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Tour a few garden masterpieces

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By Special to the Monitor

Ever spied between the slats of a fence to see pieces of a neatly manicured garden or a backyard sprayed with a rainbow of flowers and wished to see more?

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Crane your neck no more; local residents are opening their outdoor oases to the community during the 2010 Garden Tour. The tour, which the New Mexico State University Los Alamos Master Gardeners are sponsoring, will be held from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. June 19.

The tour is free and is self guided; visitors may start at any garden and visit as many as they like. Brochures are available at Los Alamos County libraries, the Los Alamos County Extension Office at 475 20th St. and are also available online at http://lamgonline.org/.

There are seven gardens featured on the tour along with the Los Alamos Demonstration Garden.

In recognition of the 10-year anniversary of the Cerro Grande fire, three of the featured gardens are established on fire recovery lots.

The two gardens located in the Quemazon subdivision deal with thin, rocky soils and significant slopes. Both gardens also employ terracing and a collection xeric plants. Pat Wall’s garden at 1825 Corona, which is included in the tour, features a small koi pond, rock garden and a blue gramma grass lawn. Another garden located at 4975 Hermosura includes a courtyard oasis and dry streambeds.

A fire recovery garden built by Earl and Linda Hoffman at 3197 Woodland shares some of the challenges of the Quemazon lots but includes vegetable plantings and a perfect buffalo grass croquet lawn.

 The 10-year old Foltyn garden at 1 Mariposa Court in La Senda works to integrate cultivated landscape with the surrounding woodland. A fountain leads to a blue gramma grass lawn, colorful flowerbeds, a large deck and a shaded portal.

 The three White Rock gardens offer a contrast to the new gardens as they have evolved over many years.  

Martin and Bev Cooper’s garden at 521 Ridgecrest contains more than 200 varieties of perennials in raised beds of moss rock.

A pond stocked with koi and goldfish and adjoining deck invite contemplation and relaxation.

Also, the garden at 240 Kimberly provides an example of reducing the amount of lawn while creating a welcoming entry.

A fountain and fruit and shade trees anchor the backyard.

The garden at 67 La Paloma provides an example of garden rooms: a vegetable garden, a child play space, patios and a shady flower-bordered lawn.

  On the corner of Oppenheimer and Central, the Los Alamos Demonstration Garden is cared for by NMSU Master Gardeners.

In the garden are herbs, ornamental grasses, turf, perennials, artemisias and a sensory garden.

Displayed are shrubs and trees well suited for area. Carlos Valdez, NMSU extension agent will be the host.