The Southwestern Indiana Master Gardener Association‘s biennial Tour de Fleur Garden Walk takes visitors inside some of the most magnificent gardens in and around Evansville. But what’s the story behind their beauty? Go into the garden at these three tour stops.
Tami Seaman’s gardening endeavors began when she and husband Skip moved into their West Side home in 2011. Woods cover most of the five acres on her property, so she enjoys shade-tolerant plants like rhododendrons, hydrangeas, irises, daffodils, coneflowers, black-eyed Susans, astilbe, coral bells, turtlehead, ferns, a champion shagbark hickory tree, and, her favorite, hostas.
“People are always making new hostas. I’m always in search of new varieties,” she says.
Master gardener Anne Butsch believes her affinity for greenery is genetic. Her great-great-grandparents created the city’s first greenhouse and founded Blackman man Florists, which operated from 1870 to the 1960s.
Her East Side garden — with up to 400 different varieties of plants — caters to native species and local wildlife. She plants pearly everlasting, honeysuckle, coreopsis, goldenrod, aster, sunflowers, winterberry, eastern redcedar, trout lilies, Jack-in-the-pulpit, spring ephemerals, and garden phlox.
Still, her favorite plant is the service- berry tree, its edible berries delivering a taste that Butsch says is between a grape and a blueberry.
“My garden ethic is to coexist with wildlife,” she says.
Myra Teal’s Newburgh, Indiana, gar- den caters to pollinators. She plants azaleas, dogwood trees, pink creeping phlox, blue ajuga, crocus, grape hyacinth, Japanese maples, juniper, plumeria, roses, daylilies, irises, a seven-son tree, and a few Virginia bluebells
It’s also home to more than 60 beehives, from which she sells award-winning honey, candles, and wax. For the garden walk, she will move all except one hive from her property to a friend’s to separate them from visitors.
Teal’s husband, Mike, cultivates banana plants, elephant ears, and thorny Bitter Orange. Their garden also features three koi ponds.
“Over 30 years, our garden has changed,” Teal says. “We experiment a lot.”
WHEN YOU GO
SWIMGA Tour de Fleur Garden Walk
9 a.m.-4 p.m. June 24-25