June 15th, 2024

Annual garden tour celebrates local green thumbs

By Peggy Revell on July 16, 2018.

Chopper sits with Geoff and Sheila Burkart in the hammock in their backyard. The Burkarts were one of several homeowners who volunteered their yards to be featured in Sundays annual garden tour. --NEWS PHOTO PEGGY REVELL


Gardeners in the Gas City were showcased Sunday with the Medicine Hat and District Horticultural Society’s Garden Tour.

The 27th edition of this event was close to a sell out, said vice-president Mel Deydey.

“And we’re happy with that.”

“The pride of ownership is phenomenal,” said Deydey, with six of the seven gardens on this year’s tour being folks who aren’t members of the horticultural society, but were still generous enough to open their yards to the public.

“I love to garden. I love growing things. I love being outside and creating a beautiful space,” said Joan Kennedy. With a husband who loves to build things, it’s a “good combination,” she said.

The Kennedys have modeled their backyard after an Italian courtyard, complete with a fountain in the middle, roses, hanging baskets, raised beds and more.

Many people have told her that her garden should be in the tour, Kennedy said. “This year I finally took the plunge.”

“We wanted space to relax after work. This is our lake,” said participating homeowner Lynn Martin about the enormous water garden that fills up a good portion of their backyard in Ross Glen “It’s nice and relaxing. We sit here and listen to the water.”

“It’s kind of my oasis back here. We do staycations back here,” echoed fellow participant Sheila Burkart, adding that they’ve also designed the space to be both relaxing and a place for entertaining.

Hatters may already be familiar with the Schaber residence in Ranchlands as it was named the Kiwanis House of the Year in 2013.

Cathy Schaber, who has master gardener courses under her belt, describes the yard as an English country garden with a western flare thanks to the items her outdoorsman husband brings home.

“We have lots of lost things we’ve repurposed,” she said.

The garden has taken 14 years to build, she said, and they started out with nothing.

“It’s just my stress release,” Schaber explained, as she carries on the tradition of gardening like her mother and grandmother before her.

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