Herbs flourish in a small garden just outside the back door of the Stephens House, where the soil is thin, rocky and dry.
Thanks to the hard work of our Grounds Committee, the Lucas County Historical Society Museum campus will be one of five stops Saturday on the annual garden tour sponsored by Master Gardeners & Friends and Iowa State University Extension. Hours will be 1 to 4 p.m.
Kay and others invested hard labor last summer dividing, hacking away at and moving the spikey yuccas that had overtaken the stairway to nowhere southeast of the Stephens House. We were afraid they might not bloom this year. No problem as it turns out.
This is the Master Gardeners' only fund-raiser, so admission will be by ticket only: $5 per person available through Friday at the Chariton Area Chamber/Main Street office on the square and on Saturday at the first stop on the tour, the gardens of Gene and Connie Gwinn, 1601 Curtis Ave.
Other stops on the tour will be the gardens of Alyse and Nick Hunter, 20483 490th Street (think Hunter Tree Farm), Mike and Susan Smith, Highway 14 South; Kay Brown and Rex Johnson, 603 Auburn Ave.; and the museum at 123 North 17th Street.
Refreshments will be served on the big front porch of the Stephens House at the museum (restrooms available in the Lewis Building).
Elsewhere in the bed just south of the Stephens House, coneflowers and a variety of other perennials are just coming into bloom.
If you're not familiar with the work of Master Gardeners & Friends, group projects include the Post Office Garden, Constitution Park and planting and maintaining the big pots that brighten the square.
Several members of the group do double duty on the Grounds Committee at the museum. Master Gardeners Kay Brown and Jim Secor also are LCHS board members. Others involved in work on the museum grounds include Angie Garton, Kathy Willets, Sarah Palmer and Hugh Howe.
A variety of annuals fill the terraced flower beds along the east side of the patio that separates the Pioneer Barn from the lower level of the Lewis Building.
Down in the Heirloom Garden, several varieties of lettuce are not only delicious --- but decorative, too.
And this is promising to be a very good year for sunflowers in the heirloom garden, as well.
Saturday's going to be a busy day at the museum. The Roberts family reunion will be underway in the Pioneer Barn, too.
And the museum itself will be open as usual from 1-4 p.m. for tours. You'll need a guide for the museum tour, however, so check in with Kathleen and crew in the Lewis Building and they'll be happy to oblige.
And if you'd like to join June cleanup on the square --- you can meet us at the Larry Clark Memorial Gazebo in half an hour (6 a.m.)!