Fest Yard and Garden Tours announced

Each year during Nordic Fest the Town and Country Garden club sponsors three yard and garden tours for the public. This year the places can be viewed on Friday, July 23, from 9 a.m. to noon; and on Saturday, July 24, from 1 to 4 p.m.

There is no charge, but freewill donations are accepted and will be used for garden club projects.

The club thanks the following for being on this year’s tour:

* Cathy and Bill Pardee, 1552 Manawa Trail Rd. Within the formal garden structure, which echoes the shapes of the forested ascent to Canoe Ridge, three distinct experiences await the visitor below the wide-open sky: long views of the magnificent surrounding valley and hills, terraced swaths of colorful perennials and annual flowers, and a petite apple orchard for quiet absorption of the chatter of birds and the gurgling of the river below. There are benches and chairs, but you’re welcome to bring a portable chair and relax in your favorite space! From downtown go west on College Drive to Casey’s corner. Turn right on Locust Road (W-38) and go 4 miles. Turn right on Canoe Ridge Road and go one mile. Turn left on Middle Sattre Road. Go 1/2 mile and turn right on Manawa Trail Road. Go 1.2 miles turning left at the second driveway after crossing the bridge.

* Decorah Community Prairie and Butterfly Garden, 4 Ohio Street. Prairie along the Upper Iowa River with paths on 34 acres, shared by hikers, bikers, runners, skiers and snowshoers. The Butterfly Garden’s paved walkways feature specimens of plants found in the prairie, along with a sun/rain shelter, picnic tables and benches. From downtown go west on College Drive. Turn left on 5th Avenue. Go 5 blocks. Turn left on Ohio Street and go over the dike.

* Tina Hall & Bruce Ventura, 301 Winneshiek Ave. Sages, Monarda, curves, and rocks define their gardens. They are two years into converting a 100% featureless suburban lawn and side yard into a veggie garden and pollinator-deer resistant flower garden. Last year’s big task was building a deer proof, but nice looking, fenced in area for tulips, day lilies and veggies. Like all gardeners they have many more projects planned but have continued to learn what works, and what doesn’t. They are trying to make natives and pollinator more of an emphasis while still having beds for seasonal veggies; all while being 100% organic with no chemical use. You will notice many visits to the quarry and several larger deliveries from the quarry. Tina loves to create small intimate areas within a larger area, and you can look for her “heart shaped rock” collection and “rocks with holes it them” collection – along with diverse statues from gnomes to St. Frances scattered throughout the garden. From downtown go east on Water Street. Turn left on Riverside Ave. and go 4 blocks. Turn right on Winneshiek Ave.

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