Get back to the garden: The Mountain Valley Garden Tour returns |

Get back to the garden: The Mountain Valley Garden Tour returns

Planting a garden in the Wasatch Back has its own set of challenges, especially when it comes to the climate, said Janene Webster, coordinator for the annual Mountain Valley Garden Tour.

"I’m a hobby gardener and love to be in my yard, but when I would plant things in my garden, they would die, because the climate is so different up here."

So, to learn more about plants and climate, Webster took the Hidden Garden Tour and Master Gardening Workshops down in Utah County about a year ago.

"That tour has been running for 15 years and I learned a lot of information," Webster told The Park Record. "I realized we needed an event like that to show which plants survive and thrive in our environment up here in Summit and Wasatch counties."

Webster took it upon herself to create the first Mountain Valley Garden tour in Park City, Heber and Midway last year.

"As the coordinator, I was responsible for every aspect of the tour last year," she said. "I had to bring in community people to fill different positions. I had to find the gardens and arrange the tours. It was all arranged fairly quickly three months, but I basically said goodbye to my family for those three months and locked myself away to do that."

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This year, the pressures have eased up a bit.

"The difference is we can call upon those community member volunteers from Wasatch and Summit County that helped us last year," she said. "I’m also recruiting some of the people who are taking this year’s Hidden Valley Master Gardening Classes, because they all are required to put in a certain amount of volunteer hours. That way we can have them share some of the burden. It’s also nice to have volunteers who know gardens."

The Mountain Valley Garden Tour is designed to give gardeners ideas, Webster said.

"That’s why we try to pick a variety of gardens," she said. "Personalities coincide with gardens."

For example, meticulous people may like something really neat and orderly, while other people are more into xeriscaping, she said.

"We try to incorporate all those different types of gardens, so when anyone goes on the tour, they can walk away with some neat ideas they would like to try in their yards," Webster said.

This year’s tour will feature 12 gardens six in Park City, three in Midway and three in Heber City.

Park City locations are Sanderson Garden, 5129 Silver Springs Rd., Coe Garden, 3280 Crestline Dr., Christensen Garden, 3205 Crestline Dr., Gorton Garden, 3165 Crestline Dr., Watson Garden, 2965 Estates Dr. and Paulus Garden, 4 Hidden Splendor Ct.

Midway locations are Raemer Garden, 940 Lacy Ln., Norskog Garden, 180 River Rd. and Belfield Garden, 59 S. Johnson Mill Rd.

Heber City locations are Spencer Garden, 405 E. 200 South, Richardson Garden, 220 N. 600 East, and Hemeyer Garden, 2185 Creekside Dr.

The gardens will be open from noon to 7 p.m. on July 15 and from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on July 16.

Tickets can be purchased in advance for $12 at the Market at Park City and the Park City Nursery. Tickets will also be available on site for $15. Tickets will allow visitors unlimited time and visits to the gardens.

"People can visit the gardens anytime during those hours, and there is not limit on how many times they visit," Webster said. "When they get their tickets, they will get a guide book that opens up into a map and gives them information and location of the different gardens on the tour."

In addition, free gardening workshops will be available to ticket holders during the tour, Webster said.

Friday’s workshops will be held at 5:30 p.m. "Growing & Cooking With Herbs," taught by Jaxon Stallard, founder of the Park City Cooking School, will be held at the Paulus Garden, and "Waterwise Landscaping," by Casey Finlinson of Central Utah Gardens, will be held at the Hemeyer Garden.

Saturday’s workshops will be held at 9 a.m. "Top 10 List of High Altitude Plants," led by Kay Hodo of Park City Nursery, will be held at the nursery, 4497 N. S.R. 224, in Park City, and "Perennial Gardening," by John Sulser, owner of Mountain Valley Yard & Garden, will be held at the yard, 515 N. Main St., in Heber.

The Mountain Valley Garden Tour is not only designed to help local gardeners, but also will benefit Children’s Organ Transplant Association, a national charity that guides communities in raising funds for needy transplant patients, Webster said.

"We selected COTA because every dollar we give goes directly to transplant related expenses," she said. "The only expenses we cover from the ticket sales are the cost of ticket and guidebook printing. Every minute, hour and second are donated by our volunteers."

This year’s COTA recipient is two-year-old Patrick Hoopes of Taylorsville.

"Each year we select a recipient and we give precedence to residents of Summit or Wasatch counties to keep the money as local as possible," Webster said. "This year, there was not a patient in these two counties. So we extended the opportunity and found Patrick who needs a small bowel transplant, which is basically an intestinal transplant. He doesn’t have enough intestines and has to be on IV nutrition until he gets that transplant."

Hoopes will be on location at the Paulus Gardens on Saturday, beginning at 11 a.m., Webster said.

"The owners have a big pond with pet trout," she said. "Patrick will be there feeding the trout, and anyone who wants to meet him and say hello and give him a high five can do that."

Webster is especially drawn to helping transplant patients. She had two brothers who had cystic fibrosis and needed transplants.

"One received the first double-lung transplant at Stanford University more than 20 years ago and lived an additional 10 years," she said. "My other brother was the flip side of that," she said. "He passed away before a match was found.

"I know transplant procedures are pretty expensive for these families, and it can be quite a burden in a time of their life," she said. "So we want to help."

The second annual Mountain Valley Garden Tour will take place in various gardens in Park City, Heber, and Midway on Friday, July 15, from noon to 7 p.m. and Saturday, July 16, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tickets can be purchased in advance for $12 at the Market at Park City and the Park City Nursery. Tickets will also be available on site for $15. Tickets will allow visitors unlimited time and visits to the gardens. For more information, visit .