15 Beautiful Gardens to Tour June 24 and 25

Heavenly hydrangeas, delightful daylilies, and a woodland wonderland were just a few of the spectacular sights to experience during the 2017 Tour de Fleur Garden Walk in Evansville on Saturday, June 24 and Sunday, June 25. Fourteen private gardens in Vanderburgh and Warrick counties as well as the always interesting Master Gardener Display Garden were adorned in their summer finery and ready for appreciative visitors. In addition, a variety of succulent planters were on display at the Master Gardener Display Garden.

Sponsored by the Southwestern Indiana Master Gardener Association (SWIMGA) and Tucker Publishing Group, this Garden Walk funds horticulture sponsorships and educational programs in Southwestern Indiana. SWIMGA volunteers maintain nearly 20 public gardens in Vanderburgh, Warrick and Posey counties including the 1.2-acre Master Gardener Display Garden in Evansville.

For more information about the Garden Walk, please contact Karen Flittner at 812.853.0251 or kflitt@aol.com  or Sandy Mehling at 812.853.6672 or slmehling@wowway.com.  These are the gardens on the 2017 Garden Walk:


Master Gardener Display Garden (3501 E. Lloyd Expressway, Evansville)

Edge-to-Edge Gorgeous

This dazzling garden is our Master Gardeners’ pride and joy and an oasis of beauty and serenity. The 1.2-acre lot demonstrates the amazing variety of flowers and vegetables that can be grown in the TriState. It’s a place for education and enjoyment by residents and visitors alike. As SWIMGA’s home garden, the Display Garden is the site of several public educational events during the spring, summer and autumn. You’re sure to find something to appreciate in one of nearly 20 themed gardens such as the Sensory Garden, Cottage Garden, Rain Garden, Berry Patch, Iris Walk, Kitchen Garden, Shade Garden, All America Selections Garden, etc., along with a gazebo and a restored log cabin for added pleasure. Master gardeners volunteer their time in all aspects of the garden — from planning, tilling and planting to weeding and harvesting. The result of the hard work in the flower gardens is beauty for you to behold, and the Vegetable Garden provides 10,000 pounds of much-needed produce for the TriState Food Bank each year.

Kristen & Todd Tucker (601 South Lombard Avenue, Evansville)

Completed? You Decide!

The Tucker home could be considered a local garden’s answer to the famous Winchester house in California…it likely will never be completed. The homeowners moved into the house 14 years ago and less than 30 days later, a 130’ berm along Lincoln Avenue built for privacy and child safety was completed. Working in close collaboration with Landscapes by Dallas Foster, over 40 projects — large and small — have been finished. The property has multiple garden rooms and meandering stone paths, and is meant to be walked. Be careful or you’ll miss some secret and very private areas. A just-completed courtyard is the current homeowners’ favorite. The Tuckers and landscape designer Dallas Foster have built a strong friendship through the years and enjoy walking the one-acre rectangular lot discussing potential projects with both parties compromising a bit to fit the other’s vision — a true collaborative partnership.

Ken & Jan Kraus (1517 Victoria Green Boulevard, Evansville)

So Much to Enjoy!

Your senses will be overwhelmed as you stroll through the Kraus’ white front gate and wander on the brick walkway through the cottage garden toward the black wrought iron fence at the back of the property. This courtyard integrates sun and shade, annual and perennial flowers and features a “living wall” of sedum, a bubbler fountain covered with creeping Jenny and stonecrop, as well as bird baths and houses, garden art/statuary and two white trellises with Boston ferns. You’ll see Pagoda dogwood trees, viburnum, boxwood, roses, hydrangeas, nandinas, crepe myrtle bushes, hollies, gaura, Hinoki Japanese cypress, abelias, azaleas, astilbe, salvias, hostas, and daylilies. There is so much to enjoy here!

Nancy Lacey (1521 Victoria Green Boulevard, Evansville)

Koi in the Courtyard

Follow the splendid stone walkway through Nancy’s courtyard toward the River Birch tree in the backyard, and you’re sure to see the flowing fountains that bring such serenity to this space. Along the path, you’ll notice the beautiful combination of grasses, hostas, lilacs, hydrangeas and crepe myrtle. Take a moment to catch your breath on the bench overlooking the koi pond and take in the beautiful new garden that Nancy has created. It’s simply stunning!

