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Sunlight and Shade: Larned Garden Club hosts 2019 tour
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Jon & Terry Shank garden, 419 West 6th St., Larned

Larned Garden Club will host a garden tour from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, June 22.

The public may purchase tickets in advance for $5 to tour five beautiful gardens. Tickets are available from Garden Club members, or at the Pawnee County Extension Office or Larned Chamber of Commerce Office. Tickets will also be available for $6 at the homes on the day of the tour.

For more information call Karen Frick, 620-804-0104.

The tour includes the PRIDE Community Garden in Larned as well as the homes of Kenny & Jenny Shelton, 524 State St.; Jon & Terry Shank, 419 West 6th St.; Carlton & Shari Bert, 1207 M 5 Road; and Kale & Marsha Erway, 1504 R Road.

PRIDE will be serving breakfast and lunch items at that garden during the Larned Garden Tour. All proceeds go to the PRIDE Garden.

There will also be a Farmers Market and local vendors with food and arts and crafts to purchase at the PRIDE Garden.

The Garden is a collaboration of Kansas State Research and Extension, Kansas Department of Commerce and local residents. For more information about the PRIDE Garden contact the Pawnee County Extension office by calling 620-285-6901.

Meet the gardeners

There’s a story, often years in the making, behind every garden.

Carlton and Shari Bert

The beautiful home of Carlton and Shari Bert was built in 1976 and purchased for their family home in 1997. From day one, they were excited with the possibilities of landscaping. This garden began developing over 20 years ago.

They have laid brick, planted over 300 trees, and designed numerous flower beds. An abundant selection of diverse plants surrounds the entire house and their welcoming fountain enhances the entrance of their home.

Stone and old brick pathways lead to the backyard patio sitting area and pool, which is surrounded by an assortment of colorful plants and flowers. Large vivid pots brought back from Mississippi are filled with brightly colored annuals. The covered deck provides a shady place for comfortable lounging and the fireplace gives a cozier vibe in the open air.  

The Berts love to soak in the view of the valley at sunset and hear soothing water flowing from the scuppers cascading into the pool.

Kale and Marsha Erway

Looking out from their screened in porch and enjoying their morning sip of coffee, Kale and Marsha might spot three fawns taking an early morning drink from their pond. The Erways moved their family to the country in 1984, building this striking home atop the hill, where Marsha grew up.

Scotch pine seedlings in the north shelter belt were planted and lovingly tended with the help of their children. A picket fence provides a romantic entrance to the yard, where laid brick boarders and the fragrant smell of roses welcomes you. Flower beds burst with a variety of textures and colors that gradually blend with the surrounding landscapes, grouping masses of plants trees and scrubs for greatest impact. Antique items are given a second life as garden structures.

As you look down to the meadow you can see the scenic view of two ponds. There are multiple seating areas to enjoy nature. The Erways built a peninsula in between the ponds, where sits a charming gazebo nestled between overhanging trees that provide just the right amount of shade on a sunny summer evening. The windows in the gazebo were salvaged from the Beckwith Mortuary in 1975.

Kenny and Jenny Shelton

Summertime means green lawns and spending time outside with family and friends. This wonderful yard has definitely been the place for many family events. The extremely lush green grass surrounds the beautiful corner home of Kenny and Jenny Shelton. Their Victorian style home was built in 1880, and they purchased the home in 1986. The tall deciduous trees provide a luxuriant cool feel during the summer months and boxwood shrubs catch your eye around the front porch.

Some of the peonies, iris, honeysuckle and daisies were originally from the gardens of Jenny’s mom and grandma. Perennials provide a broad variety of color, form and flower types unavailable in annual flowers. Look for sweet Williams, day lilies, clematis, dianthus, and Rose of Sharon.

For maximum color and visual impact they add flower pots and barrows filled with annuals around the yard. Combinations such as petunias, marigolds, Gerber daisies and spikes provide a nice blending of colors.

The brick border used around the garden came from a chimney they removed when they first moved in. The hitching post was found in the yard near the alley. Gardening can be a lot of work but they love it, the Shelton’s find it enjoyable and relaxing. Thank you for coming!

PRIDE Community Garden

Larned’s Community Garden began in 2009 and is maintained through “sweat equity.” The orchard across the bridge was added in 2010 with the help of grant funds received from the Golden Belt Community Foundation. The orchard has apricot, pear, peach, apple, plum, cherry, and plucod trees. There is also a vineyard, with blackberries and grape vines.

They have a simple philosophy. Those who help can take from the garden’s bounty. And enjoy sharing in the produce. They also have a donation box for anyone who prefers not to garden but wishes to enjoy the vegetables. The Garden’s land is donated by the Larned Assembly Of God Church.

The garden was formed with the help of PRIDE. Many members continue to help with the garden today. Pride’s mission is to enhance and build upon Larned’s resources by working together. The garden is maintained entirely with help from volunteers.

Plants in the Community Garden consists of potatoes, tomatoes, onions, lettuce, spinach, peppers, corn, five kinds of squash, cucumbers, radishes, okra, sweet potatoes, kola rabi, dill and cilantro.

Jon and Terry Shank

Jon and Terry Shank’s yard has been a labor of love. When the home was purchased, it was totally overgrown with ivy on the front and sides of the house.

Jon rebuilt the porch last summer and took out four trees. Terry’s love of country farm interior design extends to the outside of this charming home. You are greeted by antiques and pots of yesteryear, filled with succulents and flowering plants. Rose of Sharon and trellises of flowing clematis vines will indulge your senses. Hostas and Jon’s favorite, elephants ear, are planted in areas of shade.

Succulent plants play an important function in their landscape design, arranged among the boarders, shrubs, stones and brick pathways.

Jon’s has a composting area in their yard, using worms. This is called Vermicomposting, which is then mixed in the soil of the Shanks garden.

Terry dreamed of a garden with flowers of many colors in memory of her mother. “Gardening can be healing,” she said. Look for the glass memory birds all over the yard.

The stone patio off the back side of the house provides an ideal location to sit and sip a glass of lemonade and enjoy the variety of surrounding plants.