CRANBERRY TWP — Hours of meticulous work and attention to detail will be on display this weekend as the Southern Butler County Garden Club hosts its annual garden tour.
The 11th annual event, scheduled from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, aims to show off pristine gardens curated by township residents, and inspire others to become involved in creating their own gardens.
One of those gardens, maintained by Barbara and Ray Smaltz of Crystal Springs Drive, took what was once a heavily wooded area and turned it into a natural oasis.
After years of leaving the wooded backyard area as-is, the couple decided to try something different with the landscaping. Not wanting to simply plant grass that needed to be maintained each week, the couple opted to plant a flower garden. They knocked down the overgrowth and installed a gravel walking path with small islands of gardens throughout.
However, the Smaltzs were owners of two large dogs who would often pounce through the flowers, forcing a change of strategy.
The duo placed barn stone and brick planters, and over time added different types and styles of decorative pots. River rock and gravel was added until the entire area was covered, and a pergola was added to create an outdoor seating area.
“We view our outdoor area as an extension of our indoor living space,” the couple said. “The garden is and always be a work in progress.”
Registration and day of ticket sales begin at 9 a.m. in the Cranberry Township Municipal Center lobby. After paying the $25 fee, participants will be given a booklet with garden descriptions and driving directions. Tickets will also be collected for a door prize, including several “Gardener's Delight” raffle baskets.
The cost of the ticket helps to fund local horticultural programs.
IF YOU GO
WHAT: Southern Butler County Garden Club's annual garden tour.
WHEN: 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday
WHERE: Tour starts at Cranberry Township Municipal Center lobby
TICKETS: $25 per person