Dawn Andersson’s whimsical Marshall Township property contains unexpected flourishes like hand-knit coverings decorating trees’ soaring trunks, pottery affixed to a tree, and a bench incorporating bronze sculptures of Andersson’s husband, Craig, and their children and grandchildren.
Andersson is currently knitting a 7-foot tree sleeve. “I love to knit, and I have an incredible supply of knitting yarn, which I have shared with a lot of friends,” she explained. “I say, ‘I'll never buy another thing—I'm done,’ and five minutes later, we're going to the store again.”
“I'm using it up now on trees,” she laughed. “It holds onto the bark of a tree. You don't have to do anything; it sticks by itself.”
Andersson’s three-acre property, which, in addition to knit-laden trees, includes ferns for depth and perennials for pops of color, is among 10 stops on the Wexford Garden and Pond Tour that will take place on July 10 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Homeowners will answer questions during the self-guided tour, and volunteers from Inspired Women Paying it Forward, a philanthropic networking organization that raises funds for local and global women’s causes, will assist with the event.
Karen Lampman will showcase her more than one-acre Allison Park property, which features Hinoki pom, espaliered magnolia, Hinoki Cypress and Weeping Norway Spruce trees. Shrubs include Berberis Royal Burgundy, goldthread false cypress, Steeds Upright Holly, and Pinky Winky hydrangea.
“We get fresh herbs out of the garden, and we make dinner and go sit on the deck and listen to jazz and have a glass of wine and look at the birds feeding at the feeders. We just enjoy the scenery around us,” Lampman said of the property she owns with husband, DeWitt.
“The front, where the house is, has more formal landscaping, and then it goes into a more casual setting,” she added. “That's where we’re adding more shade plants; we have a lot of work to do there. It’s a work in progress, but we don’t mind it.”
The Lampmans recently added a 20-foot arched bridge over a watershed on the property that abuts North Park.
Lampman said that retirement has offered her a chance to reconnect with the things she loves. “We enjoy our space here and our surroundings, our beautiful home and the beautiful nature around us,” she said. “That's really what makes us happy.”
Several hundred people attended past tours in 2017 and 2018 prior to the event’s hiatus, said Debra Dion Krischke, Wexford Garden and Pond Tour producer and Inspired Women Paying it Forward founder.
“Properties range from do-it-yourself, fun backyard gardens and ponds to multimillion-dollar estates,” Dion Krischke said. “People are going to see a little bit of everything.”
Attendees will be able to view raised vegetable beds and herb gardens, duck and koi ponds, pond plants and stunning waterfalls. Guests should also keep their eyes open for hidden miniature fairy houses along the way.
New this year, select gardeners will display their properties’ landscape lighting during a bonus evening tour from 8 to 10:30 p.m.
Dion Krischke said that guests will learn an “infinite” amount of gardening information.
“The ability to see things and ask questions—it just doesn't get any better than this for somebody who's a gardener,” she said. “It’s also great for anyone who just wants to enjoy the day and see beautiful flowers and lovely properties.”
Tickets are $35 and are available at www.wexfordpondtour.com/tickets. After registering online, visitors can pick up maps to the homes from 9:30 a.m. to noon on
July 10 at the Graeter’s Ice Cream courtyard, part of Wexford Plaza, 10610 Perry Highway. All of the homes on the tour are located within a 15-minute drive of Wexford.
A percentage of proceeds will support CEED (Christian East African Economic Development Trust) which sponsors clean water initiatives in Uganda, and the Zephaniah Education Foundation, which provides free education to children in rural Pakistan.
For more information on Inspired Women’s other fundraising efforts, visit www.inspiredwomen.com.