Garden Tour set for June 19

Diana Schwartz said she would probably never have a garden when she grew up.

“I saw how much time it took and how you had to work at it out there,” Schwartz said last week. “I didn’t want to be that busy.”

That was then; this is now.

Today Schwartz has several large and flourishing flower gardens on her acreage near Beaver Creek, and she doesn’t mind the hours she spends weeding, watering and nurturing her blooms.

“If you enjoy something, it’s not work,” Schwartz said.

In fact, she finds it therapeutic.

“It’s been 21 years ago since my husband [John Schwartz] passed away, and gardening has been the best therapy,” she said. “The most rewarding thing is digging in the dirt.”

She said it’s also rewarding to see her work in full bloom, and she’ll share those results with other gardening enthusiasts on Tuesday, June 19, during the annual Rock County Master Gardeners Tour.

Buses will load at the Community Education parking lot at 6 p.m. and will return around 9 p.m. The rain date, if needed, is Wednesday, June 20.

In addition to the Schwartz garden by Beaver Creek, stops on the tour include the gardens of George and Corrine Bonnema and Eva Lou Opsata in Luverne.

Pre-registration is necessary to secure a seat on the bus. The cost is $10 if prepaid by June 14; cost is $15 after that. The Community Education Office is closed on Fridays during the summer.

For a girl who never wanted to be a gardener, Schwartz admits she’s surpassed even her most ambitious gardening goals with her current variety of flowers and shrubs in multiple colors and sizes.

Her daughter, Kelsey Moser, who also once said gardening is too much work, is now mastering green thumb tricks in the landscaping of her own home in Luverne.

“Most everything she has came from here,” Schwartz said about hostas, rose bushes and tiger lilies.

“That’s one of the things I love about gardening is the ability to share. My grandfather and my dad shared with me, and now I’m sharing with Kelsey.”

In particular, she has shared thinnings from her perennial petunias, something you can’t buy in a greenhouse anymore.

Her grandfather, the late Jake Abma from Rock Valley, shared them with her parents, Marlene and the late Bill DeYager, from Steen, who passed them on to Schwartz.

“I don’t know how a person can’t be a believer when every year you see these perennials come back,” Schwartz said. “I could never do this all on my own. God is working all year long.”

Schwartz said she enjoys sharing plant thinnings with anyone who will take them. “Every once in a while I’ll post on Facebook that I’m digging things up and people can come and get them,” she said.

Tuesday’s Master Gardeners Tour of Schwartz’s yard won’t be one of those opportunities, but it will be a chance to enjoy the results of her work and creativity, along with those of Bonnemas and Opsata.

Call Luverne Community Education, 507-283-4724, for more information about the tour.

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