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National Garden Week is a great opportunity to call attention to the many contributions gardeners make to the beauty and environmental health of our communities and nation.
In celebration of National Garden Week, the Lancaster Garden Club is sponsoring a free garden tour from 3 to 5 p.m. Sunday that features five of Lancaster County’s most beautiful yards. The club is also featuring these tours in honor of fellow club member, Betsy Steele, who was just inducted as president of the Garden Club of South Carolina.
Carolyn Tolson, garden tour chairwoman, has organized the local celebration of
National Garden Week for her club for several years. While it has observed the week in different ways in the past, Tolson said her favorite event is the garden tour. She is especially excited about the yards on Sunday’s tour.
“We have five individually different gardens. They were each selected for the variety they provide,” Tolson said.
“We enjoy having these tours and really appreciate the homeowners taking part in it,” said Lancaster Garden Club President Jackie Palmer. “We offer this tour at no cost because we feel it’s our chance to spotlight some of our local gardens and encourage others to become active in gardening as well.”
The homes on the tour include The Craig Farm Gardens, 1859 Craig Farm Road; Robert and Glenda Mungo, 1641 Craig Farm Road; Dan and KoKo Robinson, 568 Monroe Highway; Rex and Alice Walker, 2339 John Everall Road and Donnie and Peggy Little, 1241 Bradford Drive.
Craig Farm Gardens
Johannes Tromp, innkeeper at Kilburnie, the Inn at Craig Farm, invites visitors to step back in time while meandering along the trails and pathways surrounding the farmhouse and along the grounds of the historic home. A courtyard edged by landscaping stones is filled with azaleas, irises, phlox, peonies, Knock Out roses, salvia, gerbera daisies and marigolds. Boxwoods shaped in a rectangle design add clever interest to the common shrubs. A secret courtyard outlined with boxwoods and flanked with blooms of roses and day lilies features an inviting bench.
Across the road from the farmhouse, a circular stone pathway winds through a blend of roses, phlox and other blooms. Under the shade of tall hardwood trees, a picnic table offers a great vantage point to see streams that flow through the yard. A 1.5-mile trail with six bridges leads through the wooded area and over the streams.
Robert, Glenda and Chris Mungo
Strolling through the Mungo yard at 1651 Craig Farm Road, it’s easy to see a flowing Japanese influence. It shows from a selection of yard ornaments to a koi fish pond tucked behind a pathway flanked with Lady Hawks roses and tall whispy plumes of ornamental grasses. A small wooden bridge nestled between the plumes, along with the soft sound of trickling water, offers a hint of what’s ahead. The raised pond, lined evenly with landscaping stones, holds a variety of large colorful koi fish, common in Japan.
Five tall Nellie Stevens hollies, filled with red berries, create a screen that conceals the koi pond. Knock Out roses, Lora petulum and Joanna azaleas fill in and hide the pump that maintains the koi pond.
KoKo and Dan Robinson
Driving past the Robinson home, one simply cannot tell the secret that lies behind the tall shrubs and trees along the roadway.
Upon entering the driveway, an abundance of buds, blooms and grasses appear. This old-fashioned garden – called “Quiet Corners” by the Robinsons – is filled with such an array of plants that you may need to tour the garden twice to see them all.
Dan, a master gardener, has designed paths that meander through day lilies, perennials, bulbs, wildflowers and annuals. Remarkably, most of the species are labeled.
Alice and Rex Walker
Alice and Rex Walker’s home is a venture into the quiet Lancaster countryside, where the yards are spacious and vegetable gardens are common. The John Everall Road home place has all of that. A white picket fence surrounds raised beds of okra, green onions, tomatoes, cucumbers, zucchini and green beans. Their veggies are a treat for a couple whose marriage resembles a “Green Acres” storyline. Alice grew up in the city, while Rex has always been a country squire at heart. There’s also plum tree filled with ripening fruit and peach, cherry, red and golden delicious apple trees are slowly beginning to bear fruit. Horses greet visitors from behind a fence that surrounds the charming potting shed, wood workshop and tiny playhouse for the grandchildren.
Donnie and Peggy Little
Tall hardwoods offer shade throughout the Little's lawn at 1241 Bradford Drive. The canopy of leaves provides cooler temperatures for the grasses, ivy and shrubs growing below. Arbors and gates flanked with shrubs and perennials invite visitors to stroll along paths and into the back garden. Benches provide opportunities to relax and enjoy the view in this serene setting.
Songbirds also stop by to frequent the birdhouses, feeders and birdbaths along the way. The backyard patio and pool enable the Littles to unwind after a busy day.