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Garden tour Saturday showcases nature, know-how while helping fund the Forsyth Master Gardeners

POSTED: June 1, 2012 1:30 a.m.

 Sandy Shepard is looking forward to sharing her home’s garden with the public.

"We have a lot of challenges on our property and I thought this might help out other homeowners," she said.

Shepard is one of six local plant enthusiasts taking part in the Forsyth County Master Gardeners 2012 Garden Tour from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday.

The event, which is held every other year, is one of the organization’s largest fundraisers, said Kathy Weintraub.

"Proceeds benefit all of our community gardens," said Weintraub, who handles publicity for the group. "We’ve got about a dozen different gardens throughout the community."

Among them, she said, is a "care and share" garden at the Forsyth County Extension Office, which donates produce to local food pantries, and gardens at all three public library branches and the county’s senior center facilities.

"We’re all about education and beautifying the community," Weintraub said.

The garden tour will feature a range of home planting endeavors from Master Gardeners, including shade, sun and vegetable gardens.

"Everybody on (the tour) is very talented," Weintraub said. "These people are fantastic. They’re master Master Gardeners."

As for Shepard, whose home is just south of the Forsyth-Fulton county line, she said she wanted to take part in the tour to help others learn.

"These are homeowners who do the work themselves and face these challenges and figure out these challenges," she said. "Mine in particular — I have a lot of shade, a lot of hills, and a lot of deer — but I still manage to garden."

Weintraub said participants on the self-guided tour can take time to visit as few or as many of the six home gardens as they would like.

"You can choose to start anywhere you want," she said. "I would suggest taking a look at whoever’s closest to your home and go from there or go to the farthest from you home and make your way back."

All the gardens will open for viewing at 9 a.m. and close at 5 p.m.

Tickets are $15 in advance or $20 Saturday. Advance tickets can be purchased from any Master Gardener or at the Forsyth County Extension Office.

Weintraub and Shepard said the day will be both enjoyable and educational.

"I would say plan to take a good portion of the day to see all of the gardens because you want to be able to stroll and enjoy," Weintraub said.

Added Shepard: "People should come because these six gardens will give them very diverse ideas ... on the tour, you will find every gardening situation there is."


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