On Sunday, May 16th the UCCE Master Gardeners of Tuolumne County will host their Fifteenth Annual Garden Tour from 10:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. There are five beautiful and very different gardens on the tour. Proceeds from the tour fund the Master Gardener Scholarship Fund for Columbia College students, purchase gardening reference books for the Master Gardener Library, available to the public, and provide operating funds for the demonstration garden.
The Garden Tour began 15 years ago when former Master Gardener Gary Wood noticed a limited supply of gardening reference books available for use by Master Gardeners or the public. He suggested a garden tour to raise funds for books. The tour was so successful that it became an annual event.
Garden tour tickets contain a map with directions to each of the homes. There will be directional signs on streets and roads leading to the gardens. Master Gardeners will be on hand at all the gardens to answer any questions you may have about the display gardens, your own garden or gardening in general.
Garden Tour tickets are available at Columbia Nursery and Farmer’s Friend in Columbia, J.S. West Nursery, Antiques, Etc. and the UCCE office in Sonora, The Nest in Twain Harte, and The Old Depot Nursery in Standard. Tickets are $10.00 (children 12 and under free). Tickets will also be available on the day of the tour at the Master Gardener demonstration garden at 251 S. Barretta Street in Sonora, CA.
To make your tour more pleasurable, here are a few garden etiquette tips:
• Bring a hat, sunscreen, water, and wear comfortable walking shoes. It’s likely that the weather will be sunny and warm.
• You will be visiting residential neighborhoods and parking may be limited. Carpool if possible.
• Plan a lunch break and pit stops. Restrooms will not be available in homes (snacks and restrooms available at the demonstration garden).
• Bring a camera. Ask permission from the Master Gardeners on duty before taking any photos.
• Stay on marked paths.
• Do not clip or injure plants in anyway.
• No smoking. No pets. No strollers. No food. No litter.
• Turn off your cell phone or at least put it on ‘vibrate’ mode.
• And lastly remember to ‘Be generous with your praise, gentle in your criticism.’
Carolee James is a past president of the UCCE Tuolumne County Master Gardener program. She is also a member of the California Native Plant Society and advocates the planting of native plants whenever possible.