ITALIAN GETAWAY — The mastermind behind this garden loves all things Italy and incorporated many items from the European country into her beautiful garden. Village Life photos by Pat Dollins

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Escape to Gardens of the Hills

By May 2, 2011

Roses, azaleas, perennials … oh, my. This year’s Gardens of the Hills tour hosted by the Assistance League of Sierra Foothills has more blossoms and greenery than ever before.

For two days visitors are invited to marvel at some of the community’s most beautiful gardens, all while raising money for good causes. The Assistance League of Sierra Foothills supports programs benefitting sexual assault victims and underprivileged children. League members and friends donated their gardens for this year’s tour, May 14 & 15.

“This tour reflects the diversity in El Dorado County,” said Crista Dixon, Assistance League of Sierra Foothills president.

Diversity, indeed. Visitors stopping at each of the seven gardens might end the day feeling like they’ve traveled the world. From the beautiful countryside to an Italian oasis, these gardens will wow visitors so much so that they might have trouble leaving, Dixon said. The homeowners will be on site to discuss their gardens with guests, giving them tips and explaining how they created their masterpieces.

Afton Tuveson’s create a “garden room” on her half-acre named “Froggy Creek” after the frogs that sing in the creek bordering her property. Deer, wild turkeys and a few dreaded skunks have also been know to wander nearby, she said, but the weekend of the garden tour all four-legged and winged creatures should stay away as people peruse the gorgeous space. The garden theme? “Big,” Tuveson said. A big perennial bed, big plants, “And now we’re doing the ‘please everybody bloom dance’ for the roses,” she added.

The former television reporter’s biggest passion is her perennial garden, she said. “Every year it’s just grown and grown and grown.”

In addition to the beautiful blooms this year’s garden tour will also feature artwork, pottery and jewelry created by local artists. The works will be for sale, with a portion of proceeds going to the Assistance League. Visitors will also enjoy local musicians performing at certain sites and snack and drinks.

The Gardens of the Hills tour, sponsored by Serrano and Pottery World, will run from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, May 14, and noon to 5 p.m. on Sunday, May 15. Tickets are available the California Welcome Center, Flowers de Amor, Green Valley Nursery, Pak Mail, Pottery World, Verbena Flowers & Trimming, We Olive, Caffe Santoro, Shared Stitches, El Dorado Nursery, Flowers on Main and the Tree House.

For tickets by mail call Marilyn at (916) 933-1799.

Noel Stack


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