Colors Amid the Garden: A Tour Preview
Celebrate spring with the return of the Master Gardener Volunteers of Cobb County’s (MGVOCC) 18th annual garden tour, Colors Amid the Garden, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. May 22.
The MGVOCC wants you to learn and be inspired as you visit five beautiful and unique gardens selected for the tour. This year’s theme showcases the value of creating habitats that attract butterflies and other important pollinators. All gardens are located in the east Cobb and downtown Marietta areas. Docents will be available in each garden to answer questions and offer educational information on gardening skills. Visitors will be required to comply with Cobb County COVID-19 safety protocols.
The Lopez Garden makes the most of a small-lot garden. Stone pathways and garden beds, providing year-round color and a koi pond, form a relaxing retreat less than 5 minutes from downtown Marietta. Slope, safety and shade are challenges the Lopez family overcame when developing a well-appointed, low-maintenance and functional landscape for all family members to enjoy. There are many lessons to be shared from this garden.
Raising the Bar on Vegetables
Learn the finer points of vegetable gardening, and see how a community garden can reshape a neighborhood. Reconnecting Our Roots Community Garden (RORCG) was adopted as a project of the MGVOCC in 2014. It contains 58 raised beds (some designed for persons with disabilities), a large shed, picnic tables, gazebo and little library. Raised beds are rented to community members to grow their own vegetables, herbs and flowers. An Audubon Certified Wildlife Sanctuary, this garden is surrounded by pollinator plants, which attract birds, butterflies and other beneficial wildlife. Open to visitors to sit and enjoy the scenery, RORCG stands out as a garden that has developed partnerships with the community. The land is owned by the adjacent Zion Baptist Church, whose congregation graciously offered use of it for the betterment of the community. The garden also has formed valuable partnerships with the Rotary Club, nearby schools and residents, in addition to local veterans, who are invaluable volunteers at the garden.
Birds singing, water trickling, flowers blooming, places to gaze, nooks for neighborhood children to explore and lush resting places — all come together in this half-acre garden. Started in 2005 as a retirement project, the owner (a master gardener) created the Swearingin Garden as a special place for family and friends to relax, wander and enjoy the sounds of nature. Water features, including two koi ponds and a waterfall, and a variety of pollinator plants are some of the highlights in this colorful landscape. The Swearingin Garden is a certified wildlife habitat.
Opa, Opa! Celebrate Outdoors
Greeks use the word “opa!” to express a range of emotions, from “oops!” to happy nods for dancing brides and grooms. No doubt, visitors to the Demestihas Garden will be moved to shout opa, opa! when they discover this 9-acre wooded haven. The owner has molded this property into a space where family and friends can enjoy their love of nature, gardening, heritage and hobbies. The landscape works with, in and around the hilly terrain and many native trees, to create focal points. These include a greenhouse, stable and St. Stylianos Greek Chapel, with a rooftop overlook of Sweat Mountain.
Ordinary to Extraordinary
Perfectly perched with a view above the Chattahoochee River, the Doyle Garden property underwent serious transformation, beginning in 2015, when the owner became a master gardener. The garden now carries a wildlife habitat certification. Focal points include multiple intimate seating areas, unobstructed views of the river and a lovely collection of garden art.
The MGVOCC garden tour will be held rain or shine, and tickets are nonrefundable. Masks are required, and appropriate footwear is recommended. Gardens are not wheelchair-accessible. No pets, please! Tickets are $15 in advance and $20 the day of the tour; 17 and younger are free. Purchase tickets online at www.cobbmastergardeners.com.
Event proceeds help provide funding for MGVOCC horticultural educational programs and demonstration and community gardens throughout Cobb County.
The Master Gardener Volunteers of Cobb County (MGVOCC) supports the University of Georgia Cooperative Extension Service and strives to improve the quality of life in our community by delivering research-based horticultural information, educational programs and projects.
– Master Gardener Volunteers of Cobb County is a part of the University of Georgia Extension in Marietta.