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Garden tour combines art and blooming artistry

Six sites provide colorful contrasts in design, landscaping
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This weekend’s garden tour in Colfax offers an array of vistas sure to get ideas cultivating for future landscaping additions. Sponsored by the Colfax Garden Club, the tour opens the doors to six properties ranging from flowered hillsides to tree-shaded water features and quaint hand-painted buildings. Four of the gardens will be open to the public for the first time, chairwoman Jewell DeLapp said recently. Tour participants will see the Mediterranean-style home owned by Dave and Stephanie Gard. Designed by San Francisco architect Bernard Maybeck, the house was built in the 1920s for Dr. Robert Peers, former mayor and a physician, who became known for his work with tuberculosis patients in Colfax. Many of the trees in this garden were planted in the 1920s and 1930s, but the various gardens on the property were created over the years. Visitors also will be able to walk through the living room of this unique residence. Another of the featured sites is the home and garden created by well-known landscape design consultant Myrtle Findley. The garden features a keystone block landscaped hillside. There are elaborate water features throughout the property, as well as an expansive selection of plants and trees. FIndley, at age 89, is a gardening icon in Colfax and has won many gardening awards. A third site offers a look at the garden of DeBora Miller and James Lee. Created on a city lot, their garden is packed with everything from flowers to herbs, to various varieties of trees and vegetables. Miller’s ceramic sculptures are displayed throughout the garden. She’ll be on hand to explain her compost bin and pile as well as her non-pesticide method of insect control for the fruit trees. Lee will have some of his paintings on display. Christa Jellison’s garden is another work of art. Jellison has painted 20 murals on the outside walls of her home as well as a red carpet leading to the front door. She even placed the family crest at the entrance. There’s also a painted water feature on the retaining wall in a corner of the garden. A collection of Jellison’s paintings will be on display in the gazebo during the tour. Don and Patty Dougherty’s home is surrounded by acres of lawn and trees. From the swimming pool area, visitors will be able to view the huge koi pond with blooming water lilies and a waterfall. Also open for touring will be Don’s shop where he restores antique trucks and tractors. His trucks, including the 1931 International Harvester he drives in parades, will be on display. Eight weddings have been held at the Dolezal garden developed by Margie and Jerry Dolezal more than 30 years ago. As visitors tour the property, they’ll see why this garden makes an ideal setting for a wedding. Over the years, the Dolezals have built gazebos, hidden sitting areas and a number of ponds, including one large enough for a rowboat with a baseball field on the other side. Among the mini gardens on the property are a large vegetable plot as well as rock, bog and shade gardens. The garden and art tour will be from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 29. Local musicians will perform in several of the gardens. Tickets can be purchased in advance. Maps will be available the day of the tour at Roy Toms Plaza in Colfax. Proceeds will be used to support community projects and the youth garden.