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Need Ideas for Your Garden? Steal Them! (Ideas, Not Plants...)

Is the design for your garden or landscaping stuck in a rut? Garden tours are a great way to spark some fresh ideas – and as KUNC gardener Tom Throgmorton assures us, plant plagiarism is perfectly okay…

It’s the season of the garden tour. Look for a tour in your area over the next few weekends.

Garden tours are a great way to get new ideas for difficult spots in your garden. As you wander through other folk’s yards notice how they’ve figured out difficult spots. Critically look at your garden - then go on the tour with questions in mind.

Watch for color combinations. It’s easy to get into a rut of colors. Garden tours open new color mixtures. Use what you see. Plagiarism is ok in gardening.

Most garden tours are self guided. Be sure to get a good map of the homes on the tour. Serious tour goers take a camera and notepad. After a couple of exciting gardens, it’s hard to remember all of the plants. Be prepared for the weather. Hats, sunscreen, good shoes and water are musts.

Watch where you step -- the garden takes a beating with so many visitors. Avoid stepping off the beaten path.

Some regional tours to consider for June 23rd include:

The 30th Annual Terrace and Garden tour is sponsored by the Junior League of Fort Collins. Seven gardens are featured. All of the gardens are around the east side of Warren Lake. The gardens are open for self guided tours from 8 am until 4 pm. The garden tour is a fund raiser for the Junior League's women and children causes.

The Greeley garden tour is a fund raiser for nursing scholarships. It is a self-guided tour of seven gardens.

The Loveland Youth Garden Tour features gardens in southwest Loveland. There will be a sale of art for the garden by regional artist. The tour and art sales benefits the Loveland youth garden program. Information 970-669-7182.

Later in the season are other tours:

The Xeriscape Demonstration Garden Tour in Ft. Collins is July 26th. The hosted tour is from 5 to 7 pm. The garden features drought tolerant plants and is a Plant Select evaluation site. Check out the Ft. Collins City utilities websitefor more information.

A favorite is the Kitchen and Garden Tour in Steamboat Springs. The July 21 tour features beautiful mountain gardens and outdoor spaces in the Anglers neighborhood. It is a benefit for Strings in the Mountains.

Summit County also hosts a tour the weekend of July 21st. The gardens are widespread… and of wide interest.

It’s amazing what you can learn in someone else’s garden.


Tom has been offering garden advice on KUNC for almost two decades. During that time he has been the wholesale sales manager at Ft. Collins Nursery, Inc. Since January of 2005 he has been the owner and operator of Throgmorton Plant Management, LLC., a landscape installation and maintenance company as well as a horticultural consulting firm. He lives in northern Ft. Collins with his wife and two kids.
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