Oxford garden club tour is first since before pandemic

Gwen Pietzuch displays one of the gardens on the property where she maintains more than a half-dozen small gardens offering a variety of plants and ornaments. CONTRIBUTED/BOB RATTERMAN

Combined ShapeCaption
Gwen Pietzuch displays one of the gardens on the property where she maintains more than a half-dozen small gardens offering a variety of plants and ornaments. CONTRIBUTED/BOB RATTERMAN

Local gardeners can get some ideas or just enjoy seeing a variety of gardens and help community beautification projects at the same time by taking part in next Saturday’s garden tour hosted by the Des Fleurs Garden Club.

The tour is typically held every other year but this will be the first one in three years due to COVID-19 pandemic so garden club members are excited to again be able to offer the tour to the public.

Proceeds benefit the Des Fleurs Garden Club Community Beautification projects in the Oxford community including the colorful hanging baskets in the Uptown area and planting and maintaining gardens at the Oxford Community Arts Center and Inloes Park.

The Oxford In Bloom tour featuring five local gardens will be 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. June 25, rain or shine.

Combined ShapeCaption
A colorful patio garden offers a quiet spot for Gwen and Ed Pietzuch to relax while looking out over their gardens spread around their property. CONTRIBUTED/BOB RATTERMAN

A colorful patio garden offers a quiet spot for Gwen and Ed Pietzuch to relax while looking out over their gardens spread around their property. CONTRIBUTED/BOB RATTERMAN

Combined ShapeCaption
A colorful patio garden offers a quiet spot for Gwen and Ed Pietzuch to relax while looking out over their gardens spread around their property. CONTRIBUTED/BOB RATTERMAN

Advance tickets are $20 and day of tour tickets will be $22 at Shademakers, Oxford Community Arts Center and Oxford Kroger. Visit the club’s web site – desfleurs.org – for on-line tickets and information regarding ticket sales. Online tickets may be picked up the day of the tour at Shademakers, 304 West Collins Street, Oxford.

Des Fleurs Club president Gwen Pietzuch said planning for the garden tour began nearly a year ago when committee co-chair Brenda Frey began a search for potential tour locations.

“Brenda went on a search for gardens a year in advance so we could plan and hosts could have their gardens ready,” Pietzuch said. “There is a lot of work for the club and the hosts. We had about 400 people the last time. We hope to have that or 500.”

She said they have discovered that is a big garden tour weekend as there are several in the region next weekend, including Hamilton and Lebanon.

The Oxford In Bloom garden tour will also offer a vendor marketplace with gardening-related items for sale at one of the five stops. There will be 14 vendors of items from Lucille Hautau’s fine jewelry to Shademakers Garden Center, Treehouse Felt Flowers, the OSU Extension and Master Gardeners, Blooming Designs offering custom pressed flower art, Greg’s Antiques and Garden Art and Wearable Art, among others.

Tickets for the Oxford tour will be a booklet describing the five gardens to visit. Some gardens offer mystery, complexity and seclusion while others offer humor and delight.

Pietzuch and her husband, Ed, have turned their spacious property into more than a half-dozen small gardens, each with a theme or unique facet which she said is symbolic of the coming garden tour, which will offer visitors a variety of ideas. She calls her multiple gardens around the property “vignette gardening.”

The tour will offer a look at a “fairy garden,” a “shade garden” and a “Tuscany garden.”

The fairy garden was the result of the re-establishment of a naturalized woodland retaining honeysuckle as a shade canopy. Three winding pathways provide structure and “rooms” featuring a variety of perennials. One of those “rooms” has become a home for fairies with small figures set in place among miniature plants.

Another home on the tour dealt with honeysuckle by removing it and replacing it with shade-providing plants and 60 varieties of Hostas. Dividing and replanting of the plants in the garden have increased the collection.

The Tuscany Garden came about when a planned 50th anniversary trip to Tuscany was abandoned in favor of improvements to the yard. Consultation for a rock design to the property created rock gardens, a patio, walkways and steps. Further work created a bench, pergola, trellis and plantings. Colorful flowers and shrubs completed the transformation. Loss of ash trees prompted the gradual change of a wooded area to a “park” with plants to attract pollinators.

With those locations on the tour Saturday, visitors will have a chance to see a variety of garden ideas. Pietzuch said the club is proud of the offerings on this year’s tour and looks at her own yard as a kind of sample of the variety being offered.

“I look for unique plants, different styles. I have five this year,” she said. Sitting on her porch, she looked across the driveway at a shady, wooded area. “We would look out there and it was about all honeysuckle. We removed the honeysuckle and now sitting on the porch we are not looking at all honeysuckle.”

A brief tour of her gardens, however, shows one shade garden of her own with a mulberry tree and honeysuckle at the center.

“Master gardeners would take me to task for the honeysuckle but it provides shade. The birds love the mulberries,” she said.

In another of her small gardens, however, she has planted a non-invasive species of honeysuckle growing on a trellis. Another is her toad garden which is home to a toad which comes out to watch when she works in that garden.

About the Author