Garden tours an adventure for guests

Staff writer

Visitors to Julie and Dwight Nelson’s home during Saturday’s fifth-annual Flint Hills Garden Tour will see many items re-purposed from different kinds of farm-related machinery.

“It’s definitely rustic out here,” Julie Nelson said.

For 16 years the Nelsons have lived in a home built in the late 1970s by Julie’s parents, Ern and Lucille Hett, at 8322 140th Rd. near Aulne. Next to the house is the Copper Shed, a business Ern Hett started, where sculptures and decorative items are sold.

“We’re just carrying on the tradition,” Nelson said.

On the Nelsons’ leg of the tour, visitors will get a look at their deck, which includes various plants and a goldfish lily pond with a waterfall; a gazebo with a hula dancer made from re-purposed items; and a vegetable and fruit garden, where they grow corn, beets, potatoes, squash, parsnips, peppers, herbs, and apple and fruit trees.

The Nelsons also own chickens and multiple cats and dogs.

“We’re pretty farmy,” Nelson said. “Pretty primitive.”

Tourists also will visit the garden of Linda and Bub Lovelady, at 747 S. Freeborn St., Marion.

Linda Lovelady said she decided to go with a patriotic theme in her flower garden, which will include red, white, and blue geraniums.

“It’s really pretty neat to have people view what you work so hard to have,” she said.

The Loveladys will decorate their tables, deck, and a 1931 Chevrolet truck in American colors.

The tour also will visit the garden of Elora Robinson, at 620 Hudson St., Marion. The event is sponsored by Marion City Library.

Librarian Janet Marler said in the past the tour has helped bring in visitors from Wichita, El Dorado, and Kansas City and raise money for construction of the Santa Fe annex in the library, located on the southeast side of the building.

Tickets are $5 per individual. Free refreshments will be available in the annex during tour hours. The tour lasts from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.

 

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