The unusually warm weather and plentiful sunshine this summer makes for some incredibly luscious and colorful scenes around Homer.
And, unlike the pungent odor that comes in early spring, these summer months have smelled fantastic!
Beginning Saturday, Homer Garden Club hosts its annual Gardener’s Weekend, full of inspirational gardens to tour, and a speaker who offers a unique blend of art, landscape design and land ethics.
Keynote speaker Rick Darke has published numerous books, including “The American Woodland Garden: Capturing the Spirit of the Deciduous Forest,” The book won several awards, including one from the American Horticultural Society.
Darke’s work in his “Encyclopedia of Grasses for Livable Landscapes” is purported to be the world’s most complete reference on the subject of grass landscapes.
Most recently, Darke penned “The Wild Garden: Expanded Edition,” which provides a fresh take on the 1870 publication by visionary gardener William Robinson.
In addition, Darke is a noted photographer, lecturer and a regional landscape design consultant. He creates livable, yet sustainable settings.
And somehow — in addition to all of his other accomplishments — Darke maintains a 1.5-acre garden in Pennsylvania with his wife and co-horticulturist, Melinda Zoehrer.
Darke will speak at 6:30 p.m. Saturday at Islands and Ocean Visitor Center. Tickets are available for $10 at the Homer Bookstore and at the Homer Chamber of Commerce. Tickets will also be available at the door, but attendance is limited to 120.
In a festival of the senses, six gardens will open for self-guided tours Sunday from 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Visitors are sure to smell the wind ruffling through pine trees, hear the music of water tumbling though stony glens, drink in colors of a hillside awash in wildflowers and marvel over the productivity and diversity offered by season-extending high tunnels.
Tickets for the tour are $10 for Homer Garden Club members and $15 for non-members. They are available at the Homer Bookstore and the Homer Chamber of Commerce.
Homer Garden Club members will operate a special ticket table at the Homer Bookstore on Saturday, from 12:30–3:30 p.m. Tickets will also be available for purchase on Sunday from 10 a.m. to noon at the City Hall parking lot, as well as at the Chamber on Sunday.
The Bear Creek Winery will once again host this year’s closing reception for all ticketed guests from 5-6:30 p.m. This year, they even went a step further. Having expanded and enhanced all their gardens, the winery is one of the featured gardens on this year’s tour.
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