Lyons Garden Club 1st Annual Garden Tour (fundraiser)
June 26, 2021
This is a sampling of the 19 locations that were open to visitors.
For a great example of how a person can landscape their yard using xeriscape and wildlife habitats, locals just need to look in their own Lyons neighborhood. Larry and Mimi Elmore created their company Wild by Design to offer the best in sustainable landscapes. They were the forerunners in this style of gardening, and are considered the premiere wildlife habitat landscape designers.
If you’ve driven by their lush front yard on Steamboat Valley Road, and think you are familiar with their landscape, you will be taken back when you stop and do a walkaround, as there is a depth of plants that takes two feet to discover. There are hidden walkways, seating areas, and more.
Mimi says that business was slow during the pandemic, so she finally had time to do all the designing and planting in her own yard that she had been putting off. To walk with her is an education in itself, as she can describe everything about a plant that you didn’t even know to ask. The Lyons Recorder will be doing a separate article with a few of her excellent tips later in July.
Susan Vargo has a relatively small front yard, but she packed in a lot. She gave the landscaper a general idea of what she wanted, and then let him set it up, including a surprise large moss rock. Large sandstone slabs mark a stairway to the upper, back patio, which is partially covered. She has placed many container plantings on rollers, which she says makes it easier for her to bring them under the canopy during hail storms and such.
Erin and Adam Besen on 1st Avenue, have a large patio area behind their mountainside house that abuts a wall of sandstone. It was designed by Wild by Design (the Elmores) before they moved in, but they have added their own touches. Mimi Elmore says that the Besens have created their own microcosm of weather, which helps in plants thrive in a moderate climate. Erin says that she never takes in her begonia tubers. They also placed their mother’s clay sculptures in the yard, and have a water feature.
The yard of David Orback was destroyed during the Great Flood of 2013. He lives in the Confluence area. He had to rebuild much of the house which was originally built in 1953. There is a well that supplies the water for his garden (he has town water for the house). His plume grass will eventually grow taller than the fence by the end of summer.
This is the Apple Valley Road property that had an apple orchard with 40 apple trees several decades ago. Barb Welke moved in with her new husband and their blended family 52 years ago in 1969. Today there are only nine apple trees left, but multiple new structures, gardens, patios and a gazebo have been added over the years. The old farm house is now a short-term rental cottage. The Lyons Recorder will be doing a separate (history) article about the sprawling property and its past and present owner in the coming months.
Holly and Steve Beck, on Eagle Valley Drive, turned a half acre of hard quarry dirt and rock into an intricate garden landscape, using different kinds of stone, perennials, evergreens, and trees. It has two waterfalls and a stream that runs down the length of the yard. There is a pond with a fountain that reuses the same water. And, two large patio seating areas that are connected by a set of wide stone stairs.
They marked the walkway with white chalk to direct the visitors on their walk along the semi-circular path. During the Great Flood of 2013, the water ran into their neighbor’s yard, and they were spared, despite having a stream running down the backyard incline.
Steps Steps Steps
Hot Hot Hot
Flowers Flowers Flowers
Sandstone Sandstone Sandstone
A multitude of people expressed enthusiastic approval of the gardens on display, and begged that the Garden Tours become an annual event. The Lyons Garden Club said that more than 150 people attended the fundraiser. Treasurer Sue Wratten said, “The success of this garden tour went beyond our expectations; we will begin to plan next year’s tour after we take a well-deserved rest! Such a wonderful community we live in.”
Thank you to the coordinators and sponsors of the event, and all the homeowners who were willing to open their gardens up to the public, and answer their gardening questions. Half the fun was talking with them and getting ideas for one’s own garden.
For a ”history” of the club, see our ARTICLE.
All photographs are Copyright 2021.
If you have a correction for the photograph text, please write to LyonsRecorder.Editor@gmail.com