Kathy Gardener planted a seed of generosity during last year’s Fireman’s Fest in Olivet. This year she is anxious to see what kind of generosity blooms.
Gardener was the creator of last year’s inaugural garden tour, which benefitted the Will to Live Foundation in Olivet. This year the garden tour returns, though the beneficiary of 100 proceeds has changed. This year all funds generated from the tour will benefit the City of Olivet’s fountain project.
“I’m hoping we raise enough to plant native Michigan plants for the garden around the fountain,” Gardener said.
An advanced master gardener and enthusiast, Gardener has lived most of her life with a simple philosophy — from my garden to your garden. She started the tour as a way to allow her garden to provide for those in the community. She also relishes the opportunity to share her expertise and experience with budding gardeners.
Gardener, whose garden has been submitted in photos to Better Homes and Gardens, has more than 200 different kinds of plants and flowers throughout her property. She began gardening at age 4 with her father and developed a real love and passion for the hobby over the years.
This year’s tour features three gardens — Gardener’s, located at 122 East Street in Olivet; Scott and Amy Ramage’s garden, located at 105 E. Westridge Avenue in Olivet; and Gordon Turner’s garden, located at 202 Engle Drive.
For a donation, participants may tour each garden and learn about the plants and flowers contained within. Gardener said she has added many new plants to her extensive garden and is anxious to share it with visitors.
“Wherever there is a hole, there is a plant,” she said.
Participants can also enter their name, for $1 per entry, for a chance to win gift certificates from local flower shops and greenhouses — Roseacre in Charlotte, The Flower Garden in Eaton Rapids and Boatman Garden Center in Potterville. Those who can’t make this Fireman’s Fest and wish to donate to the fund the can make donations out to City of Olivet Fountain Project.
Gardener said she is anxious to share her love of gardening and the knowledge she’s gained over years of tending her own garden with visitors during Fireman’s Fest. She said she hopes people see the beauty in each garden, but also take away a little knowledge of how to care for their own gardens.
“Everybody’s garden is unique,” Gardener said. “We have some wonderful gardens in Olivet.”