From bright red-orange hibiscus to soft purple lavender, flowers, plants, gardens and landscapes of all kinds will be highlighted in the valley this weekend with Theatre West’s annual Garden Walk fundraiser.
This year’s garden walk will feature two Scottsbluff gardens and three Gering gardens, a few of which would have been shown last year had COVID not hit the area. The gardeners have been working hard against the intense heat, and the sweeping cold before that, to get their yards ready for the walk on Sunday.
“We don’t grow the same things here as in eastern Nebraska, and then again sometimes we do, and we just struggle and do the best we can,” Dalene Louden, Garden Walk participant, said. “Because gardening right now in western Nebraska is not for (wimps). I mean, it’s hot; it’s hard to keep things watered.”
Louden, a Scottsbluff resident, is a former master gardener and has worked in multiple different nurseries throughout her career. She can tell you exactly what each plant she has planted at her home is and provide you with a few gardening techniques she’s picked up.
“You can always pick the homeowner’s brain, too, I mean, I’ve seen some fantastic plants over the years … that I wish I had growing in my yard,” she said.
But you don’t have to be a gardening expert to show off your garden. Gary and Peggy Peterson of Gering began an inside out renovation of their home after returning to the area in 2016, not knowing what most of their chosen plants were called at first.
“We’re not too (much of) gardeners,” Peggy Peterson said. “We’re a work in progress.”
They agreed that the Garden Walk gives those on the tour new ideas to test out at their own spaces, which they hope to do once they see the other gardens. The ideas don’t just stop at the flower and plant combinations, though; many gardens and yards have different styles: large or small, xeriscaping or zeroscaping, whimsical or cookie-cutter classic, bought or DIY decorations.
Whatever the garden styles, the Garden Walk has yet to disappoint with showing off a wide variety of gardens growing in the Panhandle.
“I think gardens are always evolving,” organizer Mary Barkeloo said. “It’s a great opportunity to see what grows in the area.”
The Garden Walk will take place on Sunday, June 27, from 4 to 8 p.m. Tickets are $15 in advance or $18 the day of the tour with children 10 and younger free. Tickets can be purchased ahead of time at the following: Gering Garden Center, Gering; TC & More, Scottsbluff; Great Gardens, Torrington; Dirt Stix, Scottsbluff; The Mixing Bowl, Gering; Compliments, Scottsbluff; any Theatre West board members or at the Theatre West Box Office. Tickets can only be purchased the day of at ESU #13.
Individuals who take the tour can travel at his or her own pace and view the various gardens in any order of their choosing. Tickets must be presented at each site, and there will be door prize drawings for anyone who purchases a ticket.
For more about this year’s Garden Walk, visit Starherald.com to hear from Louden and Barkeloo in this week’s Table Talk.