Seven local homes will be shown off on this year’s Yardeners Garden Tour in St. Clair Shores.

Seven local homes will be shown off on this year’s Yardeners Garden Tour in St. Clair Shores.

Photo by Patricia O’Blenes

Yardeners Garden Tour to return for 29th year

By: Brendan Losinski | Troy Times | Published July 27, 2022

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 Water features, conservation methods and garden art will be included in several of the properties shown on the 2022 St. Clair Shores Garden Tour.

Water features, conservation methods and garden art will be included in several of the properties shown on the 2022 St. Clair Shores Garden Tour.

Photo by Patricia O’Blenes


TROY — he Yardeners of St. Clair Shores are inviting the community to join them for their 29th annual Garden Tour on Saturday, Aug. 6.

Each year, the Yardeners host a self-guided walking tour of some of St. Clair Shores’ most creative and beautiful home gardens to encourage both community beautification and local conservation.

“We are just a group of local residents who like gardening and making the best environmental, Earth-friendly gardening possible,” said Yardeners member Laurel Fowler. “We’ve been doing it for 29 years. It was a group of master gardeners who got together, and they wanted to help at the Selinsky-Green Farmhouse Museum. Then they started to add homes to a garden tour to highlight native plants.”

This year’s tour will take place from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. It will begin at the Selinsky-Green Farmhouse Museum, 22500 Eleven Mile Road, where maps to all of the participating homes will be given out. The cost is $5 per person and no cost for children.

“They can go to Selinsky-Green on the day of the event,” said Fowler. “It is best to start before noon, so they have time to see everything. They get a map for where all of the gardens are and a description of each garden.”

Additionally, Soulliere Landscaping Patio & Garden Center and the Wild Birds Unlimited store will be on hand in some of the gardens in case attendees would like to purchase any featured plants or add decor to their own gardens.

Seven gardens will be featured on this year’s tour. This is the first year taking part for Sharon and Rick Khouri, of Ursuline Street, and both are excited.

“We’ve just been on the garden tour in previous years. We haven’t been part of it before,” said Sharon. “We’ve been talking with other people who have been on the tour, and they recommended that we try to get on it. … We applied after being invited. They came and saw it and continued to invite us to join.”

It’s also the first year for Jack and Tina Elsey, of Raymond Street.

“It is our first year on the Yardeners’ tour,” said Jack. “I had people telling me we should be on it, so we finally applied to join it. My wife and I have worked very hard on the yard, and we’re happy to show it off.”

Sharon said she and her husband tried to focus on native plants and local water conservation when putting their garden together.

“We have no lawn in the front. It’s all garden and pathway. Mostly native plants,” she explained. “We have three rain gardens which capture rainwater on the property through rain barrels and so forth instead of letting them go into the storm drains. St. Clair Shores gets overflows going into the lake a lot, so this soaks that water into the ground instead. We also just try to do everything in our garden as sustainable or regenerative gardening as possible. We want to improve the soil and use all natural care, so there’s no chemicals used.”

Jack said that they added a lot of homemade art decor and water features.

“It’s a very nice yard. I’ve got flagstone walkways with a small pond with fish in it. We’ve got homemade bird baths throughout the yard and other yard art that we make, such as a big bird made out of chain,” he said. “We have butterflies made out of coat hangers and PVC pipe. We have plants that bring in pollinators like butterflies. My wife actually raises monarchs. We also just added a new water feature.”

Both families said that there is so much to enjoy on the tour and it is a great way for others to find inspiration for their own gardens.

“If you are at all interested in gardening, each garden has its own personality, and it gives you a lot of ideas and things you might be able to use in your own garden,” said Sharon. “We are trying to highlight conservation a lot, so there are some great tips and advice you can pick up on through the walk. It’s a great way to protect the lake and the local environment.”

“It would be nice to go on the walk and see the different yards,” added Jack. “If you’re interested in getting some new ideas for your home or seeing what other people are doing, it’s wonderful. Seeing ideas can give you even bigger ideas.”

Fowler said there is so much to enjoy and hopes people will continue to take advantage of this yearly event.

“There’s such a diversity of yards in St. Clair Shores and what ideas people come up with for their gardens. We have Sharon who has two rain gardens in their front yard, which is very unusual. Two of them have that little strip between the sidewalk and street and they get very creative with them. … People have been talking about the pollinators that we’re losing, and all of our gardens are very friendly to bees, butterflies and hummingbirds, so they are great for pollinators.” she said. “It will be a great time.”