Garden Tour feedback

2011 Gwinnett Master Gardener Garden Tour

Susan Varlamoff with Dr. John Pickering

By Susan Varlamoff, garden host

By foot and by car pool, family, neighbors, friends, fellow Master Gardeners, and the general public found their way to my Lilburn garden and that of my neighbor’s for the Gwinnett County Master Gardener’s Garden Tour on May 21. Approximately 100 people, ages 4 years old to 80-something, wound their way around my planet friendly landscape. They paused first to admire the front yard koi pond outfitted with biological filter built 20 years ago by my three sons and my husband. The most frequently asked question – how do you prevent the great blue heron from dining on the fish??  Answer – We can’t. Note the absence of small and medium size fish.

Visitors next circled the front perennial beds that include an herb garden that attracts beneficial insects to keep the pests under control. Then they descended stone steps into the wooded back yard where a pure white marble Vietnamese statue stands under the canopy of trees. From this point, visitors could meander along walkways through beds of native and shade loving plants.

Following the tour, visitors relaxed on the deck overlooking the backyard to sip lemonade and to enjoy homemade pound cake with farm fresh strawberries. When they finished, I pointed them down the street to Jane Trentin’s native plant garden.

The entire experience was gratifying for me. The pre-tour offered an opportunity to visit my fellow Master Gardener’s beautiful and charming gardens they had labored lovingly over. The visitors to my garden were very interesting and included doctors, environmental educators, and specialists in native plants, birds, and insects, and avid gardeners looking for new ideas or a fun outing.  Dr. John Pickering, a UGA entomologist, showcased his Discover Life program which helps identify trees, plants and insects.