ESCANABA, Mich. (WZMQ) – On Sunday, July 23, the Bay de Noc Gardeners and Delta County Master Gardeners will host their annual “Gardens in Bloom” walking tour in Escanaba.
One Escanaba couple, Mary Ann and Dick Barron, have been hard at work preparing their garden for the event.
The Barrons got married nearly 66 years ago. They moved into their current home and started their garden shortly after.
“It looked awful when we moved in, so we were just cleaning it up, is what it amounted to,” Dick said. “Cleaning it up developed into this.”
Dick and Mary Ann say they are continuing the traditions of both their families.
“Dick was raised on a farm,” said Mary Ann. “He helped his mother in the vegetable kind of garden. My father was a terrific gardener. He did vegetables and he grew beautiful flowers.”
Some of those beautiful flowers are still in their garden today.
“We call them Dad’s lilies,” said Mary Ann, motioning to a group of yellow lilies. “They moved to Florida in 1972, and that’s how long those lilies have been with us. It’s wonderful to have something like that from your family.”
One of seven residential “Gardens in Bloom” on the tour, the Barrons’ garden wraps around almost their entire house. They say it takes a lot of work to maintain each plant and to keep them looking their best.
“You’re more apt to keep it up to date by trimming off the flowers that have died, tie up some plants,” Mary Ann said. “It takes a while.”
“The garden’s getting old and so are we, and it’s harder to clean both of them up,” laughed Dick.
However, Dick says they don’t mind.
“When it gets so that it’s work, well then you’d better find something else,” he said. “You do it for the joy and the beauty.”
For the Barrons, the garden walk brings back a flood of memories. Mary Ann’s father is especially on her mind.
“Every day or two, he would bring a fresh bloom in to Mom,” she recalled. “I remember things like that, so I can look at this and–oh boy–Mom and Dad would love to see this!”
They hope sharing their garden with others can brighten someone’s day.
“People will drive by and you’ll see them going two, three miles an hour,” Dick said. “They’re not looking at me! To have the neighbors enjoy it just means a lot.”
Tickets for the “Gardens in Bloom” tour are $10. They are now available in Escanaba at Pam’s Petals, Wickert Floral, and Gust Asp, as well as at Frame Farm in Gladstone. On July 23, tickets will be available at the OSF Serenity Garden. Ticket proceeds will go toward MSU Extension Master Gardener horticultural education and beautification projects in Delta County.
The “Gardens in “Bloom” walking tour will take place from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m., rain or shine. Gardens on the tour are listed below.
The Rivard Garden – 4971 View 17.5 Lane
The Krebs Garden – 1701 Lake Shore Drive
The Gollach Garden – 1300 South 15th Street
The Evans Garden – 212 South 12th Street
The Jefferson Garden – 713 5th Avenue South
The Derkos Garden – 513 South 6th Street
The Barron Garden – 511 South 6th Street
The Serenity Garden – OSF Hospital