Stop and smell the roses: Johnson County garden tours return this spring

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OLATHE, Kan. — The Johnson County Extension Master Gardener Public Garden Tour will return this year after being canceled in 2020 due to COVID-19. 

The tour will be May 21-22 from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. Each tour highlights five private gardens owned and maintained by Master Gardeners throughout the county.

“It’s for novices to pros to just to people who want to get out and start to feel like life is normal again,” Johnson County Extension Horticulture Agent Dennis Patton said. “We try to find gardens that represent all the different facets of gardening, because your style, my style might be different. “

Geri Padley’s garden is one of the stops on the tour. Padley started working on her garden when she and her husband moved into their home nine years ago.  The garden includes a stone waterfall, handmade stepping stones, a variety of perennial flowers and a pond backdrop. 

“It’s so tranquil to be back here. It’s kind of like you’re on vacation at home,” Padley said. 

To get the garden ready for the tour, Padley said volunteers from the Extension have been working for weeks to make the property look its best.

“We usually have about 20 volunteers that will work every Tuesday that will bring this to look this good to be on the tour,”Padley said. 

Guests will be encouraged to wear a mask and keep their distance throughout the tour.Each garden will have volunteer stations around the property to answer questions and offer advice. 

“What we are trying to do is showcase a little bit of everything about landscaping, outdoors. Part of Extension is we are all about education. We are going to have volunteers there answering questions on; How do you garden? What’s this plant? How do you get it to do this? Those types of things,” Patton said. 

Cindy Bergmann’s garden is listed on the tour as ‘Woodland Possibilities’. Bergmann’s landscape features an expansive bed of shade-loving plants like hostas, vibrant flowers and pops of tropical plants like psalm. 

“We’re going to put tags around so that hopefully the ones that we think are really interesting they take a picture of and they try it in their own home. They see something that they really like and they get inspired,” Bergmann said. 

Ticket sales will support the Extension Master Gardener program, including college scholarships to Kansas State University and Johnson County Community College. You can find more information on how to purchase tickets here .

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