Ron & Nina Wargel (5401 Hallmark Avenue, Evansville)

Come Sit Under the Gingko Tree

The Wargels have the perfect setting for entertaining — complete with an outdoor fireplace and lovely gardens that attract butterflies and hummingbirds. From the florist cart in the front yard to the “bird girl” and “man in the moon” in the backyard, the Wargels have beautifully blended found treasures into their wooded landscape. Among the trees you’ll see is a Gingko, which the National Arbor Day Foundation has “hailed as undoubtedly one of the most distinct and beautiful of all deciduous trees.” It can live as long as 3,000 years and is “considered a living fossil, with the earliest leaf fossils dating from 270 million years ago. It was rediscovered in 1691 in China and brought to this country in the late 1700s. The seeds and leaves have been (and still are today) used in medicine throughout the world.” Come see!

Stan & Susie Levco (544 Wilson Square, Evansville)

Fairy Garden in Hydrangea Heaven

If you love hydrangeas, you must come to the Levco garden! You’ll see a beautiful display of hydrangeas along with roses, peonies and crepe myrtles in this sunny landscape. As you’re enjoying the beautiful environment, be on the lookout as numerous fairies have been spotted from the wrought iron settee. The Levcos established their Wonder Garden years ago to encourage their daughters to garden. Now Susie wonders, “What is this? Where did that come from? What was I thinking?” She has an equal mix of perennial and annual flowers, and she changes out the annuals from year to year. The perennials she chooses have either a long bloom time or bloom recurrently throughout the summer. She always thought it would be fun if the backyard were a garden. Now it is, and it’s absolutely beautiful!

Nancy & Amanda Cones (532 Plaza Drive, Evansville)

Backyard Waterfall is a Must See!

The Cones’ backyard should be a destination for anyone interested in landscape design or looking for interesting hardscape ideas. The main feature, designed by the team at Landscapes by Dallas Foster, is the split waterfall with a stenciled concrete patio encircling a lovely pond. The waterfall is flanked on both sides by a hill featuring large boulders and flowers and crowned with steps up to a 12’ tree stump, which has been fashioned into a woodland fairy-type house overlooking the garden and pond. Nancy enjoys experimenting with different flowers and tends to plant a variety of annual and perennial flowers each year in this backyard enhanced with lots of sunshine, though there are also a few spots for some shade-lovers. This backyard is definitely a treat to behold!

Paul & Dee Bouseman (5500 Frame Road, Newburgh)

Eclectic and Sustainable at Grasshopper Hill

The Bousemans designed their rustic modern home with many energy-saving features including passive solar orientation, reflective metal roof, and super-insulated walls. Its Eastern Red Cedar siding was milled in nearby Marengo. While the garden at this 1.5-acre redeveloped farmstead is just over two years old, it already features an eclectic mix of native plants, unusual trees and shrubs along a reclaimed stone path with a focus on natural habitat for invertebrates, amphibians, reptiles and birds. You’ll find a 75’ rustic cedar trellis with native vines, chicken coop with a living roof, elevated playhouse, various sculptures and found art along with rustic benches and containers. Be sure to look for the bubble fountain among the gordlinia, sweet bay magnolia and weeping bald cypress trees.

Derek & Cynthia Vanhooser (1144 Asbury Cemetery Road, Chandler)

Blank Slate Transformation

From its humble beginnings as a blank slate with a lovely lake view, the landscape at the 10-acre Vanhooser country home has been transformed into gorgeous gardens accented with a swimming pool, recessed patio and rock retaining walls. Walkways take you on a path of pure delight as you will surely enjoy the interesting mix of many sun-loving perennials providing color for all seasons. You’ll find bee balm, butterfly weed, columbine and coneflowers among the daylilies, hostas, knockout roses, lambs ear, peonies and primrose as well as the family vegetable garden. Crepe myrtles, Japanese maple, serviceberry, sweet bay magnolia and weeping cherry further accentuate the home along with mock orange, lilacs, and pyracantha. Absolutely stunning!

