A LITTLE TOUR HISTORY & our goals
The Lee County Master Gardeners Association supports the Lee County Extension Office with science-based horticultural education to the community. We offer public projects and programs open to all. Years ago we knew we needed to expand our educational outreach.
In 2005, after visiting the successful Atlanta Garden Tour (benefitting the Atlanta Botanical Gardens), one of our master gardeners, Jolly Roberts, brought the garden tour idea home to this Lee County, AL Association. Always creative, she planted the seed that we could do it too, and with the help of a $1,000 grant from the Alabama Master Gardener Association, she, Tomie Dugas, Barbara Whatley, Diane Blue and Jaya Krishnagopalan (President at the time) led our very first garden tour in 2006. The main stipulation for the grant was that we make sure the tour has an educational component; thus, the naming of significant plants, etc. (see below) for the public. This small team selected the first gardens and coordinated all the work as LCMGA's membership was much smaller then. From this humble beginning and sixteen years later the tour has grown to become one of the most popular events in our community with tours hosted in 2008, 2010, 2012, 2014, 2016, 2018, and now 2021 (2020 postponed). Through these sixteen years the tour has grown exponentially with our association members, our Friends, the garden owners, loyal tourgoers and our ever-generous tour sponsors.
With our success, LCMGA established 501(c)3 status to recognize community support, We give back to the community with public gardens, scholarships and horticulture-based grants.
With each tour our educational goals hope to recognize and share exceptional local gardens in our community and to continue to:
• Provide a pleasurable, educational and idea-filled, two-day garden event for the public
• Share the knowledge that gardening, spending time in a garden and viewing a garden promote health and well-being
• Demonstrate a variety of garden styles and features, showing how they relate to the property, home and owner
• Offer design ideas and solutions to typical (and sometimes difficult) landscape problems
• Demonstrate sustainable gardening practices, such as composting, pest control, and water management
• Highlight (name and tag) plants that grow well in our area
• Show plants growing in the light, moisture and soil conditions where they thrive
• Highlight (name and tag) native plants - so vital to the support of native and migrating wildlife