The 12th annual Homer Gardeners Weekend, held July 28 and 29, features talks on July 28 and a tour of five gardens on July 29. In addition to the big gardening events, the Pratt Museum holds its Ritzy Garden Gala, a celebration of the Pratt’s 50th anniversary and its gala fundraiser.
Whimsical, or manicured, open or sheltered, each garden will inspire. To foster that inspiration, a keynote speaker will kick off the weekend.
At 5:30 p.m. at the Alaska Islands and Ocean Visitor Center, nurseryman Brent Heath presents “100 Years of Daffodils — and More.” After an intermission, at 7 p.m. he presents “Bulbs as Companion Plants.” Heath, a third-generation nurseryman of bulbs from Gloucester, Vermont, and his wife Becky own a 28-acre farm dedicated to the propagation of blubs through non-toxic methods. They share their passion for flowers and good gardening practices through writing, photography and education. They are currently developing an 8-acre education garden. To learn more visit brentandbeckysbulbs.com.
In his talk, “100 Years of Daffodils and More,” Heath speaks about how daffodils inspired a flower industry at the turn of the last century, and how the Heath family passed the torch of cultivation across three generations.
In “Bulbs as Companion Plants,” he discusses how when we think of bulbs, we tend to think of cheery daffodils and nodding spring tulips. But bulbs aren’t just for spring. This presentation will have people contemplating bulbs with an eye for placement, bloom time, and combination-planting with perennials, annuals and ground covers.
Saturday night, from 7-10 p.m., the Pratt has an evening of food and flowers at its own gardens. Longtime Ritz caterer Maura Brenin provides a tidal boil of finfish and shellfish. Music is by The Spit City Slickers, Willy Dunne and Scot, Kate and Owen Meyer. Tickets are $75 at the museum or the Homer Bookstore.
On Sunday, the self-guided Homer Garden Tour runs 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and features five gardens in peak bloom, with water features, stonework and stunning views. Allow at least four hours to see every garden.
The weekend culminates in a reception from 5-6:30 p.m. at Bear Creek Winery with wine tasting and light hors d’oeuvres. Music will be provided by Starlight, with Shawn Zuke and Michelle Morton on flute, harp and guitar.
A free shuttle from the Tire Town parking lot will be provided for guests attending the Bear Creek Winery reception, as parking is not available at the winery.
Tickets for the keynote speaker, Brent Heath, as well for the Homer Garden Tours and the Bear Creek Winery Reception, are on sale at the Homer Bookstore. Keynote tickets are $10. Homer Garden Tour tickets are $15. Tickets for both the Homer Garden Tour and the Bear Creek Winery Reception are $25.
For individuals age 80 and older or children under 1 year old, the tour and reception are free. This event is sponsored by the Homer Garden Club.
Tickets will not be sold at the tour gardens this year. The final opportunity to purchase Homer Garden Tour and Bear Creek Winery Reception tickets is 10 a.m. to noon Sunday. Car pooling from the Homer City Hall parking lot is encouraged.
Additional details on this event can be found on the Homer Garden Club website at www.homergardenclub.org
The gardens are:
• Imagination and Inspiration, Bill and Roni Overyway, Winter Wren Court
• Innovation and Artistry, the Dean Family Farm and Art Gallery, Waterman Road
• Show-stopping Perennial Paradise, Harry and Shirley Forquer, Dewberry Place
• Well designed Rock Garden, Flip and Marquerite Felton, Melody Rose Lane
• The Everything Garden, Francie Roberts, Mountain View Drive.