Linda Stocks (7738 Kaleigh Court, Evansville)

Creating Beauty in Small Spaces

Small spaces can be challenging to landscape, but Linda has done great things with her subdivision lot. As you tour her garden, you’ll find a stone water feature along with a large boulder area. Birds are quite welcome here utilizing many feeders and taking shelter in thirteen trees and a 6’ red honeysuckle. Linda’s garden includes several varieties of hydrangea, coreopsis, coneflower, crepe myrtle, dianthus and coral bell, etc. This landscaping is perfect for interesting trees such as the Wildfire Black Gum, Alaskan Cedar, Hinoki Cypress, Fernspray Cypress, and Japanese Snowball. You’ll also find containers of tomato and pepper plants as well as annuals placed strategically throughout the gardens. Linda generously shares her expertise in creating beauty in small spaces!

Tony Buccilli (433 Mt. Ashley Road, Evansville)

Bursts of Color Welcome Visitors

The visitors to the Buccilli gardens will surely find something that will please them.  The nearly 200 varieties of flowers, plants and trees ensure that something is always in bloom in the sun and shade gardens that decorate the half-acre location. The front garden, dotted with boulders, is nestled with bursts of color from the perennials blooming among the Japanese maple, cedar and spruce trees, hydrangeas, roses, crepe myrtle and Luyken laurel.  The flagstone pathway between the birch trees guides the visitor to the beginning of a shade garden which leads to the backyard. The rush of the koi pond’s waterfall; the scent from the rose and flower gardens; and the taste of vegetables, herbs and fruits from their individual gardens allow for all senses to come alive. Colorful bird houses welcome winged guests as do statues, art and a bench for the meditative visitor.

Stu & Carol Hoffherr (1514 W. Hillsdale Road, Evansville)

Hosta Heaven at Peacewood

Stone-lined paths will guide you through this awesome, woodland paradise where you’ll see approximately 200 different and interesting species of hostas along with fern, azalea, daylily, hydrangea, astilbe and dinosaur food plants, etc. The Hoffherrs “grew” this amazing backyard over the past ten years one bed at a time, adding paths, dry creek beds and bridges as needed by putting in 10 – 40 hours per week, depending on the time of year, ideas they were implementing, and maintenance needed. Putting it simply, you don’t want to miss this garden or the screened gazebo, which was constructed by the Hoffherrs’ son without the benefit of blueprints. There are many lovely surprises here — too numerous to mention. You won’t be disappointed with your visit to Peacewood!

Ron & Carolyn Ruminer (623 Mels Drive, Evansville)

Early Attic

Ron and Carolyn’s bilevel home on this beautiful wooded lot is perfectly situated overlooking a 7-acre lake. The home’s theme is “Early Attic” which is carried into some of the gardens. Most of the perennials and native plants have been purchased during the past fifteen years at the annual Master Gardener Plant Sale. Others are cherished gifts from family and friends or purchased at local garden centers. Green beans, peas, tomatoes, asparagus, blackberries, a cherry tree and small flower garden occupy a sunny spot in the backyard. A small red dogwood is the jewel amongst the majestic white ash, white oaks, and other trees providing welcome shade. Don’t miss the front yard’s goat wagon, and the backyard’s tractor seats and water pump. Come and enjoy the shade!

Dr. Ron & Crickett Rheinlander (618 Drexel Drive, Evansville)

Land of Oz

The swing under the old oak tree magically sets the outdoor stage for many wonderful days of pleasure in the Rheinlanders’ backyard on Lutterbach Lake East. The beautiful cottonwood tree and lace cap hydrangeas in the front yard entice inquisitive visitors into exploring the backyard where you’ll thoroughly enjoy your trip through the Land of Oz. No matter which direction you turn, you’ll see something interesting that catches your eyes. Take a few steps, and you’ll get a firsthand look at a fine example of blending certified wildlife habitat into a beautiful suburban landscape by providing food, water and cover for wildlife to raise their young. You’ll see how the Rheinlanders have successfully created a perfect environment to enjoy their growing family as well as their recreational passions — including a putting green. Be sure to check out the garden designed specifically for their grandsons, Samuel and Gabriel, complete with swings and snapdragons. You won’t want to miss this one!

Dan & Mary Dozier (613 Biddle Ct., Evansville)

Daylilies by the Thousands

In the spring of 2001, the Doziers plotted three areas for flower gardens at their suburban home, and since then the magnificent beauty just keeps on growing. Today, their landscaping is filled to the brim with daylilies of many species lovingly planted along walkways that lead toward a swimming pool in the backyard and a goldfish pond beautifully accented with a waterfall. If you enjoy daylilies, this is truly an amazing sight to see!