Studies have shown that gardening makes people happy.
It must be true — how often do you run into grumpy gardeners?
Following that same thread, garden tours are likely to lift your spirits.
So get ready for a big serotonin boost, as there are lots of exceptional garden tours this year. And those who planned these tours included a variety of unique events.
Amy Johnson, executive director of Roots and Branches, the nonprofit organization sponsoring the 25th annual Gardens of West Bend Tour on July 16 and 17, said one of the highlights of her tour is Kingsheart Farm and Gardens, a thoroughbred horse farm converted to an event venue.
“They started constructing gardens a few years ago, and they are absolutely lovely. The farm is a beautiful venue. You have rolling pastures, but they have created formal gardens, as well.
“It’s a historic Civil War era farmstead from the mid-1800s. It includes fieldstone and timber structures, and there are eight gardens in multiple garden styles,” she said.
Three large gardens on the tour that abut each other should also be seen.
“Each garden is unique, and the homeowners all garden together. These gardens have also changed over the years. One of the gardens lost some trees, and it went from a shade garden to a sun garden,” Johnson said.
To celebrate the 25th anniversary of the tour, her group added events at Kingsheart Farm and Garden. They will include seminars on floral design, monarch butterflies, and gardening for wildlife.
Maria Tess, tour chairperson for the Friends of the Muskego Library Garden Walk: A Bloomin’ Good Thyme on June 25, said one beautiful garden on her tour is near the sixth green of the Muskego Lakes Country Club.
“People are always fascinated with houses on golf courses,” she said, and added that the property has lush gardens filled with perennials, rosebushes and sculptures, and a berm keeps golf balls from coming in.
There’s also a garden on the tour that has life-sized statues of Victorian women, an 1860 farmhouse, old farm buildings and herb gardens.
“The herb gardens and the home are beautiful in themselves, but throughout the gardens there are about a dozen life-sized Victorian statues that were created by an artist” who once lived on the property, she said.
A number of educational events are also scheduled.
“Being a library, we like to include an educational aspect. We are having a talk by nationally known moss gardener Dale Sievert. We also have landscaper Bart Achtenhagen doing a seminar on drought-tolerant plants, and he will also be giving general landscaping tips,” she said.
Also, an afternoon tea will be held in one of the gardens; a nature photographer will take photos at the gardens; a guitarist will perform; and a demonstration on shade and sun planters is planned. Those planters will later be auctioned off.
“We are also having garden crafters, and a group called ACAP from Waukesha,” Adaptive Community Approach Program, “will be there. They sponsor all kinds of programs for mentally challenged individuals, and they will show how participants of the program make pottery, and they will sell their pieces that day,” she said.
Tess said this is only the second year this event has been held.
“We started in a COVID year. We needed a fundraiser to support all the programs at the library. I’m an avid gardener, and I said, ‘Why not do a garden tour? If we have something outside we have an 80% chance of pulling it off.’ Last year, our attendance was just shy of 200. We were thrilled … and we hope to double it this year,” she said.
Lisa Rennie, tour chairperson of the 20th annual North Central Wisconsin Master Gardeners Garden walk on July 15 and 16, said one garden on her tour, which is in the Athens area, features an old corncrib.
“The homeowner completely landscaped his backyard, and he took an old metal corncrib and made it into a bar. The countertop of the bar is part of an old gym floor he bought. It’s from his high school and he played basketball on it. It’s very unique and very well done,” she said.
Another garden on her tour has more than 200 hostas, more than 200 daylilies, a backyard pond with two waterfalls, a paved patio, a large pond, a tiki bar and a beach house.
There’s also an 80-acre site with a greenhouse, three ponds, a large flower bed filled with coneflowers, daylilies and other perennials; a flower bed filled with giant hostas, and a greenhouse where the owner propagates plants for his gardens.
Here is a list of l tours scheduled for this year. Some may not have all their tour information on their websites yet, so watch for updates or changes.
Also watch for additional tours listed in the Home and Garden calendar at jsonline.com/life.
Greater Milwaukee Rose Society Tour
Noon to 3 p.m. June 12 at 10020 W. Meadow Drive, Greenfield. Tour Rose Innovations, the 2-acre rosarium of Will Radler, creator of the Knock Out Family of Roses. A donation of at least $5 is suggested. A demonstration will show how to prune and show roses. All proceeds go to the Greater Milwaukee Rose Society. For more information, email [email protected] or see roseinnovations.org or milwaukeerose.org.
