I’m looking forward to Saturday July 9th because that’s the day of the 21st annual New River Valley Garden Tour. This event is sponsored by the Friends of the Library with the cooperation of the New River Valley Master Gardeners’ Association and all of the money raised from ticket sales and sponsorships funds programs at our local libraries.
The Oaks Victorian Inn was on the tour in 2013 and 500 or more people toured the B&B and enjoyed our gardens. We had jazz playing on the back patio and master gardeners on site to answer any questions visitors might have about gardening.
Last year featured gardens in Chistiansburg and Riner. The first garden we visited had historic buildings, a chicken coop, a tree swing and a gazebo where they served cookies and sweet tea. Bernie must have been on that swing for at least 10 minutes and would have stayed on it longer if we didn’t have 6 more gardens to visit and guests checking in at 4 o’clock. My favorite garden was out on Mud Pike Road. It had iron sculptures (made by the owner), statues and whimsies throughout the flowers. I loved the concrete gnomes hiding in the bushes and the tree stumps.
Another garden had fish ponds with Koi, water plants and lots and lots of perennials. One garden had flowers and succulents in very bizarre planters made from doll heads and strange signs on fences and the sides of sheds that said things like “Beware of Pickpockets and Loose Woman” and “Do Not Spit in Water Fountain”. A doll’s head sat on a low hanging branch with a sign below it that said “Watch Your Head”.
Each year a group of secret snoopers look for fabulous gardens for the tour and this year they have selected 7 in Blacksburg. Visit 6 traditional gardens and Glade Road Growing Farm. A Master Gardener Plant Clinic will be at Glade Road Growing where you can ask questions about lawns, landscaping, and pest control; pick up a soil test kit with instructions; or choose from a large selection of free flower and vegetable seeds. They also have a farm stand and Rising Silo Brewery. I haven’t been yet so I hope the tap room is open and I can try their beers.
Tickets are available at public libraries in Blacksburg, Christiansburg, Floyd, Radford, Salem, and Shawsville for $12 or you can buy a ticket the day of for $15 at any of the featured gardens. Hope to see you among the flowers.