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Garden Tour highlights horticultural talents

Updated: 5 hours ago

A local residents lush garden.

Private and public gardens were on display last weekend for the Amherstburg Fort Malden Horticultural Society’s (AFMHS) Garden Tour.

A total of ten gardens, all private gardens except for the Gibson Gallery and the AFMHS’ signature garden at the Amherstburg Community Hub, were toured by people from the area and beyond. Organizers were pleased with the amount of people that strolled through the gardens.

“The numbers seem much higher this year,” said AFMHS president Janice Emery.

“We’re seeing a good turnout and everyone seems happy with the way they are organized.”

Attendees commented on how different each garden was and how well they were laid out and managed.

Emery said the gardens that are selected have to be done by the homeowner. Perennial gardens are preferred and the AFMHS also considers the maturity of plants, texture, colour and variety for the Garden Tour, which is held every two years.

“We want to see uniqueness and pride of ownership,” said Emery.

Only two members saw their gardens on the tour, held both Saturday and Sunday, with most of the gardens being new to the tour. Emery said her Concession 2 North garden was on the tour almost ten years ago but said it looks different now than what it did then.

“It’s so rewarding as a homeowner to have someone look at the effort you put in your garden and appreciate it,” stated Emery.

Partnerships were developed with the Gibson Gallery and the town’s tourism department, Emery added, with the former being tied into the gallery’s “Blossoms, Blooms and Buds” exhibit which runs through June 23.

AFMHS vice president Andrea Dyrkacz said artists were invited by the gallery to create artwork that was plant and flower based to tie into the exhibit. Work has been judged, with the exception of one award, and all awards will be presented at the closing exhibit June 23. The exhibit ties in with the Garden Tour.

“We’re asking anyone taking a look at the art to vote for the people’s choice award,” said Dyrkacz, who was stationed at the Gibson Gallery. “It’s been a really nice collaboration.”

People from as far as Wallaceburg and all around Windsor-Essex County attended the tour, with Dyrkacz estimating Saturday afternoon that 30 per cent of the people coming were from outside of the Amherstburg area.

“They were kind of blown away by the artwork,” she said. “People were happy with the gardens they saw. How can you be unhappy with gardens?”

The partnership with the town was to tie into Open Air Weekends. Leo Sylvestre, the “Butterfly Guy,” was on hand as was Jack’s Organics giving away free tomato plans.

The AFMHS held its first-ever raffle as part of the Garden Tour, Emery added.

Garden Tour highlights horticultural talents

By Ron Giofu

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