A drizzly morning didn’t stop folks from coming out to participate in the 2021 Greeley Garden Tour on Saturday.
The tour, which was canceled in 2020 due to the pandemic, featured five residential gardens in Greeley and Evans as well as the Poudre Learning Center gardens.
Deb and Gene Frain’s garden was a great example of how homeowners can convert their landscaping into a colorful water-conserving showpiece.
The couple was part of the city of Greeley’s Life After Lawn 2018 pilot project, said Ruth Quade, a member of the tour committee. Many of the plants and flowers located in the Fains’ front yard are native to the state and require little to no water.
“This is Year 3 of their garden. That’s what we tell people: it takes about three years to get your garden established,” Quade said. “These plants have really taken off.”
While the Fain’s front yard took three years to come to fruition, their backyard has been a 30-year project, Deb Fain said.
“We’ve added to it and added to it,” Deb Fain said. “The front yard is actually less work than the backyard.”
A former arts teacher, many of the yard art featured around the Fains’ yard was handmade by Deb.
“A lot of these pieces are student art projects that I did for demos,” she said. “Little clay pieces and other things.”
The tour also featured first time participants Sharon and Willard Kendall.
“I volunteered to be on the tour. I’ve gone on the tour in the past, and I saw that they needed gardens and my daughter-in-law told me I should go for it,” Sharon Kendall said. “We were supposed to do it last year, but it got canceled.”
The Kendalls really helped tour participants see how much landscaping can add to a home by displaying “before” photos of their Evans home with just grass and no flowers or plants.
“It was pretty much a blank slate; the beds were here just waiting for something to be put in them,” Sharon Kendall explained. “It’s been a labor of love, and we’ve done it in sections. My husband has been a trooper with me in doing it.”
The “after” result of the Kendall’s hard work was a showstopper on the tour with colorful and unique flowers and lush foliage.
Like the Fains’ garden, the Willards incorporated colorful flowers, interesting yard art and a tranquil environment.
Money raised during Saturday’s event will be donated to the Poudre Learning Center to purchase native plants as well as help fund the center’s Families Investigating Science at Home, or F.I.S.H., program.
“I think the garden tour is important so that people can see what they can do with their own lawns,” Deb Fain said. “For me, it’s like my church to work out here and share it.”
For more information on the Greeley Garden Tour or to apply to be a featured garden on the 2022 tour, go to https://bit.ly/3A4sAXp.