Annual garden tour is slated for next Sunday

BOWMAN -- Caring and sharing is what Bowman's fourth annual Tour of Gardens is all about. Four families are sharing their gardens and lawns that they care for all year long with the rest of the community in order to raise funds in support of Dako...

BOWMAN -- Caring and sharing is what Bowman's fourth annual Tour of Gardens is all about.

Four families are sharing their gardens and lawns that they care for all year long with the rest of the community in order to raise funds in support of Dakota Prairie Helping Hands.

The garden tour is from 2-4 p.m. on Sunday, June 24. A "Come & Go" gardening seminar hosted by the North Dakota State University Extension Service at the Bowman Lutheran Church also is at this time. Participants can expect some hot gardening tips and cool refreshments.

Bowman County Auditor Sandy Tivis thought of the garden tour idea after seeing other cities that had success with the event. The first year of the tour raised funds for the Bowman Lutheran Church youth group. The proceeds from the last three years have gone toward the Helping Hands, where volunteers provide services in the comfort of one's home, apartment, nursing home, assisted living setting or hospital.

Tivis is on the Helping Hand's board and said the group's goal is to provide physical, emotional and spiritual support for individuals and their families who are sick, dying, confined, recovering from illness or lonely in whatever setting is comfortable for them. Helping Hands also loans equipment such as walkers, canes, wheelchairs, commodes, toilet risers, hospital beds, lift chairs, crutches and other personal care items.


"There are a lot of beautiful lawns here, so I thought why not showcase them," Tivis said. "We really appreciate the gracious host and hostesses because without them opening their hearts and homes to us, this wouldn't be possible."

The host families this year include Janel and Kevin Bagley, Dorinda and Rod Diede, Jolene and Dan Brosz and Trish and Neil Hofland.

The Broszes have a newer garden, said Jolene Brosz.

"We're in the process of creating a yard and some flower beds," Brosz said. "I'm basically a learning gardener and my husband takes care of the lawn and trees we planted."

The Brosz have a variety of plants, trees and flowers.

"The challenge is getting things to grow," she added. "There are places where the last big rain we had here hurt plants a little, but for the most part they just need to sun down to grow."

The Diede's garden has been a labor of love for many years. Landscaping work and repairs have been going on for the last several years. Their lawn was virtually gone for a while and has since been replaced with legacy buffalo grass, a native prairie grass.

"It's quite lush and green looking and soft, but with the heartiness of prairie grass so you don't really need to water it unless you have severe drought," Dorinda Diede said. "We had to water it some last summer, but it doesn't grow tall and has made the yard easier (to maintain)."


The Diede's entire lawn includes different patches of gardens. Deide said she ordered and bought around 350 flowers, plants and shrubs for the area this spring.

"The north half is lawn and the south half is going to be 75 different plants when finished," Diede added. "I have 50 potted plants I put together into bouquets."

Diede has blocked patio potted garden areas people may view.

The Diedes have put a lot of time and care into their landscaping and garden, including a Manchurian apricot tree and an orchard area with an asparagus patch and large rhubarb section.

"When I design, I take things like plant variety, how they compliment each other in size, color and leaf sizes, into consideration," Diede said. "When people come, I will have labels with pictures because the plants will be small since it's early yet. The labels will have the common and technical names and other information."

Diede worked on the landscape area around the Dakota Western Bank in town when husband Rod worked there. Both are now retired.

The Hoflands have flower and food gardens. The food gardens include peppers, tomatoes, onions and squash, while the flower gardens include petunias and snapdragons. Trish Hofland said the weeding is most challenging and figuring out what does or doesn't grow in North Dakota.

"I started this about nine years ago and would add a new area to the yard every year, but have since stopped," Hofland said. "Neil has pretty awesome size tomatoes; they're usually like trees."


Hofland usually starts planting Memorial Day weekend, but started Mother's Day weekend this year so she would be ready with something growing for the tour. The Hoflands have seven overall gardens in different spots around the yard.

The Bagleys have had an annual garden for the past seven years. Each spring, Janel Bagley starts from scratch, digs up the whole flower bed and puts in her plants and flowers such as marigolds and red silvias.

"I always grow red silvia for hummingbirds who like it because it has long flowers they can get into and its red color," Bagley said. "We plant a hodge-podge of everything with a few perennial things."

Bagley added marigolds are good for getting rid of insect pests.

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