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Volume 24, Number 9 — September 2017

Abingdon Garden Tour showcases beauty

May 31, 2017

The 18th Historic Abingdon Garden Tour, sponsored by Abingdon Garden Club, is Saturday, June 17, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. throughout the Abingdon area. Admission is $10, and tickets are available at Greer Jewelers in downtown Abingdon. Tickets are also available at Abingdon Convention and Visitors Center and at participating gardens on the day of the tour. Maps to the gardens are on a flyer available when tickets are purchased.

The Abingdon Garden Club tries to choose a variety of gardens that reflect a range of gardening styles and ambitions for its garden tours. This year the styles range from mini-farms near downtown, several in-town gardens, expansive suburban gardens and a horse farm just outside of town.

Dianne and David Bisig at 20331 Millbrooke Drive bought their "garden home" eight years ago. Dianne loves digging and working in her flower beds and the yard and believes it is therapy for the mind and body. The garden has perennials, annuals and small graceful grasses scattered throughout. Visitors also find many colorful annuals in decorative containers and the Bisigs' favorite statuary. The terraced brick wall adds a special touch to give the appearance of an oasis when you walk out the back door.

Sycamore Creek Farm at 18254 Old Jonesboro Road is the home of Kristy and William Davis. After daydreaming of turning this property into a family horse farm, the Davises acquired the property in 2013. Recently they have expanded the outdoor gardening and living areas by building an outdoor kitchen, fireplace, patio and pool. Visitors enjoy the vista of Arabian horses and horse barns, vegetable and ornamental gardens under the many large oaks and maples, or taking a walk by the creek.

Tom and Amanda McMullen at 267 White's Mill Road have turned their backyard into an urban mini-farm. They produce or trade for about 75 percent of the vegetable, fruit, meat and eggs needed for their family of four. Over the years, they have installed a greenhouse, a small pond, animal outbuildings, garden plots with annuals and perennial herbs and vegetables, and a dozen varieties of fruit trees. They have chickens, rabbits and even bluegill.

The McMurry family's gardens at 18436 Westwood Drive are a wonderland that has been in development for 40 years. The gardens are filled with springtime bulbs, ferns, hellebores, peonies, columbine, 30-foot rhododendrons and azaleas. There are dogwood, cherry, crabapple and Japanese maple trees. The patio is enhanced by a waterfall and pond, which has fish and water lilies. The McMurrys made many hypertufa containers that contain colorful cascading flowers and plants.

Ryan and Mel Monahan's garden at 470 Court Street is a show of creativity and imagination as they have used the natural slope of their property to create a beautifully landscaped area. The property has striking topiaries, specimen evergreens and Japanese maples. A variety of materials have been used to create an unusual assortment of hardscapes. The patio at the back of the house offers shade and privacy.

Lynn and Martin Monahan's garden at 458 Circle Drive is one of the most admired lawns and gardens in Abingdon. It has been an ongoing retreat that has spanned over 40 years in the making. A large secluded patio is surrounded by gardens of perennials and a few annuals. A lot of changes have happened in the last few years with removal of large pines on one side and large maples in the front.

The Monarch Butterfly Waystation Garden at Eberhardt Park (corner of Tanner and Park Streets) was started in June 2016. It combined the efforts of the Abingdon Garden Club, the Washington County Master Gardeners and the Abingdon Parks and Recreation Department. There are more than 60 plants in a 500-square-foot area. In order to become a nationally accredited Monarch Waystation, certain requirements had to be met. Host plants are needed for the butterflies to lay their eggs and for the caterpillars to feed. Also, a variety of nectar plants are necessary so the butterflies can feed after they hatch.

Topics: Art