Tour of Gardens: 6 Dubuque area sites will highlight this year’s annual showing

“Is this Heaven? No, it’s Our Backyard,” Joan and Rick Frommelt. PHOTO CREDIT: Contributed

“Lazy Gardeners?” Doug and Cindy Recker. PHOTO CREDIT: Contributed

“Vista Muelleresk,” Tim and Lisa Mueller. PHOTO CREDIT: Contributed

“Vista Muelleresk,” Tim and Lisa Mueller. PHOTO CREDIT: Contributed

“Epworth Gateway Gardeners,” Gateway & Garden Club. PHOTO CREDIT: Contributed

Whether you love to dig in dirt or simply admire the work of those who do, an opportunity to view the fruits of that labor, as well as learn a few tricks of the trade, are planned this month.

Presented in conjunction with the Iowa State University Extension and Outreach Master Gardeners and Dubuque County Gardeners, the annual Tour of Gardens will take place from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, June 18.

Six gardens will be highlighted, rain or shine, with a trio of mini educational workshops as well. Those attending can begin the tour at any garden location.

Tickets are $10 and available at any of the tour garden stops.

For more information, call 563-583-6496 or visit

The gardens

Chuck Herrig’s Garden

Location: 1560 Miller Road.

Features: An abundance of rocks and rock formations. Twelve retaining walls help keep Catfish Creek in the valley, and each have been built by Herrig in the 35 years he has lived on the property. The land also is home to deer, birds, beavers, eagles and great blue herons.

”Is this Heaven? No, it’s Our Backyard,” Joan and Rick Frommelt

Location: 100 N. Grandview Ave.

Features: The backyard is approximately one acre and features 200 hostas — only two purchased and the rest split or gifted by neighbors and friends. There is evidence of lead mining to the rear of the yard, and there will be a sample of lead on display, which recently was found by the owners. A detailed history of the property will be available at the sight.

”Lazy Gardeners?” Doug and Cindy Recker

Location: 10043 Dutch Lane Road, Peosta, Iowa.

Features: The owners use black plastic and bark on perennial beds. In the raised beds, they use cardboard strips, newspapers and shredded paper. The lawns are mowed at almost 4 inches high and treated with pre-emergence to prevent annual weeds. The property features 32-feet-by-32-feet of raised beds for fruits and vegetables, and contains a half-acre pond with bluegills, catfish, bass and bullfrogs. Also featured is a small, organic orchard.

Workshop: “How to Care for a Fruit Orchard,” 9:30 and 11:30 a.m.

Northeast Iowa Community College School Garden & Club

Location: 8342 NICC Drive, Peosta, Iowa.

Features: Founded in 2015, the NICC School Garden includes 11 raised beds, with drop irrigation and two in-ground beds. From artichokes to watermelons, the beds have new residents each season, a pollinator bed and a row of apple trees. The mission of the garden is to provide students and staff with fresh produce. This year will feature themed beds, production beds and a plot of popcorn.

Workshop: “Vegetable Gardening,” 10:30 a.m. and 2 p.m.

”Vista Muelleresk,” Tim and Lisa Mueller

Location: 2901 Hillcrest Road.

Features: Lisa’s earliest memories are of spending time in the garden with her mother. Her love for container planting, mixed with a variety of perennials, has turned the property into a vista by the park. The homeowners have transitioned the 1931 farmhouse into a sustainable home, with a solar power battery backup system and automated rain barrel system.

Workshop: “Solar Powered Battery Backup System,” 11 a.m. and 2:30 p.m.

”Epworth Gateway Gardeners,” Gateway & Garden Club

Location: U.S. 20, Epworth, Iowa.

Features: In 2002, the City of Epworth and volunteers salvaged the wooden cupola at Divine Word College and built a four-sided, brick structure capped with the cupola. The Epworth Gateway Gardeners formed to landscape around the new Gateway Center. Twenty six flower beds originally encircled the structure and, as time went on, new gardeners began to consolidate the small beds into three large, more modern beds. Donated annuals, perennials, trees and shrubs welcome visitors and pollinators.

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