Jul/Aug
2018

IN FULL BLOOM: SUMMER GARDEN PARTIES, AND TOURS AND FAIRS

Written by CINDY MENNENGA
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WHAT’S MORE ENJOYABLE THAN THE BEAUTY OF FLOWERS IN ALL THEIR SUMMER GLORY? WITH SUMMER IN FULL SWING, THERE ARE SEVERAL OPPORTUNITIES TO INDULGE IN A GARDEN TOUR OR TO MINGLE WITH FELLOW FLOWER LOVERS TO CELEBRATE NATURE’S ABUNDANT BEAUTY. GATHER UP YOUR FRIENDS OR FAMILY AND EXPLORE THE VERDANT BEAUTY OF SELECTED LOCAL GARDENS.

SARGENT’S GARDEN PARTY

Every year, Sargent’s hosts their annual appreciation party for all of their customers. Sargent’s garden party is popular and is traditionally well attended. Scott Moon, manager of Sargent’s on Second, says, “We expect 800-1,000 people at each location. We have two shifts—from 3-5 p.m. and 6-8 p.m. at each location on the same day.” This year’s garden party is Tuesday, July 10 (in the event of a cancellation due to weather, Sargent’s has designated a rain date for July 11).

Sargent’s will have live music and serve light refreshments and hors d’oeuvres to guests. Moon adds, “We want people to relax, walk around, visit with other customers in the garden.” During the garden party, Sargent’s will also have mini-seminars on topics such as how to use herbs in cooking, bouquet-making and all about succulents. Guests don’t have to be rewards members to attend; however, Sargent’s asks guests to join their rewards program.

GORGEOUS GARDEN TOURS

Rochester Garden and Flower Club’s Annual Garden Tour is scheduled for Saturday, July 14, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., rain or shine. The Rochester Garden and Flower Club’s website says, “Enjoy the day touring outstanding gardens, full of inspiring ideas, art and music.” This self-guided tour of private gardens is not to be missed. Tickets and maps are available at Rochester Community and Technical College Heintz Center. There will also be demonstrations and vendors at the Heintz Center. Tickets are $15 (under 18 are free). For more information, visit rgfc.org/gardentour.html.

MASTERS GARDEN TOUR

The popular Masters Garden Tour, presented by the University of Minnesota Master Gardeners of Olmsted County, will be touring six diverse gardens in northeast Rochester this year. Jan Gerke, co-chair of the Masters Garden Tour, says, “Each of the gardens will have a focus on education, such as gardening in shade or on hillsides, rain gardens, native and invasive plants and butterflies.” The ninth annual 2018 Masters Garden Tour is Wednesday, July 25, 4-8:30 p.m. Gerke adds the tour is popular and generally attracts 300 people, but they have had as many as 500-600 attendees in past years, depending on the weather. Gerke explains that because the tour is presented by the University of Minnesota Extension Master Gardeners, education is a focus. This year, Gerke says, “We’ll be incorporating outdoor kitchens into the outdoor spaces.” Tickets are available for advance purchase at Sargent’s for $8 or $10 the day of the event (under 18 free).

ENJOY SUMMER AND LEARN ABOUT PLANTS

The great thing about garden tours and garden parties is it’s a great opportunity to learn more about plants and the best ways to grow them. It’s also a fantastic occasion to discover new favorite plants. Learning from master gardeners is also a treat—there is very little master gardeners don’t know about plants—and the best things is, they love to share their vast knowledge. As we all know, summers in Minnesota are beautiful, but short-lived. The flower and vegetable gardens are at their peak beauty and bounty right now—so be sure to get out there and take advantage of the festive garden tours and garden parties in the area.

Cindy Mennenga is a writer, editor and owner of MedCity WordCraft, LLC based in Rochester.