The Fort Madison Area Arts Association is hosting a garden tour of six locations with three in Fort Madison and three in Wever on Sunday, July 1, from 12-4 p.m. Advance tickets and maps are available at Gate City Seed in Keokuk; Hy-Vee, Kempker?s Tru-Value, and FMAAA gallery in Fort Madison; and Zaiser?s Florist and Landscaping and Weird Harold?s in Burlington. Tickets are available in the gardens at the tour as well as garden narratives, maps and water.
Wayne and Mary Starnes: 1422 Avenue D
The first thing Wayne planted 25 years ago was the sprawling Baldcypress in the backyard, but upfront is an amazing Ginkgo tree that he planted from a graft. Other trees of note are Canadian Hemlock and Juniper Red Cedar. Wayne has a passion for prairie grass with many species.
Artist in the Garden: Glassblower Jim Topic will add some sparkle in the location.
Chuck and Barb Wilkens: 132 High Point
The couple has been on the property for 16 years, and are always looking to ?keep it blooming.? Other than the rose of Sharon at the beginning of the property, everything has been planted by them. The first order of business afterward was the construction of the produce fence, saving the current crop veggies and new apricot and peach trees, from the voracious deer critters. The clematis on the fence leads to a decade-old dwarf Ginkgo.
Artist in the Garden: Chuck refurbishes antique chairs and will showcase some examples.
Pat and Janelle McCrabb: 2019 337th Avenue
The McCrabbs have moved eight times with each occasion giving Janelle a new blank canvas of landscape to fill. The red rhubarb is the only transplant, coming from her mother in Dubuque and her memories, perhaps moving along with her from home to home. Her father was a ?planticide? personality, mowing down fresh starts the family may have tried. She would grow plants from seeds and create stone barriers so the mower monster could not take them. Janelle loves heritage roses with over 15 varieties already on the perimeter. She teaches that smaller plants will take off quicker than larger ones from starts.
Artist in the Garden: Plein air painter Gin Lammert will document the scene in paint while Carlene Atwater roves various other locations with easel in hand.
Vic and Rose Peirrot: 1719 Green Bay Road
When a garden encompasses growth, beds and landscaping 360 degrees around the domicile, it can definitely make cultivation a statement. This garden is 360 degrees around the home, encompassed by 360 degrees of development around the fence line. The property has been in Vic?s family for three generations, battling fire and rain.
Artist in the Garden: Rose will share 3 generations of her quilting family within the perimeter.
Dean and Sue Mabeus: 1661 Green Bay Road
In 1993 the couple were well-known at farmers markets and for their blue shed food stand at the residence. Most will agree this garden is one of the largest produce growing territories in recent years; however, what is grown now is just for family and friends. The couple were known for picking their wares ripe the day of the market they were attending.
Artist in the Garden: Curt Swarm metal sculptures add appeal to the outdoor scene.
Ed and Jim Lemberger: 3514 175th Street
These industrious brothers have all the equipment needed to be a commercial organic winery. Drive along either side of the fence rows to park at the outbuilding. Ed and Jim have been making their own wine for years, entering regional competitions. When this property came available a decade ago, Ed pounced at the chance for vintering. The brothers have five types of grapevines: Concord, Edelweiss, Caco, St. Croix, and Swinson White.
Artist in the Garden: Potter Linda Ross displays wares from Chestnut Hill Pottery.