Art in the Gardens

If you think Columbia’s architecture is beautiful, wait until you see the gardens!

Once again, the creative spirit of Columbia – from a floral perspective – will be on view, when the Art in the Gardens tour is held Saturday, June 8, from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. (rain/shine). The tour is being coordinated by Create Columbia, a local nonprofit organization that promotes Columbia as a creative and vital community. This annual tour reflects that goal, as it blends the creativity (and artistry) of the borough’s gardeners with the artistic talents of a variety of artists and musicians who have each been assigned to one of the venues. Each of the residential stops will host at least one artist working en plein air. Acrylics, oils, collages and more will be produced during the garden tour. String music will also be featured in two neighboring properties.

Art in the Gardens will feature eight gardens that showcase differing styles and gardening features. Four residential gardens from previous tours return after facing the same challenge: the removal of trees on their properties or neighboring properties. Look for some familiar features but see the different approaches each homeowner took in redesigning their gardens to accommodate an increase in sun. The artists tentatively assigned to each location are provided in the listings.

Kathy Hohenadel & Vickie Groff: A mix of perennials and shrubs serve as a backdrop for two ponds in this outdoor entertaining space. With a large tree removed, the upper pond is now bathed in sun and surrounded by new plantings. Featured artist: Janette Toth Musser.

Charles & Kay Leader: This park-like setting features both shade and sun gardens.  Look for an array of perennials and entertaining spaces in this Certified Wildlife Habitat. Featured artist: Dee Zimmerman. In addition, string musicians Sondra Simmons and Carol Hunter will span the Leader and Reitzel gardens to add an artistic sound to the air.

John & Wendy Reitzel: At this venue, over 100 different varieties of shrubs and perennials spring to life each year and offer a continually changing display of color.  John designed and created the hardscapes, including new patios and pergolas, and he re-designed the garden areas in response to increased sun. Featured artist: Ray Edmison.

Peter & Brittany Stahl: Vegetables, herbs, and berries are the focus of this residential garden. Look for annuals, perennials and the occasional barefoot child. Featured artist: Bill Clark.

Joe & Deb Weisser: A variety of projects add a personal touch to the Weissers’ gardens. Look for the pond installed by Deb and the outbuildings created by Joe. The mostly sunny gardens feature a variety of colorful plantings. Featured artists: Kim Morrow & Peg Donnan.

Dan & Becky Young: Think entertaining with a touch of whimsy in this Mad Hatter Tea Garden-themed space! Gnomes, fairies, vegetables, annuals and hardscapes blend together in this family-friendly space. Featured artist: Helen Reinhold-Gordon.

Our Lady’s Memorial Prayer Garden at Saint Peter Roman Catholic Church: This new space is a labor of love and dedication by members of the church’s congregation. The quiet atmosphere is enhanced by hardscapes, new plantings and structural elements. Featured artist: Amy Groff.

Wright’s Ferry Mansion: Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, this historic stone house, with its gable roof and pent eave, has both English and Germanic architectural elements. The anchor garden returns with its signature look. The property’s lush gardens reflect the gardening style and greenery that may have seen when Susanna Wright resided here in the 18th century. (Look for franklinia and pawpaw trees.)  A tour guide will share the story of the home and its gardens.

Tickets/admission programs ($15) for the tour can be purchased on June 8 at the Historic Columbia Market House (15 S. Third St.) from 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Cash or check is required for ticket purchases at the $15 rate. Those made by credit or debit card may include an additional processing fee. Payment through Venmo is also accepted.

The stand will include plants for sale from the gardens of current or former tour hosts. A selection of hand-painted, one-of-a-kind decorative birdhouses designed by local artists will also be available. Food and drink can be purchased at the Market House or visit the restaurants, cafes and breweries that define Columbia.

For more information, visit Facebook.com/createcolumbia

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