FEAST FOR THE EYES
Master Gardener Garden Tour emphasizes edible gardening.
WRITTEN BY JEANNE LAUF WALPOLE
PHOTOS COURTESY OF WENDY HANSON MAZET
If you’re a nosy gardener looking for new horticulture ideas from your fellow gardeners, you won’t want to miss the third annual Master Gardener Garden Tour this August.
Cosponsored by Rail City Garden Center in Sparks and the University of Nevada Cooperative Extension’s master gardener volunteer program, the self-guided driving tour allows attendees to visit about 15 private gardens sprinkled throughout Northern Nevada, from Washoe Valley to Spanish Springs.
“It’s an opportunity to go to multiple areas in Washoe County and see what people are doing,” says Wendy Hanson Mazet, coordinator of the master gardener program. “Our hope is that people can see the gamut and take inspiration from it when they see new ideas they want to try.”
Although the emphasis is on edible gardening, landscapes also will be on display. Participating gardens will represent an eclectic variety, ranging from small patio container displays to large plantings of fruits, vegetables, and flowers.
“One garden includes a home vineyard, and another has a large vegetable garden with landscaping that slopes,” Mazet says.
Pawl Hollis, owner of Rail City Garden Center, enthusiastically supports the tour because it educates local gardeners and also raises funds for the master gardener program. As an ag educator, he keeps on top of the latest trends and ideas, which can be passed on to local gardeners.
“[Rail City is] a one-stop place for landscapers,” he says. “We keep searching for new and amazing things.”
The master gardener program is designed to train people in science-based horticulture. Anyone who is interested in learning about gardening can apply for the 10-week program, which certifies students as master gardeners. The master gardeners then work as volunteers in the Washoe County Extension Office, helping to educate people in the community about gardening. Funds raised from the tour will go toward buying a new microscope for the program.
“We’re spreading the word and having a lot of fun doing it,” Hollis says.
Reno-based freelance writer Jeanne Lauf Walpole is in awe of gardeners who can actually grow their own food.
Master Gardener Garden Tour
Aug. 19 – 20
Garden locations on the tour are open from 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. both days of the tour. Tickets cost $20 per person or $30 per couple and are valid for both days. Food and drinks aren’t served, and restrooms aren’t provided. Wear comfortable walking shoes.