Rochester Garden Tour beats the heat and a tough winter - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

Rochester Garden Tour beats the heat and a tough winter

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ROCHESTER, Minn. (KTTC) -- All spring and summer, we've been doing battle with Mother Nature.

First, too wet, then in May, a foot of snow. Then too cold. Now, really hot.

It's enough to make a farmer cry and a gardener wonder what happened to the old green thumb, but in a few area gardens, everything is perfect.

It all starts in the dirt

"A garden just adds so much," said Chrissy McCann, a gardener.

It takes just a few of the most simple, natural ingredients.

"I just enjoy being outside," said Kerin Marek, whose garden was featured in the tour.

It transforms a backyard, a hillside -- any little corner of the world -- into an oasis.

"It's kind of a creative thing with the colors and the textures and everything," McCann said.

It's for those artists and admirers that the Rochester Garden and Flower Club puts on its Annual Garden Tour.

"Gardeners like to see what other gardeners are doing and they like to get ideas," said event co-chair Connie Parrett. "And we're never satisfied with ending and not developing more."

So area gardeners and garden lovers take a six-stop tour through five private area gardens and the S.M.A.R.T. Garden at RCTC -- with artists, musicians, demonstrations and free ice cream along the way.

"So it's really an idea provoking and stimulating environment to be in," Parrett said. "It's a great way to get ideas."

Only two or three months ago, you'd never think these gardeners would be able to pull off each little corner of paradise along the way.

"We had one of the worst winters horticulture-wise that most people have seen in 20-25 years," Marek said.

"If things didn't die because of the drought last year, the died because they were waterlogged," Parrett said.

But with a little hard work and a few nice days thrown in the mix, it's as if it all came back to life.

"There's nothing more beautiful than having beautiful flowers and gardens with lovely music or artists actively painting and singing in the background," Parrett said.

The proceeds from the garden tours go to the Rochester Garden and Flowers Club to support its many volunteer activities and scholarships.

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