Thursday, October 17, 2019
Garden Tour Showcases Mid-Valley Gardens
Jen Smith decked out her bicycle to advertise the garden tour in the Hailey Fourth of July Parade.
Wednesday, July 10, 2019


A French country garden featuring elements imported from France is among the highlights of the 24th annual Sawtooth Botanical Garden Tour, which will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, July 13.

This year’s Garden Tour features garden landscapes in Zinc Spur, Starweather, Deer Creek and Streamside in Valley Club.

They offer the best of high-elevation horticulture and opportunities to enjoy outdoor living, according to Jen Smith, the executive director of the Sawtooth Botanical Garden. They feature low-maintenance considerations, backyard structures as focal points, private and secluded spaces and unexpected elements, including food-growing opportunities.

“The gardens are formal to whimsical to eclectic,” she said. “I walked into Kim Peterson’s garden in Deer Creek and got the feeling I was walking into a garden in the country. She has such a fun garden with unique special elements. And the new owners who bought Bob and Claudie Goldstein’s former home were kind enough to let us include it on the tour.”

These “staycation spots” offer the palpable feeling of peace and tranquilty, as well as delight and inspiration, said Smith.

Artists will be painting in some of the gardens. Gabe Embler will find a select nook to build his funky rock sculptures.  And musicians will entertain guests, as well. Violinist Lynne Heidel, for instance, is pulling double duty as her garden’s on the tour and she’s playing with a few members of the wood River Orchestra.

Tickets are $25 for Sawtooth Botanical Garden members who purchase theirs online at by Thursday, July 11. They’re $30 come Friday and Saturday.

Non-members pay $30 if purchased by Thursday and $35 Friday and Saturday.

Garden Tour booklets are available at local retail outlets, garden centers and at the visitor centers in Hailey and Ketchum. Those who pay online can pick up a wristband at any garden and proceed from there. Wristbands can also be purchased at any garden.

Funds from the tour go to support the Sawtooth Botanical Garden, which showcases native and cultivated plants that flourish at high altitude. The garden receives no government funding—it’s financial support comes from donations, foundation fund and grant awards.

“We’re a 501 3C. We do not have a university or government entity that supports us,” said Smith. “It’s a special thing to have a garden like ours in a small area like ours. And we’re looking to 2020, which will be our 25th anniversary.”

Among the garden’s recent donations is a small tractor provided by Can hunt and the Roy A. Hunt Foundation.

“It saves us a huge amount of time and labor,” said Smith. “We only have five acres to maintain and this has a fork lift, bucket and, best of all, a snow plow. I spent a lot of time shoveling last winter!”

Questions? Call 208-726-9358.





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