Garden Club announces this year’s Garden Tour

Published 11:36 am Monday, May 22, 2023


Garden Club of Danville

Spring made a hesitant arrival this year but at last it’s here for good. This is the busiest time of year for gardeners, but the Garden Club of Danville encourages you to a take holiday from chores on Saturday, June 10, from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m.

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Eight of Danville’s prettiest private gardens will be open that day for ticket holders. Garden tours are a fine way to be inspired and motivated. This is the club’s first tour since 2019.

You can roam at your leisure in any order through gardens large and small, formal and casual, even one streetside display. Some will be awe inspiring, others perhaps not your style, but intriguing anyway. There will be gardens to explore that you most likely didn’t know exist in Danville and all of them are packed with ideas.

The garden of Kathy and Stuart Wilson in Bluegrass Estates is a wonderland on one acre. They have made a creek, pond, and waterfall to enhance the natural environment, then added a bamboo forest, enchanted forest, prayer garden, and too many other features to list.

Imagination and creativity are on display throughout.

Gary Chidester is a retired landscaper with ideas galore. He and his wife Patti made an intimate new garden on a smaller property near Jackson Park. You will see a patio, goldfish pond, and a swing enclosed by evergreens and other plantings that make this a private world.

My own garden on Maple Avenue was started from scratch in 2015. The shade garden replicates a Kentucky forest floor, with drifts of native plants. The sunny border is a colorful garden for pollinators, while the rear of the property has been left semi-wild, with grass and native trees, including a paw-paw patch. The summerhouse in the center is a favorite warm weather retreat.

Two gardens will be open on St. Mildreds Court near Centre College. One is the deep, terraced garden designed by Ann Silver and Sheldon Tapley, the artists who have lived and worked there for 35 years, A shady patio with a fountain invites socializing, while a mini-meadow on the lowest terrace attracts birds and pollinators. The emphasis is on native plants.

Nearby, the small backyard of Diane and Charles Meshako is perfect for city living and reduced chores. With her degree in Landscape Architecture, Diane designed a petite four-season garden to be enjoyed year ‘round from the sunroom and patio. The ceramic fountain was designed and built by the Meshakos.

There is something to see in every direction at the large garden of Sam and Michael Swain off Waterworks Road. Five unique garden rooms surround the house, each with distinct features.

This is a mature garden, frequently updated in the past 38 years. Many ornaments have special meaning to the couple.

In 2002 Cynthia and Vaughn Frey bought this former farmland in Williamsburg Village where they built a distinctive home and have thoughtfully developed their traditional garden. A large Italianate fountain is the centerpiece. The landscape is casual with spots of formality, overlooking open acres where they often see wildlife.

The front yard garden of Diana Turner, also in Williamsburg Village is a distinct change of pace for tour-goers. Five years ago, Diana replaced her steeply sloping lawn with a terraced native plant garden. She enjoys watching visiting wildlife and birds as the seasons change.

At each of the gardens, artists from Plain Air Artists of Central Kentucky will be painting. Tour goers can watch them create artwork, ask questions, and marvel at the talent on display.

Tickets may be purchased in advance for $15 from any club member, at The Derby Shoppe & Raggs, 126 N. Third St. or Maple Tree Gallery, 225 W. Main St. On the day of the tour, June 10, tickets will be available until noon for $20 at Constitution Square or at any of the gardens. For more information, call Martha Caywood at 859-583-4805.