With spring in full swing, many residents are busy tending their yards and gardens to enhance their outdoor experience over the coming months. They will be able to pick up some expert tips next weekend when Lee County Master Gardeners of Alabama (LCMGA) hosts its “Spring Stroll” 2021 Garden Tour on May 15 and 16.
The tour will feature a variety of 10 private gardens in Auburn and Opelika, as well as a free bonus tour of the Auburn University President’s Mansion, with the goal of the tour being to educate the public and raise funds for projects.
The proceeds from the tour, which costs $30 a ticket, helps maintain four demonstration gardens in the area, including the butterfly garden at the Kreher Preserve; funds a $1,000 scholarship given every year to an Auburn University horticulture student; provide for a donation to the nonprofit Alabama 4-H, which, like the Master Gardeners, operates under the Alabama Cooperative Extension System; and helps fund other grants, according to LCMGA president Linda Nowlin, who completed the eight- to 10-week course to become a master gardener in 2010.
“One of the first purposes was to turn money to do the activities, but we really think of it as a gift to the community,” said Nowlin, who noted how excited she was about the tour since it was postponed last year due to the pandemic.
Master Gardener Julia Freeman, who worked with all 10 garden owners and helped organize the volunteers working each stop, also expressed excitement that the tour was resuming after a year off.
“As the executive director said, I never thought I’d see this day,” she said.
Master gardeners will be stationed at every stop along the tour to answer questions, with attendees receiving a tour guide booklet at the first stop that can by synced to their smart phones for easy directions and navigation.
Ticket order forms can be found at The Potting Shed, University Ace Hardware, The Flower Store, Wild Birds Unlimited and the Lee County Extension Office. Tickets can also be purchased online at www.leemg.org. A boxed lunch will be included in the price of the ticket. Covid-19 protocols will also be in effect for the tour.