Steamboat Springs It looks as if plants and flowers in Steamboat Springs will be in full bloom this weekend when the seventh annual High Country Garden Tour takes place, Camille Fisher said.
The tour of six different gardens, which is sponsored by the Guild of Strings in the Mountains, includes a stop at Fisher's Timber Ridge gardens.
"I think the gardens are really almost at their peaks," Fisher said. "It's just a melody of color out here."
The tour takes place from 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Saturday. At four of the gardens, there will be performances by local musicians such as the Hyperion String Quartet and the Yampa Valley Boys. Refreshments and cold drinks will be served at the gardens.
Master Gardeners, as well as the owners of the gardens, will be available to answer questions. Fisher, who is a Master Gardener herself, said she is looking forward to the chance to share the gardening work she's done and to swap gardening ideas with other local residents.
"I love talking about gardening," Fisher said. "I think around the world, gardeners enjoy sharing ideas so it's kind of why we do it."
Fisher's gardens include shade gardens with scrub oaks and columbine and other flowers, perennial and annual flowers, roses, raspberry bushes, fruit trees, a vegetable garden in a hot house and a greenhouse with orchids and other tropical plants.
The other five gardens on the tour are also extensive and unique, and tour co-chairwoman Kathy Vaynkof said people who come on the tour will experience a wide range of gardens. For example, the Taylors' gardens are divided by a running stream with waterfalls, the Stouts' gardens are grown with completely organic techniques, and the Smiths' gardens receive frequent visits from various wild animals and has expansive views of Mount Werner.
"What we tried to do is give people a mix of Steamboat gardens," Vaynkof said.
"It's amazing how many gorgeous gardens there are. You don't realize it until you start to look."
Vaynkof said people can enjoy and get ideas from how these outdoor spaces have been landscaped.
"It's not just the flowers," she said. "It's the whole ambience of the whole outdoor living experience."
Before the tours of the gardens begin, there will be a garden market from 8:30 to 10:30 a.m. and a lecture at 9 a.m. at the Strings in the Mountains Tent.
There will be 10 local vendors at the garden market, Vaynkof said. Their products range from carefully selected plants, such as native plants and wildflowers, to artwork and other items, such as lavender and pine needle sachets and pillows.
Randy Mandel, a high-altitude garden expert and the vice president and senior scientist for Rocky Mountain Native Plants Co., will give the morning lecture.
Vaynkof said Mandel's expertise and dynamic speaking ability will make the talk informative and enjoyable.
Last year, about 600 people attended the tour, Vaynkof said.
After the tour is the annual Gala Chamber Concert. Three internationally known musicians will perform at 7 p.m. in the Strings Tent. Andre-Michel Schub will play piano, Chee-Yun will play violin and Andres Diaz will play cello.
Immediately following the concert there will be a reception offering champagne, dessert and a chance to meet the musicians.
The desserts will be provided by the Guild of Strings in the Mountains and by Albrecht's Bakery and Caf
Tickets for the High Country Garden Tour can be purchased in advance for $15 at the Strings in the Mountains Box Office, All That Jazz, Yampatika, Off the Beaten Path, Windemere and the Garden Pit. They can be purchased for $18 at the tent or any of the individual gardens on the day of the tour.
Tickets for the Gala Chamber Concert are $30 and can be purchased at the Strings Box Office.