Garden Walk will feature a variety of local creations

July 8, 2014
Sue Hanson and Charlie Bristol in the Amber Township garden.

Sue Hanson and Charlie Bristol in the Amber Township garden.

By Rob Alway. Editor-in-Chief. 

This year’s Mason County Garden Club Garden Walk will feature a variety of show pieces with a variety of plant life and a variety of geographical locations. While traditionally, the show — in it’s 18th year — features flower gardens, one of the more unusual displays will be an Amber Township vegetable garden.

A Bouquet of Gardens, this year’s theme, will be Sunday, July 13 from 1 – 5 p.m.

The home of Sue Hanson and her husband, Charlie Bristol, at 3324 W. Hansen Rd., features a 40-foot by 40-foot organic vegetable garden that is irrigated by rain water captured in a 300-gallon rain barrel from rain that lands on the nearby barn roof.

Barb and Dean Doty at their Riverton Twp. garden.

Barb and Dean Doty at their Riverton Twp. garden.

Irrigation is then provided through a drip tape system that puts water directly on the roots rather than spraying over the plants.

“A lot of water is wasted when it is sprayed over the plants rather,” Sue Hanson said. “Plus, a lot of other things, like weeds, are watered. This system saves water and puts the water directly where it’s needed.”

Sue and Charlie are both retired. Sue said they enjoy the vegetable garden because they know where the food is coming from. “We enjoy growing food for ourselves, our family and our friends. I pick the food in the morning and eat it for lunch. It’s off the grid and that’s important.”

Sue and Charlie can much of the food they grow. The garden features the usual variety of garden plants, including beans, squash, potatoes, tomatoes, corn, peas and strawberries.

“What is unique about this garden is that it only gets 7 hours of sunlight during the summer,” Sue said. “We are in the middle of the woods and the sun starts shining on the garden around 9 a.m. and by 4 p.m. it’s in the shade. This is proof that you don’t need sunlight all day. However, there are some plants we can’t grow here.”

Several miles away, in Riverton Township, Dean and Barb Doty have the opposite situation. Their yard at 2829 S. Lister Road, just off of Chauvez Road, has very little shade.

The Doty’s garden consists of mostly day lilies. “I just love day lillies,” Barb said. “There’s very little you have to do to maintain them and they are just beautiful.”

The Doty’s yard is flanked by their 100-year-old house and a barn that was built in the 1890s. The farm originally belonged to the Lister/Butler families and is surrounded by orchards and an asparagus field.

Charlie has been working on the final touches of re-painting the house while Barb has been finishing up the landscaping around the colorful gardens.

A total of seven gardens are being featured Sunday.

Tickets for the garden walk are $10 per person and can be purchased in advanced at Orchard Market in Ludington, Snyder Shoes in Ludington, Giving Tree and Cartier Mansion.

On the day of, tickets can be bought at any of the locations: 1252 Blue Heron Dr., 603 E. Ludington Ave., 808 E. Ludington Ave., 810 E. Ludington Ave., 1916 S. Pere Marquette Hwy., 2829 S. Lister Rd., or 3324 W. Hansen Rd. For more information, call Julie Tews at 517-719-7639.

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