Home & Garden

Spring Garden Tour showcases beautiful work of Fresno’s gardeners

It’s spring, and that means it’s time to focus on gardening. Fresno County’s 250 Master Gardeners are ready to help. You can meet some of the master gardeners, seek tips, buy plants and tour six of Fresno’s best gardens on April 25 at the “Spring Garden Tour 2015” event.

The Bee caught up with the Master Gardener Association’s Chris Hays via email to find out more about the event.

What is unique about the 2015 garden tour?

This year’s tour is unique in that we have six gardens being shown, instead of five like most years. The other special thing is that all of the gardens are in the Fig Garden area. You could park and walk to all of them if you were interested in a little hike.

What garden is your favorite and why?

Each of the gardens offers something that intrigues me. I love the garden art at the The Terry and Kristi Cole Garden, constructed by Dr. Cole himself. The Japanese Maple collection at The John and Sue Kendall Garden is beautiful, and in an older, mature garden and lots of deep shade, they do so well. The overall Asian influence at The Celeste DeMonte and Neal Howard Garden is so peaceful and serene, with even a running creek to soothe the soul.

Name three things folks should keep an eye out for on this year’s tour.

The Tom and Angie Hyatt Garden is charming, with lots of beautiful hardscapes, including brick work laid mostly by the homeowners. They also have a fun collection of birdhouses built by a family member.

The Arlene Motz-Husband Garden has an interesting pedigree, a John Woolf designed home built in the 1940s. He was a very famous architect who designed many homes in Southern California. The garden also has quite a history, being a Thomas Church design.

The University House was included because many felt that our guests would enjoy seeing these well loved and much used grounds. This home and garden are used for many Fresno State celebrations, and numerous changes have been made to the grounds recently to make them even more party friendly.

How does the California drought affect gardening/gardens in the Valley, and does this tour address the water issue?

All of these garden owners have made changes to their gardens to reflect the way we need to be thinking about our garden care. There are examples of artificial turf, of drought tolerant plantings and of state-of-the-art irrigation systems.

Will Master Gardeners be on hand to answer questions this year?

We pride ourselves on having all of the gardens fully staffed with Master Gardener docents to answer questions from our guests. As always, we also identify all plants in the garden ahead of time and have labels with the Latin and common names on them. First and foremost we consider our tour a teaching tool, so we take pride in having many resources there to answer questions. We encourage photo-taking and we publish the plant lists on our website for all the use as reference.

Tell us more about the plant sale. Is this a highlight of the event?

Our own public garden, The Garden of the Sun at 1750 N. Winery, is a must-see. The demonstration gardens will be in their glory, and we also have an enormous plant sale on that day. One of the newest members of our group is in the nursery business, so she has been a big help in advising us on what is popular in the trade. We also propagate quite a few of the plants that are there for sale.

Anything else you would like to share?

I consider the tour to be a highlight of what Fresno has to offer to do on a spring day. I haven’t missed a tour in over 20 years!