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St. Clair Shores

Be inspired on garden tour

July 30, 2014

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The Detour Street yard of Karen Woodard includes tiny homes, like these, for fairies to come and dwell.

ST. CLAIR SHORES — A lot can inspire a yard: a color, a flower or even a neighbor.

For the 21st year in a row, the Yardeners of St. Clair Shores are hoping a tour of local gardens and yards will help inspire fellow residents to make their yards beautiful, and earth and lake friendly.

“A lot of our gardens this year were recommended by friends or family members of the gardeners,” said Laurel Fowler, of the Yardeners of St. Clair Shores. “Members of our group just go and make sure that they have some earth-friendly features.”

This year’s gardens feature many pollinator plants friendly for birds and bees, raised beds, fruit trees and more.

“One of the gardens has raised vegetable beds, which seem to keep out the bunnies, which seem to like everything this year,” she said. “A couple of them have water features.”

The 21st annual Yardeners of St. Clair Shores garden tour will run from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Aug. 2. Those taking the tour can register and get a map of the homes at the Selinsky-Green Farmhouse Museum, behind the library at 22500 11 Mile Road, for $5 per person. Children are free.

Five earth-friendly homes are on this year’s tour, as well as the Selinsky-Green gardens maintained by the Yardeners and the St. Clair Shores nature garden in the strip of land between City Hall and the canal.

One of the stops this year is the yard of Karen Woodard on Detour, where fairy gardens and other tiny features fill the double-lot. Along with cherry, apple and pear trees, Woodard has several old trees, as well, where she has hidden tiny doorways for fairies to complement the two raised fairy gardens she created.

“They have little houses and a tire swing,” she said of the fairy gardens. “I just think they’re so cute.”

With two canines of her own, Woodard said her yard is dog-friendly and often hosts her friends’ dogs, as well, to romp among the perennials, trees and flowers.

“I have been here since 2008 and, really, I bought the house because of the yard, because I love the yard,” she said. “There’s so much room to do whatever, it’s just such a nice spot.”

She said she spends plenty of time in the yard and “usually every Saturday night, mostly family, but people are over and we either have a campfire … (and) the kids love to play on the hammac, so it’s just a fun kind of yard.”

And with gazing balls, a fire pit, sculptures and plenty of solar lights, the yard lights up at night, too.

“It’s kind of like my own personal park,” Woodard said.

New this year, members of the Great Lakes Pastel Society and the Lakeside Palette Club will be in each garden during the tour as “plein-air painters” creating new works of art, which will be available for purchase.

“There will be one at each garden painting the garden,” Fowler said.

Additionally, there will be a few vendors at the Selinsky-Green Farmhouse selling honey and metal sculptures.

“The money that we raise goes to environmentally friendly groups like the Michigan Nature Center, Wild Ones and usually to a local organization, too, like Clean Water Action and St. Clair Shores Community Garden,” Fowler said.

The event is held rain or shine.

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