Street Angels MKE Tour
9 a.m. to noon June 18 at At 10020 W. Meadow Drive, Greenfield. Visit Rose Innovation, the 2-acre rosarium of Will Radler, creator of the Knock Out Family of Roses. A minimum donation of $5 is suggested. All proceeds go to Street Angels. For more information email [email protected] or see roseinnovations.org or streetangelsmke.org.
South Milwaukee Garden Club & Historical Society Garden Tour
9 a.m. to 2 p.m. June 25. Tour six South Milwaukee gardens on a self-guided tour. Artisans will have handcrafted items for sale at some gardens, and some gardens will have musicians. The Bayside Garden Center mobile plant truck will be there, and a destination garden will offer more than 200 types of hostas to see and purchase. The garden, at Wil-O-Way, is maintained by Master Gardeners and is in Grant Park. Vendors there will discuss topics such as bees and monarch butterflies. Tickets are $10 at Mari’s Flowers, Wine & Gifts, 905 Milwaukee Ave., South Milwaukee. For more information, call or email Patti Bergeson at (414) 768-9549 or [email protected]
Menomonee Falls Community League 2022 Garden Tour
10 a.m. to 3 p.m. June 25. Tour five gardens in the Menomonee Falls area. Advance tickets are $8 at Shady Lane Greenhouse; day-of-tour tickets are $10 at any of the gardens or Shady Lane Greenhouse, W172 N7388 Shady Lane, Menomonee Falls, or Art Lounge, N88 W16567 Main St. Menomonee Falls. Raffle, garden art. Call (414) 581-0352, see communityleague.com or email [email protected]
Friends of the Muskego Library Garden Walk: A Bloomin’ Good Thyme
9 a.m. to 5 p.m. June 25. Tour four private gardens in the Muskego area. Lecture by nationally known moss gardener Dale Sievert. Perennial plant sale, pre-owned art sale, garden craft fair, silent auction and garden boutique. Tickets are $15, children 14 and younger admitted free. Attend the “Exclusive Garden Tea” for an additional $20. Tickets at the library or through the website. Cash or check only. Sponsored by the Friends of the Muskego Public Library. Proceeds will help fund library programs. For more information, see cityofmuskego.org/library.
Lake Country Art & Garden Tour: Sculpture in Bloom
6 to 9 p.m. June 25. The free event, at the sculpture gardens of artist Joel Pfeiffer in Hartland, includes tours, artists, live music, food and beverages. Also planned is a garden-related event at Hawks Inn, Delafield, from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Aug. 13. That event will include floral demonstrations based on artwork, a plein air painting competition, and more. Registration is recommended. Sponsored by the Pewaukee Arts Council. Proceeds benefit area youth through art scholarships, competitions, Art Care Kits and more. For more information, see pewaukeearts.org/events-1.
Olbrich’s Home Garden Tour
9 a.m. to 3 p.m. July 8 and 9. Visit seven rural gardens, each with some native plants, in the Oregon area. Tickets will be available in Olbrich Botanical Gardens’ lobby, 3330 Atwood Ave., Madison, starting June 1. Tickets also available on days of the tour at locations to be determined. General admission is $15, Olbrich members are $13, children 6 to 12 are $6, and 5 and younger are free. For more, call (608) 246-4550 or see olbrich.org.
Walk on the Wild Side
10 a.m. to 2 p.m. July 9. A tour of four naturally landscaped gardens in the Eagle area in Waukesha County. Gardeners have incorporated native plants to attract birds, butterflies and other pollinators. A bonus tour will be at a small property with a prairie, woodlands and an ephemeral pond. Sponsored by the Wild Ones Kettle Moraine Chapter. Tickets are $10, ages 12 and younger are free. Tickets available at the Alice Baker Memorial Library, 820 E. Main St. in Eagle, from 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. the day of the tour. For more, see bit.ly/nativegardentour.
25th Annual Sheboygan Area Garden Walk
9 a.m. to 4 p.m. July 9. Tour seven gardens in Elkhart Lake and Plymouth areas. Tickets are $20 for adults, teens 13 to 18 are $10, and 12 and under are free. No credit or debit cards accepted. Tickets with a map will be available at the gardens the day of the walk. Sponsored by the Lake Shore Garden Club and the Ivy League Garden Club. Proceeds go to Bookworm Gardens and Ellwood H. May Environmental Park, both in Sheboygan. For more, email or call Sally Neuhaus at [email protected], (920) 838-3014 or see sheboygangardeners.com/sagw-garden-walk.
