ST. GEORGE –The Dixie Garden Tour opens with springtime bloom this Saturday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. It is a self-guided tour through 10 gardens from Tonaquint to Santa Clara.
Maps and addresses are provided with ticket purchase. The $10 tickets are available at Star Nurseries, Backyard Gardens & Gifts, Garden Sprout, and at garden No. 1 on the tour, which is the St. George Community Garden at the Tonaquint Nature Center. Proceeds fund Dixie State College scholarships.
Each garden offers diverse landscapes from splash pads to vegetable plots, cacti collections to lush private gardens.
Committee woman Renate Riggs said that some of the gardens are volunteered; some asked by Bonnie Pendleton, The Plant Lady, chair of the southern chapter of the Utah Nursery and Landscape Association; some chosen by sponsor American Association of University Women; and some found and invited by sponsor Dixie Garden Club.
“Some are landscaped and some are home gardens, some are family farm type set ups,” said Riggs, “we try to have a variety.”
Kim Ence, chairman of the event, said people are so creative, not only are people buying scholarships but the one buying gets to see the community in in a very intimate way, through people’s yards.
“It’s kind of like going on the Parade of Homes,” Ence said. You hear, “I didn’t even know this subdivision is here,” “wow, driving by the front of this yard I would have never known this was in the back,” and “look what they’ve done with a postage stamp-size lot.”
The Garden Tour is sponsored by the Lady Lions, Dixie Garden Club, Utah Business Women, and American Association of University Women. Each of the sponsors selects a scholarship recipient with a view towards the sponsor’s own purpose focus. Four recipients will each be granted a $600 Dixie State College scholarship.
We’re not even looking for grade point averages,” said Ence. “There is a need and sometimes a life story will get you; (for example) ‘I’m going to break the cycle that my family has never had anyone go to college.’”
Riggs said the Dixie Garden Tour was founded by a couple ladies, Frances Ming and Dorothy Minieer 26 or 27 years ago.
Copyright 2012 St. George News.