ages 12 and under are free). You may purchase tickets from any UCCE Tuolumne County Master Gardener and from businesses in various locations: in Columbia at Columbia Nursery and the Farmer’s Friend; in Twain Harte at The Nest; in Standard at The Old Depot Nursery; and in Sonora at J.S. West Nursery and Hardware, Antiques, Etc., and the UCCE office at 52 North Washington Street. Tickets will also be available the day of the tour at the demonstration garden at 251 South Barretta Street, Sonora. If you want to bring an additional friend who does not have a ticket, there may be a few tickets available at each garden. Arrangements can be made at individual gardens to tour only that garden at a discounted price.

Gardens may be toured in the order you choose. Here is a brief preview of two of the gardens. Next week we will feature the remaining three gardens.

The Harden Garden: Homeowner Ronda Harden was born and raised on this property. When she married, she and her husband built their home across the yard from her parents. She has been gardening on the property all of her adult life.

Over the years Ronda and her late mother combined their gardening efforts to create a foothill cottage garden. Between the two homes is a fenced, mini-oasis lawn area that features birdbaths, tree roses, shrubs and perennials. Surrounding this area are raised beds packed with trees, shrubs, perennials, biennials, annuals and bulbs. The garden contains over eighty species of plants! Look for penstemon, iris, Oriental poppy, foxglove, verbena, dahlia, pinks, crocosmia, daylily, weeping cherry, flowering plum, peony, clematis, alstroemeria, and roses-both old and new. There is always something in bloom in the Harden garden.

What doesn’t get planted in the ground thrives in pots that surround the two homes. Ronda adds more color to the summer garden with hanging baskets planted with vibrant annuals. At the back of the house a fenced vegetable garden is also home to songbirds that nest in the birdhouses placed on the fence posts.

The Cantu Garden: Nestled into the side of a hill, this garden is a marvelous, shady retreat on a hot summer day. The garden surrounds the house on three sides, with native oaks, Japanese maples, ginkos and dogwoods providing a dappled canopy for the plants.

Rock walls line the driveway and are used to create terraced beds in parts of the garden. Flagstone walkways meander from the driveway to below the house and on to the side of the main garden. As you tour the main garden slate benches offer seating to enjoy the sights. A flagstone patio area features a water feature and a slate table-perfect for an impromptu picnic! Highlights of this garden are the large boulders and rocks. While they look like they have been there forever, in fact, they had to be brought in and individually placed.

Plants that flourish under the trees are barberry, cotoneaster, Santa Barbara daisy, coral bells, ceanothus, mahonia, blue fescue grass and sedges. The Cantus also have a large enclosed vegetable garden in one of the sunny spots on the property.

On garden tour day, water will be available at all the gardens. Restrooms are only available at the demonstration garden. Please do not bring pets or strollers. Remember, for an enjoyable garden tour, wear comfortable shoes, bring a hat or sunscreen and don’t forget your camera!


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