By Cynthia Bee, Conservation Garden Park
Every spring for the past 20 years, the Utah State University Extension and Utah County Master Gardeners have hosted the Hidden Gardens Tour. The tour presents an opportunity for all of us to play lookie lou in gorgeous local landscapes.
This year’s tour was slated for Friday, June 3- Saturday, June 4 and included exclusive access 17 private residential gardens in Draper, Sandy, South Jordan and West Jordan. In addition, stops at both the Sego Lily Gardens in Sandy and the Conservation Garden Park in West Jordan provided attendees with an opportunity to see how lush and attractive waterwise landscapes can be.
The tour was made possible through local home gardeners who graciously open their garden gates and allow us a glimpse into their lovely yards. The gardens on the tour were rich and diverse, encompassing a wide range of styles and sizes. Whether it’s a peaceful space to rest from the day or a large vegetable production garden to teach children the value (and deliciousness) of hard work, the tour gardens show it all.
One such landscape has been created by the Hughes family of South Jordan. They’ve made the most of their Butterfield Creek setting by using the natural waterway as the focal point of the landscape. The Hughes family created their landscape do-it-yourself style, learning as they went through trial and error.
When asked to provide advice to other homeowners wishing to undertake landscape improvement projects, Leslie Hughes says it’s fine to think big yet start small. “If you can only plant a few perennials to start, that’s okay. Over time they will either reseed and provide free plants or grow large enough to divide into multiple plants. I’ve just about run out of people who are willing to take my excess plants now!”
A special feature of the event were classes offered on Friday morning at the Conservation Garden Park and Saturday morning at Wasatch Shadows Nursery in Sandy. The Conservation Garden Park offered a “Localscapes 101” class for tour attendees. Join us next year to learn the basics of the Localscapes method which was developed to help Utahns create fabulous “localized” landscapes.
This year’s Hidden Garden Tour was presented by Wasatch Shadows Nursery and Gift. Proceeds from the event support master gardener programs in Utah County.