Mariposa garden tour

May 27, 2014 

The annual Mariposa Master Gardener Spring Garden Tour will be conducted 9:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m., Saturday, June 7.

All of the sites are within 10 miles of the Mariposa County Fairgrounds.

On the itinerary are five private homes and the group's Native Plant Demonstration Garden along Mariposa Creek, where there will be demonstrations and materials for creating water-wise gardens.

There are two homes in the Bronco Hollow area. One has abundant ornamentals, lots of seating areas, many pieces of garden art and a heart-stopping view, complete with a national-park-type etched plaque with the far-away mountains named.

The other makes wonderful use of low-maintenance plantings such as lavender, privet, rock rose, rosemary, oleander and roses. The prize of the garden is a large elderberry.

Down on Highway 140, there is a vegetable-intensive garden with an orchard, grapes, berries, a big raised-bed area with a clever irrigation system and citrus trees. In the shady patio, a boulder creates a grotto effect.

Off Carleton Road, there is a compact garden that can show you how to make clever use of recycled materials and create beauty with hardy plants that are easy on the water use and less attractive to gophers and deer.

Down a winding road off Silva, there is a front-side-and backyard series of vignettes. A massive old oak rules the pool area, while boulders in the side yard provide a bird B&B, with houses and feeders hanging or popping out of the rocks.

The demonstration garden in downtown, along Stroming Road between 6th and 8th streets, demonstrates that natives can be both beautiful and easy to care for.

The tour takes place rain or shine, there are no ticket refunds. Except for babies in arms, all guests must have tickets; no strollers, no smoking.

Advance tickets are $12, day of event, $15. Tickets can be purchased at the visitors bureau in downtown Mariposa, the UCCE Cooperative Extension office at 5009 Fairgrounds Road, calling (209) 966-2417, or going to (click on the Master Gardener link first).

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