For people who have a garden, wish they had one, enjoy looking at them, or just want an evening out, there is an event taking place Wednesday for such folk. It's the 19th Annual Minot Symphony Secret Garden Tour and Garden Store and from 4:30 to 9:00 p.m. there will be opportunity for viewing local gardens, musical entertainment, refreshments and getting together with old or new friends.
The Secret Garden Tour is open to everyone. Tickets for adults and children over 12 are $12 in advance or $15 on the night of the tour. Advance tickets will be sold up until 4 p.m. today and can be purchased at Lowe's Floral & Garden Center, Lien's Jewelry and the Mohall Flower House Garden Center. Tickets may also be purchased at the gardens on the day of the tour or at the Scandinavian Heritage Park from 4 to 6 p.m. All proceeds benefit the Minot Symphony Orchestra.
In addition to the garden tours, there will be a garden store with yard art from local artists as well as music performed by the Northern Lights String Quartet and two student musical groups. Refreshments will be available at Scandinavian Heritage Park from 7 to 8:30 p.m. The tickets will have maps, the addresses of the gardens on the tour and descriptions of the gardens.
Another garden belonging to Dora Mae Tarvestad, located in northwest Minot, is terraced and has a barrel fountain along with perennials and a brick pathway. Tarvestad’s friend Al can be seen tending to one of the many flowers.
Paulette Dailey, garden tour chairperson and executive director for the Minot Symphony Orchestra, said the flowers in the tour are beautiful because of all the rain and there are very creative people whose gardens are featured.
Gardens featured on the tour include Mike and Deb Klimpel in southwest Minot; John Sinn and Ellen and Monte Sipma, both in southeast Minot; and Patrice Mitchell, Dora Mae Tarvestad and friend Al, and Charles and Jule Herrmann, all northwest Minot. Dailey said addresses are not provided ahead of time so that people will attend the garden tour. Special features in the gardens include water features, garden sheds, secluded seating areas, yard art, succulents, herb garden, birdhouse collection, a Catalpa tree, container gardening, gates and arbors, window boxes, sun and shade perennial gardens, flower and vegetable beds, a garden that has been rebuilt after the flood and a garden store with yard art from local artists.
Dailey said the garden tour is a great fundraiser for the Minot Symphony Orchestra and the proceeds are used for support of the orchestra or for scholarships for students in grades 7 through 12 to attend International Music Camp or to participate in Dakota Chamber Music. Some of the students end up playing in the symphony, she added. "It's a great thing and we want to support the community," Dailey said.
People do not need to have expert or huge gardens to be included in the annual garden tour. Dailey said every year she and other committee members look for gardens in the community or through word-of-mouth. "We'd love to have people volunteer their gardens," she added. "It's a great thing because gardeners work so hard and every garden is worthy." Every year, Dailey said they have people they will ask to feature their gardens in the tour, but mostly find gardens anyway they can.
Usually the Minot Symphony Secret Garden Tour is well attended, Dailey said. It was held during the year of the flood and the year after and still had a decent crowd, she added. This year on the tour are two gardens located in neighborhoods that were flooded in 2011.
Everyone is encouraged to attend the garden tour. "If you like to see people, the creativity of the gardeners, the flowers, so many variables of plants and flowers, and seeing other peoples' ideas," Dailey said, then the garden tour is an event for you. "It's a laid-back evening," she added. "You walk around and look at gardens. It's a nice, quiet evening in a crazy world."