Thursday, August 13, 2020
Bugleweed, Veronica, Cranesbill, Oh My!
Sarah Michael and Wendy Jaquet check out the raised beds full of celery and even artichokes in the Warjone garden.
Sunday, July 26, 2020


Yellow commemorative bandanas turned into face masks, neck scarves and hat bands flooded the bike path and gardens of the Golden Eagle and Gimlet areas on Saturday as some 400 people turned out to celebrate the Sawtooth Botanical Garden’s 25th anniversary tour.

“This is one of our largest garden tours in terms of presold tickets,” said Sharon Arms, as she gestured to the bandanas, which served as tickets.

Garden enthusiasts, all wearing face masks, walked the long rock planks that served as unusual stepping stones in Lesley Andrus’ yard. They marveled at the bright cone-shaped spikes of yellow ligularia that brightened Carol Swig’s wild and natural yard.

Susan Holley and Lisa Riley check out a nature-crafted chair in Anita Weissberg’s yard.

They perused botanical watercolors of Kim Howard’s strung across the patio of one yard. And they happily helped themselves to botanical greeting cards that artist Michael Olenick was painting in the Judy and Ernie Getto’s woodsy garden.

“What a treat to be able to come and see these gardens,” said Victoria Roper as she strolled past one of the many Rod Kagen sculptures in Andrus’ garden. “I like the incorporation of the big rocks in these gardens, some of which I understand come from Webb Nursery. I like seeing how they tie into the landscape and the being, too, as they’re so inviting for people to sit and enjoy the natural beauty around them.”

A number of people availed themselves of Park & Petal bike tours led by Board members Bill Josey and Marty Lyon.

“We get exercise and see gardens at the same time,” said Becky King.

Bill Josey’s Petal Brigade included Jan Worthey, Penny Leady, Becky King, Phyllis Odell, Chris Stefani, Cathie Caccia and Victoria Roper.

“It’s super fun,” added Bill Josey.

So many bikes were parked under the aspen at various gardens that one person was prompted to remark, “There’s a bike for everyone here.”

A few of the gardeners showed off the measures they’d taken to keep out elk and other animals. Jim and Christine Warjone, for instance, had built a fence lining their front yard and augmented it with an electrical fence. Carol Swig has had good results with deer repellant.

Even so, gardener Patti Chatterton said, “I had a nightmare last night that the elk would come and eat everything right before the tour.”

These luscious delphiniums were a show stopper at the Getto home.

Butterflies tried to land on hydrangea at the Swig home only to be scared away by the people filing by. A long parade of geese near the lake in Anita Weissberg’s Golden Eagle home captured the fancy of shutterbugs.

Several tourgoers praised the healing power of gardens during the turmoil prompted by the pandemic and economic and racial upheaval.

“People are so curious, so interested. They’re asking, ‘Where do these raised bed boxes come from? How are they growing artichokes here?’ ” said Cherie Kessler, who was stationed in the Warjone garden. “And, most of all, they’re so happy to be here.”


Heather Elizabeth Bee, who recently moved from Boise to Hailey, paints a Mandala Garden with alcohol inks at Anita Weissberg’s fenced vegetable garden.

The Sawtooth Botanical Garden will celebrate its 25th anniversary with its annual Gimlets in the Garden summer gala fundraiser on Sept. 2.

It plans to hold the Bug Zoo, which was postponed during April, Sept. 23 through Oct. 1.


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