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Gabe Haynes and Ahliae Toulouse’s garden

IMG_2236Gabe and Ahliae’s garden will serve double duty on Saturday, July 16 as a stop on the Montavilla Gardens Tour and as host of the Saturday Free Market. The tour is from 9-11:30 a.m. and the market is from 10 a.m.-noon.

“Five years in the making, our garden has been an ongoing source of joy, frustration, learning opportunities, our favorite creative outlet, and best place to exercise problem solving skills,” says Gabe. “Our Urban Homestead features over 1,000 gal rainwater storage for irrigation, four hens residing in a hybrid coop/kids play structure enclosure, extensive annual veggie beds in the front yard and a young food forest in the back yard. In addition to growing two young children, we strive to nurture a half dozen young fruit trees, about a dozen varieties of berries, a variety of medicinal and pollinator-attracting plants,and a growing number of native plants.”

“Ongoing projects for this year include depaving a portion of our driveway to accommodate planters made from a variety of salvaged items, gaining Backyard Habitat Certification, developing a simple greywater system to divert water from our shower, growing oyster mushrooms, and constructing a cob/salvaged window structure to house a wood-fired hot tub.”

Due to ongoing construction, the backyard may be closed to visitors during the tour. But the front yard is pretty amazing!

Register for the tour (free).

Miranda Keeper’s garder

IMG_3082.jpegVisit Miranda and Daniel in their garden on Saturday, July 16 from 9-11:30 a.m. They will be on the first day of the Montavilla Gardens Tour — a day for mostly vegetable gardens.

“My fiancé Daniel Thomas and I moved into the house in November and have been working on the garden since,” says Miranda. “There is a lot in the way of flowers and decorative plants left over from the previous owner but we definitely wanted more space for veggies and the space out front of our fence wasn’t being used for anything.  Daniel built the beds and then we started planting.  I would say the favorite thing we’re growing right now are our tomatoes.  We have 7 plants of different varieties.”

Register for the tour (free).

Lorraine Brown’s garden

imageLorraine and Don will be hosting an open garden on Sunday, July 17 as part of the Montavilla Gardens Tour. Come by her house between 9 and 11:30 a.m. Her garden is a mix of ornamental plants, trees, vegetables and medicinal plants.

“Come by and see how we transformed our yard from burnt lawn to a park like setting,” says Lorraine. “It only took about 16 years!”

Lorraine and husband Don host other events including the spring start swap and Saturday Free Market.

Register for the tour (free).


Tim and Mallory Moore’s garden

imageTim, Mallory and Zoe (the dog) will host an open garden as part of the Montavilla Gardens Tour on Saturday, July 16 from 9-11:30 a.m.

“We moved into Montavilla just over a year ago and have been working hard to get our garden established,” says Tim. “We grow food and ornamental plants and try to think about our native species, pollinators and habitats. In addition to the plants we have some chickens who help us out in the yard too. While our garden has plenty of room to grow (no pun intended) and be improved on, we are proud of our progress and look forward to all the garden seasons to come.”

Saturday is the day primarily for vegetable and fruit gardens with some ornamental or habitat. Sunday is mostly ornamental, medicinal and native habitat.

Register for the tour (free).IMG_1008

Jennifer Santiago’s garden

IMG_6766This is Jennifer’s first year on the Montavilla Gardens Tour. Their garden will be on Saturday, July 16, along with mostly other vegetable gardens.

“When I started gardening I grew a ‘salsa garden’ (tomatoes, peppers, cilantro) and basil,” says Jennifer. “We’ve expanded that and now also grow, garlic, onions, potatoes, peas and beans.  I also like to sprinkle in a few flowers (Zinnias and marigolds and we always let a few volunteer sunflowers and nasturtium grow).  We are all organic and rarely add anything beyond the first conditioning of the soil, which is typically just our compost.  I love growing and storing our own food — nothing tastes better!  Gardening is my outlet for creativity and meditation.  My husband and I are a team in the garden — it definitely takes both of us to make it work.”

See Jennifer’s garden from 9-11:30 a.m.

Register for the tour (free).

Mindy Northrop’s garden

Mindy_2We’ve been lucky to have Mindy on the Montavilla Gardens Tour for the first two years and she is back again for the third! Mindy’s garden will be showcased again this year, this time on BOTH days — Saturday and Sunday, July 16,17.

By her own admission, her garden looks like, “a crazy plant lady lives here.”

“I suppose I would describe our yard, and gardening style, as, ‘cramscaping’,” says Mindy.  “I’m a fair weather gardener, filling a city lot to the gills with ornamentals and edibles.”

You can catch glimpses of Mindy’s garden from her blog too.

Come by and see her garden from 9-11:30 a.m.

Register for the tour (free).

Erich Sauer’s garden

imageThis is Erich Sauer’s second year on the Montavilla Gardens Tour. You can really see the difference in his garden from year to year. His garden will be showcased on the second day of the tour, Sunday, July 17, along with other mostly ornamental gardens.

“My garden is one of my creative outlets and my strongest connection to ‘Earth Magic’ in the city,” says Erich. “This is my third year gardening at my house. The first year was spent battling grass, weeds and lame foundation plantings. Last year was focused on new foundation plantings (most fruit-producing), an experimental, up-zoned vegetable garden and lots of insect habitat. This year has been focused on finishing up cohesive areas and filling in beds with a whole lotta fun, clearance (rescue) plants for pollinators. I look forward to seeing folks on the tour and having some great conversations!”

See Erich’s garden between 9 and 11:30 a.m.

Register for the tour (free).

Anne and Dan Kenlon’s garden

imagePlanning for the third annual Montavilla Gardens Tour is underway. This year’s tour is looking exciting with ten gardens over two days — July 16 and 17.

Here’s the first sneak peak of several gardens for this year’s tour:

Anne and Dan Kenlon will be a host for Sunday; the day where most of the gardens are ornamental, native plants or habitat with a sprinkling of edible gardens.

Anne says, “Our garden is exactly one year old. We removed everything except a few perimeter plantings last June and started fresh with a new patio and pathway, open area with thyme ground cover, and lots of ornamental beds. Since then we’ve made a lot of mistakes — usually by underestimating how big things would get — but we are loving our lush, colorful new space filled with native plants, bees and birds.”

Come out to Anne and Dan’s garden to see more.

Register for the tour (free).