26th annual Garden Gazers Walking Tour
8 a.m. to noon July 9. A free self-guided walking tour of about nine gardens in Greendale’s historic A section. Gardeners will be on hand to answer questions. Events include guest speakers, children’s activities, gardening demonstrations and music. Also on view: two community gardens, a meditation and prayer garden, and an exterior view of a 1938 Greendale original, built as part of FDR’s New Deal. Tour starts at the gazebo in the village center, where there will be maps of the gardens. No strollers or pets. Call (414) 421-3362 or email [email protected]
Kenosha Secret Garden Walk
9 a.m. to 3 p.m., July 9 rain or shine. A self-guided tour of five Kenosha area gardens, created by Four Seasons Garden Club. Tickets are $8 in advance, $10 the day of the tour. Accompanied children under 12 are free. Garden addresses will be published in ticket guidebooks available at some area businesses. Proceeds will support efforts related to the club’s mission. For information, see 4seasonsgardenclub.org/secret-garden-walk, email [email protected], or call (262) 564-0251.
Cedarburg Woman’s Club Annual Garden Walk
9 a.m. to 4 p.m. July 9. Tour four Cedarburg- and Grafton-area gardens. Tickets in advance are $20 at Heyden’s Gardens and Olsen’s Piggly Wiggly, both in Cedarburg, and at the gardens the day of the tour. For more information, including the garden addresses, see cedarburgwomansclub.org or call (262) 387-0192.
2022 Summer Magic Garden Tour
10 a.m. to 4 p.m. July 10, rain or shine. Hosted by the Racine Garden Club. A driving tour of four gardens in the Racine, Mount Pleasant and Ives Grove areas. Owners will be on hand. Gardens include a new pergola, award-winning roses; handcrafted garden art, and perennial and annual garden beds. Tickets are $8 in advance at area businesses, $10 the day of the tour at the gardens. Proceeds will provide scholarships for local Gateway Technical College horticulture students and support civic projects. Website will list locations for ticket sales and garden addresses in June. For more, see racinegardenclub.org.
Oshkosh Garden Walk
Noon to 4 p.m. July 10. Six private gardens to view with owners on hand. Tickets are $8 in advance at House of Flowers or UBloom in Oshkosh or on the Oshkosh Garden Club website, $10 the day of the event at the gardens. Free for those younger than 18. For more, see oshkoshgardenclub.org/garden-walk.html or call (920) 237-0416.
Riverwest Secret Garden Tour
11 a.m. to 4 p.m. July 10. A self-guided tour of about 12 gardens in the Riverwest neighborhood. Tickets with maps are $5 the day of the tour in Garden Park at Locust and Bremen streets. For more, see the Riverwest Secret Garden Tour Facebook page, RiverwestSecretGardenTour.com, or call (414) 562-9025.
North Central Wisconsin Master Gardeners Garden Walk
1 to 7 p.m. July 15 and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. July 16. Tour six gardens in the Athens area in Marathon County. Tickets, at $10, can be purchased at the UW Extension office at 212 River Drive, Suite 3, in Wausau; at Morning Glory Gardens, 244615 Wisconsin Route 94, in Athens, or at the gardens during the event. One location will have a plant sale. For more, see https://fb.me/e/2pKrV1viT.
A Day at Radler’s Botanic Garden
9 a.m. to noon July 16, rain or shine. A self-guided tour of Will Radler’s Greenfield property presented by the Greenfield Beautification Committee. Radler is the developer of the Knock Out Family of Roses and has a 2-acre, extensively landscaped property at 10020 W. Meadow Drive, Greenfield. All plants are labeled. Tickets are $10 at the gardens. For more, see gbcinfo.org
Manitowoc County Master Gardeners Garden Walk
9 a.m. to 4 p.m. July 16. Tour six gardens in the Manitowoc and Two Rivers areas. Tickets, at $10, and maps are available the day of the event at any of the gardens. For more information, see the Manitowoc County Master Gardeners Facebook or contact Linda at [email protected] or Sue at [email protected]
Oconomowoc Woman’s Club Garden Tour
9 a.m. to 3 p.m. July 16. Rain date July 17. Tour six gardens in the Oconomowoc area. Tickets are $12 in advance from Woman’s Club members and some businesses. Day of tour tickets are $15 at the gardens. For ticket outlets and more information, call (262) 443-0251 or see oconomowocwomansclub.com.
