Every year, at a prime time to walk through flower gardens, the Fairview Lakes Auxiliary invites plant lovers to their annual garden tour.
This year, set aside July 14 and plan to head north. Nine gardeners in Lindstrom, North Branch, Stacy and Almelund will welcome visitors from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
For a $15 pass, tour goers can visit the gardens and receive coupons for treats and discounts at area businesses. All proceeds support the auxiliary’s scholarship program.
The creative country garden of Norm and Linda Peterson of Almelund is one of the nine.
Located not far from Immanuel Lutheran Church and the Amador Heritage Center, the Peterson home is surrounded with gardens.
The Petersons started small, with one modest flower bed behind the house. But over the years the gardens grew. Now shade gardens beneath two giant maple trees dominate the space between the house and garage, and sun gardens stretch into the front, side and back yards.
At first, Linda says, Norm objected to “digging up more of his grass.” But gradually he, too, caught the garden fever and began using his woodworking skills to create the many raised beds, trellises and pergolas.
Each well-manicured garden bed is generously mulched with cocoa bean hulls. Linda says that plants are dug up and divided every couple of years to keep the hostas and other perennials under control.
Brightly colored annuals in unusual containers add splashes of color. The couple enjoys antique hunting to add new objects to their display.
A tiny fairy village, which Norm crafted from 1890s barn wood, adds a touch of whimsy. Other features include an antique water pump-turned-fountain, a sunken garden set into a hillside, and flowers growing in a box perched on top of a pergola.
On July 14 Master Gardener Gina Sapp will be at the Peterson garden to demonstrate how to grow and use culinary and medicinal herbs. Treats will include cool beverages flavored with mint and cookies made with rosemary.
Garden tour passes are on sale at all local Fairview clinics, the Fairview Lakes Medical Center gift shop in Wyoming, the Yellow Bus in Forest Lake and Crabtree Garden Gate in Marine on St. Croix.
On July 14, passes will be available at the medical center in Wyoming from 8:30 a.m. to noon.
For more information call 651-461-5710.