Auxiliary Garden Tour July 14

Norm and Linda Peterson of Almelund invite you to join them in the garden during the Fairview Lakes Auxiliary’s July 14 Garden Tour. Photos supplied

Norm and Linda Peterson of Almelund invite you to join them in the garden during the Fairview Lakes Auxiliary’s July 14 Garden Tour. Photos supplied

The garden of Norm and Linda Peterson of Almelund is one of nine featured in this year’s Fairview Lakes Auxiliary Garden Tour.

For the price of a $15 garden pass, tourgoers may visit nine gardens in Lindstrom, North Branch, Stacy and Almelund July 14, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.  Their garden pass also offers coupons for treats and discounts at area businesses.

Tucked away in Almelund, not far from Immanuel Lutheran Church and the Amador Heritage Center, you’ll find the garden of Norm and Linda Peterson. The Petersons have surrounded their tidy home with a series of thoughtfully sculptured shade and sun gardens defined by raised beds, trellises and pergolas and adorned with creative garden art that includes a fairy village and an antique water pump-turned-fountain.

Like many gardeners, the Petersons started small—with one modest flowerbed behind the house.  But over the years the gardens grew, and grew. Now shade gardens beneath the branches of two giant maple trees dominate the space between the house and garage, and sun gardens stretch into the front, side and back yards.

At first, Linda says that Norm objected to “digging up more of his grass,” but gradually he, too, caught the garden fever and began using his woodworking skills to create the many raised beds, trellises and pergolas that give this garden dimension. Each well-manicured garden bed is generously mulched with cocoa bean hulls. Linda says that plants are dug up and divided every couple of years to keep the hostas and other perennials under control.

The Petersons’ garden features plants of all sizes, from the very large—like these giant irises, to the very small—found in their tiny fairy village.

The Petersons’ garden features plants of all sizes, from the very large—like these giant irises, to the very small—found in their tiny fairy village.

Brightly colored annuals displayed in interesting and unusual containers collected from antique stores and yard sales add splashes of color to the setting.  The couple enjoys antique hunting to add new objects to their display. A tiny fairy village, which Norm crafted from 1890s barn wood, adds a touch of whimsy.

Other unique features include a sunken garden set into a hillside, and flowers growing in a box perched atop a pergola.

During the July 14 garden tour, Master Gardener Gina Sapp will be present at the Peterson garden to demonstrate how to grow and use culinary and medicinal herbs. Sweet treats will include cooling beverages flavored with mint and cookies made with Rosemary.

Garden tour passes are  on sale at all local Fairview clinics, the Fairview Lakes Medical Center Gift Shop in Wyoming, the Yellow Bus in Forest Lake and Crabtree Garden Gate in Marine on St. Croix. Day-of-tour passes will be available at the medical center in Wyoming from 8:30 a.m. to noon July 14. Proceeds support the Auxiliary’s scholarship program. For more information call 651-461-5710.

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