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Tour to feature gardens, barn, art

Staff writer

Rural, urban, and lakeside gardens, a hilltop vista, a restored barn, and even an art exhibit will highlight this year’s Marion City Library garden tour 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. June 25.

Hydrangeas, blackeyed susans, roses, daisies, lilies, lavender, geraniums, and petunias are a few of the flowers that will be on display at the county lake home of Steve and Diane Sams, 54 Lakeshore Dr.

“We have a fish pond that we have goldfish in. We’ve also got some big grasses, pampas grass and crapemyrtle,” Diane said.

The Samses’ garden includes a plant that Diane has given a special name.

“Some people call it bernardia, but I call it bee-balm because the bees like it,” she said.

Limestone landscaping in their yard came from a farm east of town where her father lived.

West of Marion, off 190th Rd., visitors to the Bruce and Belinda Skiles residence at 1914 Quail Creek Rd., can expect to see roses, lilies, peonies, daisies, lavender, and iris in a mainly perennial garden.

Belinda hopes to have a former smokehouse that has been converted into a garden shed cleaned out for visitors to look at.

The Skiles’s hilltop home also affords an eastern vista of town.

Other stops on the tour will include the gardens of Scott and Laurie Miesse, 2251 200th Rd., on US-56 just west of town, which will offer a flower and vegetable garden including spiderwort, tiger lilies, and blackeyed susans.

Vickie Kraus, 307 Elm St., will have an eclectic mix of Kansas flowers, bird houses, and angel statues, and visitors will be able to walk down to Luta Creek.

In addition to gardens, Eldon and Rhonda Hett’s restored limestone barn at 1761 130th Rd., southwest of Aulne, will be on the tour.

The barn, which dates to the late 1800s, now contains living quarters for friends and family. A pond and beach behind it have been the site of family and church gatherings.

“It was always kind of a place where all the younger Hetts would come and carve their names,” Rhonda said. “We left that so you can still see them.”

Preserving history of the original rock walls in the barn was important to the Hetts.

“You see a lot of them just falling apart, and my husband and I hate to see that happen, because when you stop and think of the history of how long it took to build them, it’s a lot different than how we do it now,” Rhonda said. “It’s a neat part of history, and we hate to see them torn down.”

Art by deputy register of deeds Rebecca Wingfield and Gallery 101 owner Jan Davis will be on display at Gallery 101, 106 E. Main St. Paintings by Davis and photography by Wingfield concentrate on gardens and Kansas scenery.

“I thought it would fit well with the garden tour,” Davis said. “There’s quite a few closeups of her garden. Mine, on the other hand, are prairie skies, so I take the wide view of the beauty of our Kansas skies.”

During the tour, refreshments will be served at the exhibit, which will remain on display during July and August from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesdays through Fridays and 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturdays.

Tour tickets cost $5 and are available at the library. Proceeds will benefit library projects.

Last modified June 17, 2016

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