What’s new?

Christina Schull Cone’s Garden

IMG_5944Christina will be sharing her birthday with gardeners in order to be on the Montavilla Gardens Tour in August. Her garden consists of some habitat restoration and re-foresting in the front yard, including a rain garden. She grows vegetables and fruit trees using permaculture principles. Partner Paul and Christina built a greenhouse in the back that will be on display as well. 

Christina and Paul are long-time members of the group. You might have attended an event at their place such as last winter’s seed exchange or painting in the garden.

Lear more about the MGT.

Lucy McGuffie’s Garden

30073530_10216934486333247_763709624969455330_oLucy McGuffie will showcase her garden and recent improvements to her yard this August on the Montavilla Gardens Tour.

Lucy describes here place as, “a work in progress! See the before and after photos. I just completed removing sod from the front yard earlier this year and replaced it with a flower and berry garden and gravel paths. Next step is to do the same to the backyard. Currently in the backyard, we have raised beds for veggies and herbs, and a shade garden under the apple tree. Much more could be done to the backyard, however, and I welcome tips and suggestions!”

Learn more about the tour.

Alyssa Perry’s Montavilla Mini Farm

37695342_2213479268875680_406723717779947520_nWe know you have been curious what Alyssa Perry and partner Chris have been up to as they established the Montavilla Mini Farm over the last year! Montavilla Mini Farm is a small produce farm growing many types of veggies and some fruits for personal use and community sales.

Alyssa has agreed to open her garden/farm to folks on the Fall Montavilla Gardens Tour in about a month. Now is your chance to see MMF in person on the tour!

Learn more about the tour.

Erich Sauer and Liz’s Garden

IMG_3256Screen Shot 2018-07-06 at 5.23.55 PMIn case you missed Erich and Liz’s garden this spring, you will have a second chance this August, as part of the fall Montavilla Gardens Tour. In Erich’s words, “I’ve been gardening solo since I bought my house in 2013, but this past September my best gardening friend, Liz, moved in and we’re going wild! Beyond growing veggies year-round for our own consumption, we’re selling surplus to neighbors and friends to help payoff the greenhouse and fund future gardening expansions.

Erich explains, “You’ll see two distinct gardening styles around the house:

  1. Wild polyculture — Liz broadcasts seeds into her beds with wild abandon all year round and thins as plants become established. This creates a dynamic landscape of veggies, flowers, herbs and medicinals — all finding and occupying their own perfect niche.
  2. High-density and layered planting — I have been building up the soil around my house for five years, so have a solid 12 inches of rich dark hummus to plant in. Since I continue adding organic materials throughout the year, I am able to grow many plants in close proximity. In the space that may ordinarily be occupied by one tomato plant, I have three tomatoes, pole beans (to grow up the tomato and add nitrogen to the soil), radishes and cilantro. I’m also into cramming lots of fruit trees in small spaces, storing rainwater in my mulch pathways and discovering exciting new edibles that thrive in our climate!”

Erich and Liz look forward to opening their gardens to you all!


Michael Sonnleitner’s Garden

Relaxing WalkMichael Sonnleitner makes the most of his limited growing space. Michael explains, “Gardening is a hobby which I find both relaxing and tasty! Featured (in the photos) is the greenhouse I built from recycled materials. It contains seven varieties of tomatoes, four varieties of hot peppers, and assorted condiments, as well as small avocado, grapefruit, and orange trees. Elsewhere in my small yard, we have two apple trees, a nectarine tree and an apricot tree — all of which are watered by rainwater collected off our roof and stored in a 500-gallon tank.”

You can see his garden on the first day of the Montavilla Gardens Tour — August 25.

So far, there are eight hosts signed up to open their gardens. We hope to have at least five on each day. Times are yet to be determined, but the tour will likely start at 9 a.m. and end by 1 p.m. Each garden will be open for approximately 45 min. Hosts are not expected to have perfect gardens as the tour is intended to be a social and learning opportunity. It is important to see gardens at all phases. Sign up to be a host by July 25.

Melissa Curry’s Garden

B5E3000B-06CE-41B9-B5CB-B8185261300C - Melissa CurryMelissa Curry is excited to be part of the Fall Montavilla Gardens Tour this August. Mellisa describes here garden as consisting of, “five raised 10 by 4-foot beds packed to maximum capacity. I believe in experimenting with new varieties of flowers and vegetables every year — using organic, open-pollinated seed that I save at the end of the growing season. I start all flowers and vegetables from seed indoors or direct sow seeds when appropriate. This year, I experimented by dedicating one whole bed to cut flowers and am very pleased with the result so far. I grow over 20 different cut flower varieties and 12 dahlia varieties. I use only organic growing and pest management methods. I integrate pest-repelling and pollinator-attracting flowers throughout my garden. In addition to all of the flowers, I also grow three varieties of tomatoes (enough for fresh eating, freezing and canning for a family of four for one year), green beans, peppers, peas, cucumbers, kales, lettuces, zucchini, basil, strawberries, blueberries and raspberries. I have a small medicinal herb garden on the side as well as a volunteer pumpkin plant that will soon take over our walkway. This is also my second year hosting mason bees.”

Melissa says, “I am excited to show garden tour visitors how much you can grow in a small space and how to do so in a way that harmonizes with nature. I will have a compost tea brewing during the tour and am happy to show participants step-by-step instructions for integrating this practice into their garden. Much of what I have learned has been through trial and error and thanks to the generosity of other gardeners. I am constantly learning and I love to share what I learn with new and experienced gardeners.”

We are still looking for a few hosts for either day —  August 25 or 26. Registration for hosts will close July 25.

Registration for participants will open shortly after. Maps and schedules will only be available by email after confirmation of registration. Registration is free. Sign up to get notifications.


Meredith Rizzari’s Garden

_DLR5032 - Meredith RizzariMeredith Rizzari describes her garden as having “eight raised beds filled with herbs and vegetables — also several beds with ornamental shrubs and annuals.” She also has a very cute helper as shown here.

Meredith is volunteering to host on one of the two days set aside this fall for the Montavilla Gardens Tour. She is one of nearly a dozen gardens that will be showcased over two days.

Here are just a few more pictures of her gardens. To see more and to visit with Meredith, who is relatively new to the group, come to the tours on August 25 and 26.

Amy Schutzer’s Garden

Amy5Come see Amy Schutzer’s garden as part of the Fall Montavilla Gardens Tour (food producers edition), held on the last weekend in August. Registration and details will be released in coming weeks once all the garden hosts have registered.

Amy, who’s garden is off Division in the next door Mill Park neighborhood, explains, “I’m an avid organic garden and garden year round. I have most of the usual suspects of the vegetable realm and blueberries, strawberries, two Asian pear trees and lots of herbs.

Bicyclists and walkers are encouraged as tour participants explore Montavilla and neighboring areas.

Sign up for email notifications to hear more about Gardeners of Montavilla events and when registration is open.