GRAND FORKS — Six private gardens, plus the Myra Museum Garden, will be featured at the Grand Forks Horticultural Society’s annual garden tour and plant sale on Saturday and Sunday, July 16-17. All of this year’s gardens are in Grand Forks.
Anyone with questions about horticulture can consult the “plant doctor” from 10 a.m. at noon Saturday at the museum, 2405 Belmont Rd. People can bring plants or photos of plants or pests for advice on issues they are facing.
The visit and sale of plants takes place from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday and from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday. Tour tickets and plants are available for free donation to the museum.
Garden themed t-shirts and sweatshirts will be available for purchase at any of the tour houses.
Tim and Meredith Baumann’s South Side House is among the gardens featured this year.
“We started with planters, years and years ago,” Meredith said.
The couple’s affinity for gardening grew to include flower beds around the perimeter of the house and several free-form raised gardens where various trees, shrubs, flowers, decorative glass, vintage objects and wooden artwork metal adorn the property.
The garden includes a Japanese pagoda, clematis, hibiscus, a variety of iris plants, chrysanthemums, lilacs and the Asiatic lily plant – which is rare in this region, she said.
A wide variety of colorful annuals and perennials grow in harmony with the blown art glass in swirling shapes, sporting brilliant hues of electric blue, lime green and orange. The brightly colored, eye-catching glass pieces, mounted on metal rods and placed in clusters amid plants, are left standing year-round, Meredith said. “They are beautiful in the snow.”
An image of the sun, arranged in a circle atop a metal weather vane, is replaced by a nativity scene during the Christmas season, she said.
Guests visiting the Baumann House this weekend will also notice a number of whimsical, knee-high Disney characters, including Mickey and Minnie Mouse, nestled between plants.
“He’s our other love,” Meredith said. The family went on annual rides to Disneyland before the pandemic. “We love Disneyland.”
In the beautifully landscaped courtyard “there are all kinds of spaces where people can look and smile,” she said.
Many plants here evoke memories of beloved parents who gave these plants to the Baumanns as well as special works of art that remind them of deceased loved ones.
Meredith, too, donates plants, for example by dividing hostas, which “can take over” if nothing is done.
The Baumanns like to decorate with large boulders, which farmers are usually eager to get rid of, and gazing globes to add visual accents to gardens, Meredith said. “We have eyeballs everywhere. Most of them are made of glass.
She and Tim incorporate unusual things to the eye, she says, “not just green.”
On the west side of the house, the patio is flanked by an old round barbecue converted into a planter, with holes cut in the bottom for drainage, which is filled with trailing snapdragons. Its upturned lid also serves as a planter. Meredith often enjoys morning coffee on this patio where plastic snakes have been placed to discourage birds.
“People laugh at me when they see them,” she said. “But they work. The birds go not poo on my terrace or my chairs.
Still on the sunny west side, geraniums and millions of flowers bloom. The area is adorned with hollyhocks and delphiniums, she noted. “These are old-school plants.” And a mature tree, already laden with small green apples, promises a bountiful harvest of Haralreds, she said. “It’s going to be a good year for apples.
Meredith gave Tim “a little corner” of the yard to grow raspberries and vegetables, she said. The garden produces beets, carrots, squash, tomatoes and peppers.
Two other gardens on the tour have terraces, said event organizer Sharon Opdahl. One has plenty of shade, which will give gardeners ideas of what to grow in areas with limited sunlight.
“At least one of them has a water feature,” she added.
Another gardener planted a tree for each grandchild in the family and decorated the garden with vintage antiques from her parents’ and grandparents’ farms to create a sort of “shabby chic” look, she said. . These items include old barn wood crafts, boulders, an old barn cupola, a well pump, and a farmhouse sink.
At the Myra Museum, the plant sale will include plants from area nurseries, members of horticulture clubs and others — “mostly perennials but also annuals,” Opdahl said. “We have a very nice variety of annuals.”
Bird food seeds, donated by a club member, will also be available for sale.