July 14 Garden Parade to inspire across Portage Co.

For the Metro Wire

Tickets are now available for one of the summer’s signature events in Portage County: the annual garden parade will be held Saturday, July 14.

The parade will be from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. one day only and will lead participants from Whiting to Rosholt for stunning views and clever combinations. The parade offers an inside look at five beautiful residential properties:

  • Lori Wagner, 2924 N. Lakeview Road, Rosholt, has been building her flower beds for 33 years. She drew inspiration and ideas from her many years as an employee of Jung’s Garden Center and continues to enjoy the birds, butterflies, and beauty her colorful gardens provide. Wagner created connecting walkways among the beds, added two ponds — and hosted her son’s wedding.
  • Dennis and Laurie Kosmalski, 2527 N. Hamilton Road, Rosholt, transformed two overgrown acres into a colorful, whimsical retreat. Visitors will delight to see the 1954 Fork truck overflowing with perennials and annuals. A restored wagon is planted with more than 100 impatiens. These are just a few of the clever plantings and garden art that will inspire every step. See how many frogs you can find.
  • Joe and Audrey Somers, 5458 Old Highway 18, Stevens Point, put their landscaping skills and time into their yard after retiring 23 years ago. They installed a backyard pond, completed a vibrant perennial bed in the front yard and added a spiritual walking path with an oil painting of the Stations of the Cross by a local nun. Immerse yourself in the solitude and beauty.
  • Don and Sally Dehlinger, 341 Verrill St., Whiting, left the central city for a more spacious property with room for a vegetable garden and plantings with multiple seasons of interest. Spring flowering bulb and shrubs give way to peonies, lilies, and roses. In July, visitors can enjoy red bee balm, white daisies, and blue delphinium. Learn the secret to succession planting for non-stop perennial color.
  • Kelly and Jim Berg, 416 Wadleigh, Stevens Point, moved to a “blank slate” six years ago, bringing with them 250 plants and rocks from Door County. Focusing on native plants, they have created a diverse habitat for animals, birds and pollinators and enriched soil with mulch. They scavenge for materials to build natural fences and a pond. Vegetable gardens provide food year-round.

Also returning this year is Art Bloom at Gallery Q, 1108 Main St. Floral arrangements are inspired by original works of art in this special display at the artist cooperative. An artist reception is 5-7 p.m. Friday.

The featured exhibit is Momentum: Art in Motion by Erin Prais-Hintz, a tribute to the love of dance. Art Bloom will be on display Friday and Saturday at Gallery Q.

Various demonstrations, vendors, and information will be available at each of the garden locations, including feed sack aprons, beekeeping, bats, custom barn quilts, leaf casting, landscape painting at Somers, and Suzuki music performers. The Stevens Point School District’s “Cuts for Kids” will benefit from proceeds to special drawings for a quilt donated by the Piecemakers quilting group and one-of-a-kind containers and garden art.

University of Wisconsin Extension Portage County Master Gardener Volunteers co-sponsor the garden parade, and members are available to answer questions at each garden.

Garden Parade tickets are $10 in advance or $12 on parade days at any of the parade sites. They are available at several locations:

In Stevens Point, tickets are for sale at Jung’s Garden Center, 5620 Hwy. 10 East; Stevens Point Area Co-op, 633 Second St.; Gallery Q, 1108 Main St.; and the Master Gardener information table at the Farmers’ Market on the Public Square (Saturdays).

Tickets are also at Village Gardens, 2811 Porter Rd., Plover; and Judah Studios, Nelsonville.

For more information, contact Portage County UW-Extension, 715-346-1316.