Green with envy: Garden Benefit Tour comes to Park City, Heber and Midway |

Green with envy: Garden Benefit Tour comes to Park City, Heber and Midway

Alisha Self, Of the Record staff

When Janene Webster moved to Heber City eight years ago, she was surprised to find that her gardening skills needed a serious altitude adjustment.

"I was shocked by the limitations," she says, "It would have been very helpful for me to go and see the plants that can actually grow at this elevation and in harsher climates."

The experience inspired her to launch an event to help other green thumbs who find themselves in a similar situation. Webster created a committee to plan the Mountain Valley Garden Benefit Tour earlier this year.

The inaugural event will showcase 14 private gardens seven in Park City, three in Midway and four in Heber City Friday and Saturday, Aug. 13-14.

The focus is providing a look at how local gardeners have triumphed over seemingly adverse conditions. "It’s for people who want ideas of what they can do with their gardens in this area," Webster says.

The locations were selected primarily for their visual appeal, she says. "We have gardens that are very lush and beautiful but we’ve also included several gardens with more naturalized planting and water-wise landscaping."

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Some of the garden owners will be on site during the event to share their tips and expertise with visitors.

The event is modeled after the Hidden Garden Benefit Tour, an annual event that raises funds for the Utah Valley Healthcare Foundation.

All proceeds from the Mountain Valley Garden Benefit Tour will go to the Children’s Organ Transplant Association (COTA) and specifically toward transplant-related expenses for Toole resident Kendall McBride, who is currently on the waiting list for a double-lung transplant.

Webster feels a personal calling to support organ transplants. Her brother received the first double-lung transplant 22 years ago. "I know the blessing transplants are to these families, but also the financial burden," she says.

COTA is a national charity that helps families and communities raise funds for children and adults in need of transplants. According to , the organization spends every dollar raised on transplant-related costs for its recipients.

Webster and the tour committee selected McBride as the event beneficiary because he is among the most critical local transplant patients on COTA’s registry.

McBride was born cystic fibrosis, a genetic disease that mainly affects the lungs. He has extended his life expectancy with regular medical treatments and a constant oxygen supply; however, his lung deterioration has reached a critical level and a double transplant is needed to retain his quality of living.

The featured gardens will be open to ticket-holders Saturday from noon to 8 p.m. and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tour participants must provide their own transportation and can visit the gardens in whichever order they prefer.

Guidebooks and maps will be presented to ticket-holders at the gardens the day of the event. In addition to information about each garden, the guidebooks include gardening articles from local experts including "Good Things Utah" host Joy Bossi, "KSL Greenhouse Show" host Larry Sagers and Midway rose expert Howard Passey.

Those who purchase tickets for the tour are invited to free workshops taught by professional landscaper John Sulfer at Mountain Valley Yard and Garden, 515 North Main Street in Heber. Friday’s class will cover Basic Landscape Design at 11 a.m. and Saturday’s session will discuss Organic Gardening & Creating Beautiful Planters at 9 a.m.

Participants will also be eligible to participate in the Gardener’s Favorite contest to win one of five $50 RC Willey gift certificates. To enter, tour-goers simply keep track of the favorite plant of each owner, which will be marked in each garden, and turn in the log at the final garden they visit.

Tickets for the Mountain Valley Garden Benefit Tour are $12 in advance and are available online at before noon on Thursday or at locations throughout Wasatch, Summit, Utah and Salt Lake counties, including The Market at Park City and the Park City Nursery. Tickets will be available for $15 the days of the event.

A COTA silent auction will be held at Day’s Market in Heber City both days of the event to further support the cause.

For more information about the tour, COTA, and Utah transplant patient Kendall McBride, go to

Garden locations:

  • Park City

    Christensen Garden, 3635 Lariat

    Proctor Garden, 3312 West Homestead Road

    Taranto Garden, 6170 Trailside Drive

    Grant Garden, 6025 Mountain Ranch Drive

    Edwards Garden, 75 Thaynes Canyon Drive

    Wilkerson Garden, 1781 Little Kate Rd

    Matsumoto Garden, 2816 Silver Cloud Drive

  • Midway

    Larsen Garden, 846 Dutch Court

    Kotter Garden, 1430 Dutch Fields Parkway

    Zippritch Garden, 485 South 250 West

  • Heber City

    Wood Garden, 755 South 200 West

    Olsen Garden, 235 North 500 West

    Powell Garden, 943 East 530 North

    Jones Garden, 783 East 600 North