Master Gardeners feature six local gardens
The 2018 Garden Walk and Art Stroll will be held from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, June 23.
Sponsored by Waupaca County Master Gardeners, the event will feature six gardens in the Waupaca and Weyauwega area.
The gardens will showcase raised beds, organic gardening, vegetable gardens, perennials and nectar producing plants, heirloom plantings, prairie environments and unique water elements.
Artists from central Wisconsin are featured in each garden and will demonstrate and sell their work throughout the day.
Tickets are $10 and available at the Waupaca Area Chamber of Commerce, 221 S. Main St., or in the gardens the day of the event.
A limited amount of tickets will also be available at the UW-Extension office at the Waupaca County Courthouse, in Waupaca.
For more information, visit the Waupaca County Master Gardener Facebook page or the Waupaca County Extension website.
Karen and Bob Strain
N1850 East Road, Waupaca
Directions: Take U.S. Highway 10 to State 22/County K, exit 252. Go south on State 22 to stop lights. Turn left (south) onto County K, cross the Crystal River and go past the Red Mill. Turn left onto East Road, go about 3/4 miles to N1850 East Road.
A very long driveway is on the left side. Go to designated parking area.
The Strains’ yard is on a hill and the main garden is on the down side of the hill. There are more than 4,000 hosta plants with 500 different cultivers.
The gardens have more than 1,000 daffodils, Virginia blue bells and crocus along with native wild flowers such as jack-in-the-pulpits, blood root, tiger lilies and trilliums planted in amongst the hostas.
The Strains have added fruit trees to their property, cherries, pears, peaches, plums and several varieties of apples.
Craig and Cathy Smith
N174 County A, Waupaca
Directions: Take U.S. 10 east from Waupaca to the County A exit. Exit right off U.S. 10 and left onto County A heading south. Go approximately seven miles on County A to N174, just past the Emmaus Lutheran Church on the left.
The Smiths describe their 16 acres as the remnants of a small farm with a two-acre marsh. They changed their land almost yearly to create formal gardens, prairie gardens, a landing strip, a fishing pond and a 300-foot zipline.
They built a large waterfall at one end of the pond and landscaped part of the beach area leading to the rocks at the waterfall. Paths leading around the pond and back to the pergola are graced with wildflowers in full summer, sumac and leaf colors in the late summer and fall. Five “island” gardens serve various functions from rest areas to displays of color.
During the garden walk, several ultralight aircraft and powered gliders will be available to watch or ride.
Deana and Mike Hirte
107 E. Ann St., Weyauwega
The Hirtes’ home and gardens sit on a lot and a half in the city of Weyauwega. Records indicate this property was purchased in 1853 for $1 from the United States to the first owner.
Their gardens have been a learning experience and are ever-evolving as they learn what grows well here and what does not.
Scattered throughout the gardens are Mike’s metal sculptures created with repurposed motor parts objects and Deana’s efforts in repurposing old and unwanted items into useful and decorative pieces for the gardens.
Most of the plants in the gardens are perennials. However, annually planted pots, raised beds and railing boxes are included. A pergola with wisteria and clematis centers the backyard while hosta varieties border the edges.
Smaller gardens that highlight a favorite plant speckle the yards throughout and are defined by some kind of yard art.
Kristy and Steve Imm
726 Wesley St., Waupaca
Directions: The Imms’ home is north of Waupaca Foundry Plant 1. Take Elm Street past the foundry toward State Highway 49. At the second cross street (Wesley Street), turn right, go over the railroad tracks. Their home is the third house on the right.
The garden is always a work in progress. It started out as a small bed of flowers and a small vegetable garden. It has now grown to many beds of flowers around the house and pool area.
Kristy is always looking for that one different plant or ornamental item. It is her primary summer time activity and she loves being out in her flower beds.
Ron and Emily Prazak
N2630 Cambria Terrace, Waupaca
Directions: From U.S. 10 take the State 22/County K exit, then turn left on County K and turn left on Cambria Lane to N2630 Cambria Terrace (Lane).
“Back to Eden Garden” – The Prazaks say their organic garden is a must see, not because of the plants – although they are heirlooms from Seedsavers.org – but because of the growing method they used after watching a Paul Gautschi video.
Gautschi claimed his method requires no watering, no weeding, no tilling and no fertilizing.
The Prazaks have been using the method for three years.
Basically, Gautschi’s basic concept is to turn the whole garden into a compost pile using mulch which available for free from tree removal companies. This chokes out weeds, creates a wonderful environment for worms and an airy place for roots to grow.
Each time it rains, the rotting mulch creates an “organic tea” that feeds the plants.
Tony and Pam Beyer
Jordana and Gunner Umnus
E6485 County F, Weyauwega
Directions: Follow U.S. 10 east from Waupaca, take the County X exit for Weyauwega. Turn left. Proceed through town. Turn right on Pine and then an immediate left onto Alfred/County F. Follow out of town for about two miles toward Gill’s Landing. The farm will be on the right.
There is a big sign for TL Beyer Family Farms. Visitors should park in the designated area for the garden tour.
The Beyers purchased the 160 acres in 2000, and it was nothing more than old farm fields covered with burdock and thistle.
Now visitors will see a large vegetable garden, an orchard, crop and hay fields, and many various flowerbeds throughout the property.
In 2014, the Beyers and their three daughters decided to make some more changes to the farm. They added a 10-acre vineyard and a one-acre strawberry patch.
Their plans are to open a winery, brewery and pizzeria in 2019 with the concept of Farm to Fork. Everything offered will all originate from on site from the grapes for the wine, to the barley for the beer, the wheat for the pizza crust and everything in between.
Welcome to Rio Lobo LLC.