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Alta Birdsong and the Tour of Gardens

Take a look into the private gardens of the masters
Alta Birdsong
Alta Birdsong

(Sounds of Birds and Fountains) 

These are the sounds of Alta Birdsong, a shade garden designed, planted, and managed by Tom Lakowske, a Greene County Master Gardner and President of the Greater Ozarks Hosta Society.  Lakowske has turned his yard into an oasis of serenity within the confines of an urban setting.

Alta Birdsong is a fitting name. Birds of all kinds flock to this space: grosbeaks, titmuss’, cardinals, finches, and robins, just to name a few. 

There are seven garden rooms, three fountains, 50 varieties of Japanese Maples and 130 different kinds of hostas – all arranged neatly within the grounds.

Standing in his garden, gazing at a Japanese Maple illuminated by a beam of light breaking through the cooling shade, he spoke to me about the upcoming 2012 Garden Tour.

“Thirteen different gardens, some of the prettiest gardens in Springfield really. There will be water features, collections of different plants, like hostas, Japanese maples. There will be sun-loving gardens full of flowers. It’s definitely worth the trip!”

The Master Gardeners of Greene County and the Southwest Missouri Water Garden Association are sponsoring the 2012 Private Gardens Tour Saturday, June 9th.

Lakowske says that the whole point of the event is for people to be inspired and to generate fresh ideas for their own yards.

Christine Chiu is a member of the board of Master Gardeners. She says that there is something for everyone on the garden tour, including water falls, coy ponds, handcrafted art, woodland areas, shade gardens, garden rooms, and even vegetable gardens.

 “The unique thing about this is that they’re all private gardens that the general public would not be invited into, so it is a unique opportunity to visit many people who spend their extra time, and love, and passion into creating these places for themselves and they are willing to share that with others.”

The cost of the tour is $10 per person in advance, and can be purchased at several local businesses. The cost includes a brief description of and directions to each garden.  Chiu recommends buying tickets ahead of time, so there’s time to read over the descriptions and plan the best route for your group.

For links to more information about the 2012 Private Gardens Tour, just visit our website, KSMU.org.

For KSMU News, I’m Shane Franklin.


Friends of the Garden

Master Gardeners of Greene County

Southwest Missouri Water Gardens Association