Five Minot gardens are set to shine in the 17th annual Secret Garden Tour Sunday from 5 to 8:30 p.m.
"Gardeners have been very gracious to invite us in this year," said Paulette Dailey of the Minot Symphony League. "(We) have had crazy weather and water restrictions and, because of Minot flooding, this year's garden tour is at a later date than usual."
All five gardens are in town this year, she said, three within easy walking distance of each other. Peggy Schumaier's garden at 1715 S. Main St. is near Janet Dammen's yard at 1329 - 1st St. SE, just across the street from Sharon Desilets and Rob Lowe's garden at 1318 - 1st St. SE.
Cleo Cantlon/MDN - - Doramae Tarvestad has transformed a towering hillside behind her home into a tiered area for seating, flowers and vegetables.
Gladys Lowell's home at 1011 N. Main St. and Doramae Tarvestad at 1112 Delmar Court, Unit 2, also will host visitors. Delmar Court is located at the north end of 12th Street Northwest.
Refreshments, including Homesteaders' brownies and cookies baked by Symphony League members, will be served at the Schumaier garden, along with lemonade made by Sharon Desilets and Rob Lowe from lemons in their double-size lot.
Students who receive Minot Symphony League music scholarships and members of the symphony will provide music at the Lowell and Dammen gardens.
Gardens on the tour
The Dammens call their extra wide back yard "a little slice of heaven." From a small, shapely pond just out their back door and a tall light shaped like a palm tree, the garden reflects a tropical theme.
Abundant flowers include hibiscus and wisteria that the Dammens have added since they moved in seven years ago. Driftwood, beach glass and yard art from California and other spots add to the beauty of their garden.
Sharon Desilets and Rob Lowe have a rock "creek" running through their lot. Razing an old house on the second lot left a concrete pad, which became the base for raised beds of flowers and vegetables. Collected wine bottles provide borders for two pear trees and a bottle tree in the back yard
Although Desilets describes her yard as a work in progress, it already features vegetables and flowers as well as pears, many varieties of berries, Nanking cherries, wild fruit, and three varieties of apples.
An arch billowing with clematis is surrounded by glorious blooms at the entrance to Gladys Lowell's 160-foot lot, with her small house set like a jewel in its midst. The large back yard has a huge 10-year-old white hydrangea as the first of many focal points.
Many hostas and lilies thrive in her deeply shaded back yard, and yard art, especially items with cat themes, reflect Lowell's artistic eye at the house where she has lived 18 years. Her skills, also shown in award-winning quilting, is evident both in blossoms and the artwork gracing her yard.
Peggy Schumaier also has an outsize garden and she needs every bit of it. A pretty shop behind the house is surrounded by "junk art" created from bits and pieces she collects, which makes it the obvious spot to host the Sym- phony League's garden store of yard art. A hot pink shoe, for instance, has become a miniature planter.
But the Schumaier yard offers much more. With several small seating areas in shade and sun, it is a welcoming gathering spot for family and friends.
Tarvestad's townhouse has a spot of color at the front door with red roses and waving flags to draw visitors down a hosta and lily-lined walk. But it is the back yard that flourishes with flowers and vegetables, many of them transported from her 9-acre farmyard near Lansford.
The steep hillside rising behind Tarvestad's home is tiered to display a variety of flowers and vegetables. Rocks border steps that climb to a welcoming yard swing, so one can enjoy her green thumb from any angle.
Tickets, $12 per visitor, will be sold in advance at Lien's Jewelry, Mohall Flower House Garden Center, Thomas Family Funeral Home and The Yarn Stash. On Sunday, tickets will be available at any of the gardens from 4 to 6 p.m.
Dailey said $2 from each ticket will be donated to Minot flood recovery funds, with remaining money used to support music scholarships for students.
Honorary sponsors for 2011 are long-time supporters Lowe's Garden Center, Green Thumb Greenhouse and Preserved Petals.