Meeker County Gardens tour scheduled for July 12 – West Central Tribune

LITCHFIELD – The annual visit of the Meeker County Master Gardeners will take place from 5-8:30 p.m. on Tuesday, July 12. The gardens are all located south of US Highway 12.

Tickets are $10 and are available at each garden on the evening of the tour and in advance at Stockmen’s Greenhouse, Meeker County Extension Office, Zion Lutheran and First Lutheran Churches in Litchfield. Proceeds from the tour will go to Zion Youth and MST USA. For more information, call 320-693-5275.

Master gardener Debi Decker threads her rings through a purple smoke bush on her property Thursday, June 30, 2022. Debi and her husband, Nick Decker, tend one of six gardens featured on the Meeker County Garden Tour of This year.

Macy Moore / West Central Tribune

Tour participants should dress for the weather and walk on uneven terrain. They must bring insect repellent and their own water bottles.

Two gardens are south of Grove City. #6 is on the west side of Long Lake and #5 is south on US Highway 4.

The other four gardens are in the Lac Minne-Belle area. Numbers 1 and 2 are along the east side of the lake. Garden #3 is a farm southwest of the lake and #4 is a few miles west of the lake.

Marlys Anderson poses for a portrait in her backyard Thursday, June 30, 2022. Anderson is participating in this year's Meeker County Garden Tour.
Marlys Anderson poses for a portrait in her backyard Thursday, June 30, 2022. Anderson is participating in this year’s Meeker County Garden Tour which runs from 5-8:30 p.m. on July 12.

Macy Moore / West Central Tribune

62150 200th Street, Litchfield
Anderson grew up on a farm and has always loved being outdoors and in harmony with nature. After she and her husband acquired their heavily wooded lake lot in the late 70s, she decided to create perennial gardens that didn’t require much maintenance. She gradually acquired many hostas with color variations – from lime green to dark green, blue and variegated with white. Look for Blue Cadets, Sagae, Sum and Substance, August Moon, Love Pat, Big Daddy, Striptease, Francis William, June and Montana Auriomarginata. Marlys also added other perennial flowers to her gardens for color. She hopes you enjoy the peaceful beauty as much as she does.

Nick and Debi Decker stand in their fully landscaped yard on Thursday, June 30, 2022.
Nick and Debi Decker stand in their fully landscaped yard on Thursday, June 30, 2022.

Macy Moore / West Central Tribune

No. 2. Nick and Debi Decker

19635 623rd Ave, Litchfield
Debi Decker is a gardener at heart. After she and her husband, Nick, purchased their lakeside home in 2011, she moved some favorite perennials from their old home to expand and personalize the gardens that were already there. She describes the gardens as an ever-evolving work of art. She loves the variety of trees on their lot, including Japanese, crimson and burgundy maples, massive birches, weeping evergreens, ornamental cherry trees, columnar poplars and the “grandfather” – oak tree. brambles. Look for white lilac, redbud and peegee hydrangea and many perennials.

A moth walks alongside a pedal of a tiger lily in the yard of Debi and Nick Decker on Thursday, June 30, 2022. The couple's home will be featured in this year's Meeker County Garden Tour.
A moth walks alongside a pedal of a tiger lily in the yard of Debi and Nick Decker on Thursday, June 30, 2022. The couple’s home will be featured in this year’s Meeker County Garden Tour.

Macy Moore / West Central Tribune

No. 3, John and Connie Thor

18254 610th Ave, Litchfield
John and Connie Thor, along with their niece Jayna Larrea, invite everyone to come to the farm and enjoy a garden maintained by “old people”. Discover a variety of raised gardens built with recycled items such as tractor tires, telephone poles and stainless steel sinks filled with herbs and vegetables. There are also flowers galore and whimsical garden art. You may even spot a fairy along the wooded trail.

Sandy, right, and Dave Dougherty stand in front of one of their garden decorations Thursday, June 30, 2022. The couple will show off their garden during this year's Meeker County Garden Tour.
Sandy, right, and Dave Dougherty stand in front of one of their garden decorations Thursday, June 30, 2022. The couple will show off their garden during this year’s Meeker County Garden Tour.

Macy Moore / West Central Tribune

#4, Sandy and Dave Dougherty

58620 CSAH 28, Litchfield
Dave and Sandy Dougherty bought their land in 2004 and were able to pursue their interest in gardening. They both inherited a passion for planting unique trees and plants. Grandmother Helen Anderson provided many different plants, including hundreds of fern peonies which are found in front of the house and in the vegetable patch. They also worked to revitalize the natural wetland to the east of the house, finding plants that grow in both wet and dry conditions.

Afternoon light highlights the intricate detail of a plant leaf in Marlys Anderson's yard Thursday, June 30, 2022.
Afternoon light highlights the intricate detail of a plant leaf in Marlys Anderson’s yard Thursday, June 30, 2022.

Macy Moore / West Central Tribune

19177 540th Avenue, Grove City
Donna Johnson continued to garden even after the loss of her husband, Larry, in 2015. She started with vegetables and moved on to flowers, gradually expanding the gardens. Some of the peonies in the center of her garden are over 48 years old. Over the years an old grain drill and farmhouse stones were added, along with other garden art birdhouses and feeders. There are several lovely sunny and shady gardens to enjoy.

Afternoon sunlight illuminates zinnias in a bed of perennials at the home of master gardeners Sandy and Dave Dougherty on Thursday, June 30, 2022.
Afternoon sunlight illuminates zinnias in a bed of perennials at the home of master gardeners Sandy and Dave Dougherty on Thursday, June 30, 2022.

Macy Moore / West Central Tribune

23976 549th Ave, Grove City
DuFoe and her husband have lived on the west shore of Long Lake for 21 years. They planted all trees and shrubs from seedlings, incorporating perennials and ornamental grasses. Each year they grow vegetables and hanging baskets of annuals to add color all season long. Concrete statues have been put together to add a whimsical touch. See if you can find Nessie, their favorite. They also have water features, feeders, and birdhouses throughout the yard. Please be careful where you step as the ground is uneven.

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