Garden Club Tour features five local gardens

An annual highlight of the summer, the Homer Garden Club 2023 Tour will take place on Sunday, July 16 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. There will be five local gardens available for visitors in Homer this year. These include Angela Smith’s Homer Japanese Garden, Flo Larsen’s Gorgeous Rock Garden, Gentian Van der Boeck’s Artistic Garden, Brenda Adams’ Spectacular Garden and Flowers, Flowers, a family garden whose owners prefer to be unnamed for print, but whose address and name will be available when visitors pick up passes at the Homer Bookstore.

The Homer Garden Club is a local nonprofit organization and their mission, according to their website, “was founded to educate and encourage gardeners and to provide positive experiences for gardeners at all levels of learning.”

The Garden Tour has been occuring in Homer for over 20 years. Francie Roberts and Annie Oberlitner are on the organizing committee for the event this year.

“When the Garden Club first started, like Jan (Peyton) always said, there were smaller versions of what this tour has become,” Oberlitner said.

“It used to be more of a garden share and then it turned into a tour when Brenda Adams’ group took over,” Roberts and Oberlitner said.

In some years as many as 400 tickets have been sold. This year there 350 available. It’s recommended that people carpool with friends to avoid overly crowded parking in the garden locations. Visitors can choose the order in which they visit the gardens.

This year all of the gardens are close to downtown Homer, except for Brenda Adams’, which is near Mile 20 East End Road. Each of the gardens are unique in their own way and longer descriptions are available with the purchase of a ticket. As a preview, the Homer News will provide a few details here. All quoted citations are from the Garden Club.

Smith’s garden “has many elements of a Japanese tea garden. The plants are similar to those found in Japan, as well as many native Alaskan species.”

Larsen’s garden is “an unfenced 23-year-old garden made of rocks and driftwood and faces south on a gentle rise. This garden is home to plants that withstand moose walking over them throughout the year.”

Van der Boeck’s garden is “Viking-inspired with poetic stone work containing rows of fruit, food and flower foods.”

Adams’ garden “was created over 30 years ago by an award-winning garden designer with over 1,000 different plants each placed to enhance its neighbor.”

The Flowers, Flowers garden “offers a tutorial on the right plant, in the right location. It shows interesting textures, coordinated colors and a distinct sense of place as well as a classic Alaska cache.”

“The gardeners hosting their gardens will be in the gardens all day and will be available to answer any questions people might have, and they are usually talked out by the end of the day because people ask about all kinds of things,” Roberts and Oberlitner said.

The ticket for this year’s event is a button with a drawing of Kachemak Bay’s Poot Peak and a sea of blue flowers drawn by Deland Anderson.

Tickets at the cost of $15 are on sale at the Homer Bookstore and only cash or checks can be accepted. When a ticket is purchased, there will be a map available for directions to each garden.