Garden masterpieces featured in tour

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— For 31-years, Marie Bridges has steadily been transforming her Hayden yard into a masterpiece full of flower and vegetable gardens.

The yard features numerous trees, flowers, vegetables and more than 40 herbs.

"It is not work to me," Bridges said of gardening. "It is a

pleasure."

Recently, Bridges started to make wreaths out of the flowers, vegetables, herbs and trees that can be found in her yard.

Her work is so impressive she has been invited to be a vendor for the Garden Market that will be held during the Strings in the Mountains High Country Garden Tour.

The event is set for 8:30 a.m. Saturday in Steamboat Springs and will feature six garden tours, the market, music and much more.

"This will be the first time I will be showing the wreaths I make from things I grow in my yard," she said of her work she has named Cottage Garden Originals.

Bridges, 60, uses the flowers, vegetables and trees she and her husband, Albert, have planted in the yard of their home on Walnut Street. Her material for the wreaths is endless.

"It is unlimited," Bridges said of the gardens. "Let's just say we don't grow okra, watermelon or cantaloupe."

Bridges, 60, got the idea to make wreaths because of her vast collection of dried flowers and the gardens in her yard.

"It was something I decided to do spontaneously," Bridges said.

Since October, Bridges has made 25 wreaths, but she will be showing 20 at the market.

"It has been a lot of fun for me and very rewarding," she said.

For Bridges, making a wreath is a slow, tedious process.

"It's intricate," she said. "It is not something I slap together. I won't sell something I don't like myself. I'm a stickler for detail."

Joining Bridges at the market will be potted plants from Tom Crocker and Marty Fisher.

Jen Stoddard will be on hand with handmade sachets and quilted pillows.

Numerous gardening books will be provided by Off the Beaten Path Bookstore. Yampatika will have videos and books on wildflowers, birds and other topics involving nature available.

Bridges is excited about Saturday

"I'm really looking forward to it," she said. "It's kind of like an adventure."

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