IRONWOOD - Local residents will have the chance to view six private gardens in the Ironwood area during the annual Secret Garden Tour through the 46th Parallel Planters Gardening Club on Thursday.
The event starts at 5 p.m. and will last until 7 p.m. Attendees will be able to view gardens at homes in Ironwood, getting ideas, learning tips and discussing design options with gardens.
During the tour, each attendee receives a map with the addresses of gardens. Each garden owners is anonymous until their garden is viewed.
For one participating garden owner on Harding Street, gardening is her form of "therapy."
"I love having dirt under my fingernails," she said. "Building a beautiful garden from a patch of weeds is very rewarding. ... It's very fulfilling. After work, I change my clothes and my garden is the first place I go. It breaks all the bad stuff."
The garden owner said she got involved with the 46th club after attending a past garden tour. She said she is "always taking notes" in meetings to learn more about gardening, and loves to share her flowers with others.
"You don't want things to get too crowded, so I like to share my flowers with other people," she said. "I never throw away. ... The best gardens are those who share."
One thing about gardens, according to the owner, is the job is never done, especially when it comes to location.
"I'm always moving flowers," she said. "You find something that works better. I'm never done, and I love it. I don't think to a gardener, that their garden is ever big enough."
Her advice with the tour is "bring a camera and notebook."
"We are happy to share information about our gardens," she said. "It's how you get new ideas and learn. I changed so many things after my first tour."
According to Lynn Adams, a Wisconsin and Advanced Michigan master gardener and member of the 46th club, the public tours have been going on for about seven years. The start of the tours, Adams said, was to "share ideas with others."
Each year, the garden tour changes locations for people to view different gardens.
"We have a committee that scouts the area," Adams said. "Next year it will be in the Kimball area."
As for Thursday's tour, attendees are asked to meet at the Sleight School parking lot at 108 E. Arch St ., in Ironwood at 5 p.m. There, they will receive a map of the gardens. Each garden will also be marked with a large balloon.
The last garden will also feature refreshments for tour takers.
There is no charge for the event, and the 46th Parallel Planters only ask for a donation of non-perishable food items, household items or monetary donations to be given to St. Vincent de Paul Food Pantry in Ironwood.
"Since we don't charge a fee for the tour, we decided on the food pantry donation," Adams said. "People don't mind contributing to a good cause."
People are also invited to attend club meetings. According to Adams, people don't have to be master gardeners to join the club. The group meetings at the Iron County Courthouse in Hurley every second Thursday of most months. There is a fee to be in the club.
"The group is great," the garden owner said. "They share ideas, and there is no such thing as a dumb question."
For more information on the tour, the 46th Parallel Planters Gardening Club or future events, visit 46thparallelplanters.shutterfly.com.