St. Clair ShoresJuly 27, 2012
Stop and smell the flowers, and other native plants
By Kristyne E. Demske
C & G Staff Writer
They could be pulled from the pages of a Pure Michigan campaign, with water flowing through ponds, native plants attracting birds, and butterflies and trees shading the lawn.
But these gardens are those of your neighbors, carefully cultivated and on display for the 19th annual St. Clair Shores Yardeners Garden Tour, scheduled this year for Aug. 4.
Six homes will be featured on the tour, along with the Selinsky-Green Farmhouse Museum on 11 Mile Road, just east of Jefferson Avenue, where visitors can stop first to pay $5 for the tour and get a map of the locations.
One of this year’s locations encompasses three city lots and has vignettes throughout the garden. Another this year is just across the border in Roseville, near Gratiot Avenue and Martin Road at the home of a Yardener.
That home is located on a half-acre and includes rain barrels, composting, native plants and trees.
“She gets a lot of birds and butterflies, and she just recently put a pond in,” said Laurel Fowler, a member of the Yardeners of St. Clair Shores. “Her whole garden supports wildlife. She has solar panels. Her house is going to be really interesting for people.”
Homes on the Yardeners Garden Tour are always earth-friendly and try to take advantage of native plants, compost and rain, “so that everything is sustainable,” Fowler said.
“Most of our gardeners who are on the tour use earth-friendly methods,” said Joyce Janicki, another member of the Yardeners. “Very little, if no, herbicides and pesticides … and then, also, many of them have also done away with a good portion of their lawns so there isn’t all that high-maintenance lawn care, so it’s a healthier way to go.”
She said living next to Lake St. Clair is a perfect reason to cut back on chemical usage outdoors.
“We live right on the shore of this lake, and we’ve got to take that responsibility,” she said. “Not letting things get into the lake that we don’t want to be there. It’s all going to end up in the lake.”
The 19th annual tour will be open from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Aug. 4 and costs $5, with children admitted free. Fowler said there are usually between 200 and 300 people passing through the gardens.
This year’s tour goes all the way north to 14 Mile Road and Jefferson, and to the home in Roseville, with the rest of the tour clustered between 10 Mile and 11 Mile roads.
“The gardens that we have on our tour … these are doable things,” Janicki said. “People have a chance to talk right with that homeowner, too.”
She said all the money raised from the tour goes back into local gardening projects or conservancies.
Fowler is already thinking about the 2013 show, too, and said they welcome anyone who would like to participate.
“We’re always looking for more gardens,” Fowler said.
For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call (586) 415-7110.
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