Garden Parade Hits Its Stride

For colorful summer fun, you’d be hard-pressed to find a better activity than the 17th annual Garden Parade, scheduled for July 11-12 in Stevens Point.

A perennial showcase of beautiful, eclectic and useful yards in Stevens Point will be opened to the public from 2:00 pm to 7:00 pm on Friday and 10:00 am to 4:00 pm on Saturday. This event offers great ideas and inspiration from plants, garden art, water features, and much more.

Visitors are welcome to tour landscaped yards at six homes in Stevens Point:

Victoria and Dave Ritland, 1756 Water Street. An enclosed shade garden got a dose of sun when a strong wind storm in the summer of 2011 took out two large trees. The couple has added sun-loving perennials to the shady mix as well as several weeping trees. See a hypertufa trough garden with miniature conifers and succulents, an enlarged pond, larger waterfall and clever art.

Jeff Morin and Brian Borchardt, 2101 Main Street. Making the most of a small yard, they created compact gardens designed much like the interior of the home. Architectural remnants and student sculptures intermix with an eclectic combination of woody plants and perennials, some of which come from family gardens dating back to their grandparents.

Chris and Julie Meadows, 2117 Main Street. Gardening has marked significant events in their lives: fruit trees are “trees of life” following losses; raised beds with berries, grapes, and spring bulbs celebrated the birth of their sons; vegetables, herbs, and more fruiting plants were added as the children’s interest in gardening grew; and several perennials are memories from the garden of Chris’ mom.

Jennifer Young, 1495 N. Larry’s Drive. The entire family is involved in creating yard projects, including a labyrinth, water feature, dry streambed with bridges, wood arbors, and trellises. Most use materials from their two-acre property. Stone walls, cairns, wood plants, and benches are among the features you’ll see here. Vegetables and flowers need to be deer resistant, so most are grown in containers.

Nutty Acres Greenhouse, 2650 Willow Springs Drive. After gardening for about 12 years, Chris and Tammy Lazare began growing and selling perennials. These beds offer color through the season, from full sun to full shade. A large pond, various fruit trees, grapes, and other food crops are highlights, as are whimsical metal figures and unusual art displays.

Sharon and Ronald Omernick 2753 County Road X North. This 30-acres hobby farm grows apples, cherries, raspberries, grapes, and organic vegetables, plus many food crops are canned or frozen. The couple makes maple syrup, harvests wood for heat, and raises chickens so tame they will eat out of visitors’ hands. Mature perennials flourish, as well.

Also returning this year is Art Bloom @ the Q. Gallery Q, located at 1108 Main Street, will celebrate its five-year anniversary with a collaboration between local artists and floral arrangers. Enjoy displays of floral creations inspired and interpreted by original artworks by the Q Artists Cooperative, and participate in the interactive exhibit.

The Garden Parade is co-sponsored by the UW Extension Portage County Master Gardener Volunteers, who will be on hand at each garden to answer questions.

Several displays and artistic activities will also be featured at the gardens, and “A Quilt of Many Colors” will be given away. Sewn and donated by the Piecemakers Living Room Group, the quilt will be displayed at the Meadows’ garden throughout the weekend. A garden showcase of unusual containers and art will be on display at the Young garden. Proceeds from both raffles benefit Central Rivers Farmshed.

Parade tickets are $10 in advance or $12 on the days of the parade. Tickets are available Jung Garden Center (5620 Highway 10 East), the Master Gardener Volunteers table on Saturdays at the Farmers’ Market (downtown Stevens Point), Gallery Q (1108 Main St.),Portage County UW-Extension (1462 Strongs Ave.), Stevens Point Area Co-op (633 Second St.), Shulfer’s Sprinklers & Landscaping (2430 Plover Rd., Plover), Village Gardens (2811 Porter Rd., Plover), and the Landmark Coffee Shop (102 South Main St., Amherst).

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