25th annual Gardens of West Bend Tour — Roots and Branches
9 a.m. to 3 p.m. July 16 and noon to 3 p.m. July 17. Tour six gardens in the West Bend area. The event will culminate at Kingsheart Farm and Gardens, a restored horse farm, where there will be a boutique, seminars, food and beverage, vendors, music and plein air painting. The event is a fundraiser for Roots and Branches, a nonprofit whose mission is to improve the natural environment of West Bend. Tickets are $10; check the website for places to buy tickets or order them online. For more, call (262) 335-5083 or see rootsbranches.org.
East Side Milwaukee Garden Tour
10 a.m. to 4 p.m. July 17. A free tour of more than 15 upper east side gardens, some tended by Master Gardeners. Maps may be picked up at North Point Lighthouse, 2650 N. Wahl Ave., Downer Hardware, 2629 N. Downer Ave, and Riverside Urban Ecology Center, 1500 E. Park Place. For any other information, contact Barbara Cooley, (414) 467-2543.
61st annual Door County Home and Garden Walk
9 a.m. to 5 p.m. July 26. Tour four homes and one garden in Sturgeon Bay, Bailey’s Harbor and Fish Creek. The garden will include a dahlia garden, vegetable garden and Stickworks, which are large interactive sculptures made entirely of sticks. There will also be artists, food and beverages. Tickets are $40 in advance, $45 the day of the tour and will go on sale July 1 at some outlets and online. For more, see dcmedical.org/volunteer/house-and-garden-walk, call Robin Hamm-Jackson at (920) 746-3609, or email her at [email protected]
Garden District Neighborhood Association Garden Tour
10 a.m. to 2 p.m. July 30. A free tour of 12 front gardens in the Milwaukee Garden District Neighborhood, near the airport. Map will be published on the website, milwaukeegdna.com, or the Milwaukee Garden District Facebook page. For more, call (414) 379-2450.
Garden Conservancy 2022 Open Days Program for Milwaukee County
From 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. July 30 and 31. Sponsored by The Garden Conservancy partnering with the Milwaukee Art Museum Garden Club. Tour three private gardens totaling more than11 acres on the North Shore of Milwaukee County. They include a 5-acre property with a 2-acre vineyard, a vegetable and cutting garden, espaliered apple and pear trees, and a wildlife pond. Admission is $10 a person per garden. Children 12 and younger free with a paid adult admission. Digging Deeper events, from 2 to 4 p.m. Aug. 20 and 10 a.m. to noon Aug. 21, will focus on integrating native plants into an established garden. Admission is $40 a person. Advance purchase is required for both events. For more, see gardenconservancy.org/open-days/milwaukee-2022.
9 a.m. to 2 p.m. July 30. Free tours of a 4-acre prairie in bloom. Guided tours at 10:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. At Redeemer United Church of Christ, W220 N4915 Town Line Road, Menomonee Falls. Activities for children, seasonal prairie videos, sustainability displays and demonstrations. For more, see redeemerucc.org or call (262) 249-6710.
Friends of Boerner Botanical Gardens Tour
6 to 9 p.m. Aug. 19. At Rose Innovation, the 2-acre rosarium of Will Radler, creator of the Knock Out Family of Roses, at 10020 W. Meadow Drive, Greenfield. A minimum donation of $5 is suggested. All sales are donated to Street Angels Inc., a nonprofit organization. For more, email [email protected] or see roseinnovations.org or boernerbotanicalgardens.org.
Street Angels Inc. Milwaukee Outreach Rose Tour
6 to 9 p.m. Sept. 16. At Rose Innovation, 10020 W. Meadow Drive, Greenfield. A minimum donation of $5 is suggested. All sales are donated to Street Angels Inc. For more, email [email protected] or see roseinnovations.org or streetangelsmke.org.
Wisconsin Hardy Plant Society Tour
Noon to 3 p.m. Oct. 9. At Rose Innovation, the 2-acre rosarium of Will Radler,10020 W. Meadow Drive, Greenfield. A minimum donation of $5 is suggested. All sales are donated to the nonprofit. For more information, email [email protected] or see roseinnovations.org or wisconsinhardyplantsociety.org.