When you think about a master garden, you might picture colorful flowers, stately trees and well-trimmed shrubbery. But a model railroad, with pint-sized people in a village setting and a train trestle straddling a waterfall? Or a garden where barn owls, bats and turtles find a home?
You’ll see this and more among the five gardens in the Fresno and Clovis area that will be open to visitors for the 27th annual Master Gardener Spring Garden Tour on April 21. Garden enthusiasts also can take advantage of a huge plant sale at the Master Gardener Association of Fresno County’s public garden, the Garden of the Sun.
Master Gardens on the tour:
▪ The Putnam garden on Bluff Avenue has a G scale model railroad running throughout the back garden. The setting is complete with miniature villages, stations, and plantings to compliment the train collection.
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▪ The Kraetsch garden in the Woodward Park area is a lovely example of an updated 30-year-old garden, with extensive use of flagstone creating vignettes for entertaining. The legacy of Katie Kraetsch’s parents, both past master gardeners, lives on in their extensive collection of cactus and succulents.
▪ The Woodward garden features a unique sunken front garden, giving the owners a secret garden approach to their front door. The removal of the koi pond in the rear garden offered the Woodwards more space to meet their needs for relaxing spaces to entertain.
▪ Ramona Speer, a master gardener, and her husband Dennis have transformed a 1953 mid-century home and garden into an ecosystem for many types of creatures. They share their garden with barn owls, bats, turtles, etc. Ramona Speer’s newest interest is in iris, with over 500 varieties planted in their garden.
▪ The Boranian/Allen garden is located in Polo Ranch in Clovis and sits on two acres. They purchased the property four years ago and have transformed the former horse pastures into an Italian-inspired garden. Meanwhile, more than 3,000 plants – most of them propagated by master gardeners – will be available for sale at the public demonstration garden, The Garden of the Sun, at 1750 N. Winery Ave. Admission to Garden of the Sun is free.
Chris Hays is publicity chair of the Master Gardener Association of Fresno County.
If you go
When: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, April 21
Where: Five gardens in the Fresno and Clovis area and the Garden of the Sun, 1750 N. Winery Ave.
Tour tickets: $30 in advance, $35 day of tour, available at many local nurseries and stores and the Master Gardener website, Ucanr.org/sites/mgfresno. Free entry to Garden of the Sun.
Information: Call 559-241-7515