Hall County Master Gardeners’ Garden Walk
What: A biennial event featuring five residential gardens and one public garden in Hall County
When: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. June 3
Where: Varying locations in Flowery Branch and Gainesville
How much: $10 in advance or $15 day of the event cash or check only; Purchase advance tickets at www.hallmastergardeners.com or Hall County’s Extension Office, 734 E. Crescent Drive, Suite 300 in Gainesville or day of event at Gardens on Green, 711 Green Street NW, Gainesville
More info: www.hallmastergardeners.com
Residential gardens are:
- Terri Andrews of Flowery Branch
- Liz Dietz of Flowery Branch
- Tammy Dellinger of Gainesville
- Bobbett Holloway of Gainesville
- Chris Michael of Gainesville
From a koi pond to a double waterfall, flower beds to a potting shed and a portable greenhouse to fruit plants — all can be found this year on the Hall County Master Gardeners’ Garden Walk.
The biennial events features five residential gardens and Gardens on Green, the only public garden. Event co-chairs Leslie Johnson and Irene Michaud said all of the gardens on the tour are created by Master Gardeners, not professional landscaper.
The Garden Walk chairwomen select gardens from the owners who apply for consideration for the walk. The gardens are selected a year in advance.
When picking the gardens, the women look for gardens with “good bones,” meaning additional work can be done.
Variety also played a role in the selection process. Different sizes and kinds of gardens, such as shade or sun, were selected.
Organizers then work out strategies and logistics. Finally, a date is set and the ticket and map are designed for the self-guided tour.
“We put this garden walk on every other year, because it gives the community an opportunity to see what Master Gardeners can do in their own backyards,” Johnson said. “This is an opportunity for the public to see what Master Gardeners can do … It gives the public an opportunity to see what they can do in their own backyard.”
Johnson said sometimes gardens are selected, but then property owners conduct major renovations before the walk.
“I’m talking ponds and other features they planned on doing at some point, but then this gives them the extra little push to get it ready for the garden walk,” she said.
Michaud said some of the gardens on this year’s walk are young — only 3 or 4 years old — while another is more than 20 years old.
“You see all phases of the progress that can take place in a garden,” she said.
The garden walk can be educational, too. Some Master Gardeners have certified pollinator gardens and some have water features.
Liz Dietz will showcase her gardening talents in her small garden that must adhere to Homeowner’s Association rules, requiring the garden be hidden from neighbors’ view. She lives in the Sterling on the Lake subdivision in Flowery Branch.
“It’s an example of a new development with ... not a small yard, but not an acre or acre-and-a-half yard,” she said.
Her home also backs up to Spout Springs Road, so she must deal with traffic noise.
Therefore, Dietz has a raised-bed garden, a potting house and a rain barrel scaled to a smaller size.
She hopes visitors can relate to her garden and will consider using it as inspiration for their own.
Dietz and the four other gardeners did not have to prepare their gardens alone for the biennial walk. Teams of five helped each garden host.
For Dietz, that included weed-pulling, replanting and mulching. Dietz said she lost some of her plants to heat and drought last year.
Visitors to the Hall County Master Gardener’s biennial Garden walk will see Dietz’s and other gardens from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, June 3. Several Master Gardeners will be at each stop to answer questions.
Tickets are $10 in advance and available at www.hallmastergardeners.com or at Hall County’s Extension Office, 734 E. Crescent Drive, Suite 300 in Gainesville. Tickets can be purchased the day of the event for $15 at Gardens on Green, 711 Green Street NW, Gainesville. Cash or check only.
After purchasing a ticket, maps with exact garden locations will be provided to participants for the self-guided tour. Attendees will also receive a pass along plant at one of the stops on the walk.
“That’s been a tradition in the Hall County Master Garden Walks,” Johnson said. “Master Gardeners pot up their extra plants when they’re separating them or dividing their plants in the springtime … and every person who goes through the garden walk gets a pass along plant to take.”
Plants vary and the earlier you get your pass along plant, the better the selection, Michaud said.
The event is a fundraiser for Hall County Master Gardeners who use the money to support youth gardening programs in schools and donate to 4-H to send children to camp.
“People who love to look at beautiful things outside, people who garden, really, anybody should come,” Michaud said.