Bedford club’s 17th annual tour will feature 5 local gardens

The garden of Marion Rapp and Terry McElmurry will be on the Bedford Flower and Garden Club tour. Ms. Rapp says it shows what can be done in a small space.
The garden of Marion Rapp and Terry McElmurry will be on the Bedford Flower and Garden Club tour. Ms. Rapp says it shows what can be done in a small space.

TEMPERANCE — Marion Rapp’s garden has it all: roses, lilacs, horse chestnut trees, and more.

“It’s a full-time baby-sitting job in the summertime,” Ms. Rapp said. “Every corner [of the garden] has something to look at. There’s an abundance of color and nature.”

Ms. Rapp’s yard, with more than 100 species of plants, will be one of five sites on the 17th annual Bedford Flower and Garden Club tour. Dubbed the “Tour des Fleurs,” the event will be held Saturday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. and raises money to provide scholarships, guest speakers for gardener-education classes, and gardening books for the Bedford Branch Library.

The tour features five gardens in Lambertville and Temperance, and will start on the library grounds at 8575 Jackman Rd., Temperance. Visitors can admire the library's gardens, which include an herb garden, a perennial garden, and a children's garden modeled after Mr. McGregor’s Garden, Peter Rabbit’s favorite stomping ground.

Guests also can visit the gardens of the Century House Cabin at 6829 Summerfield Rd., Lambertville.

Built in 1830 by Charles Phelps, the cabin is one of the few area pioneer residences still standing, said Trudy Urbani, a Century House Preservationist whose home was featured on the tour last summer.

Covered in vines and weeds, the cabin was opened in 2011 for Bedford Township’s 175th anniversary.

In 2012, the Century House Preservationists received a $3,000 environmental grant from the Monroe County Solid Waste Management to improve the property. Members of the Century House Preservationists, Bedford Flower and Garden Club, and Bedford Beautification Committee have installed a rain garden, an herb garden, a butterfly garden, a World War II victory garden, and a pond garden with aquatic plants and fish.

Three Temperance homes will open their yards to the public. The gardens of Jeff and Holly Zink, Vicki and Chili Challis, and Marion Rapp and Terry McElmurry will be featured in this year's tour.

Ms. Rapp hopes her garden will be educational. “Every inch of this yard is landscaped. It’s not a big property. [The garden] shows the possibilities of what we can do in a smaller space.”

During the tour, the Monroe County Master Gardeners will host two seminars at the Bedford Branch Library. At 10:30 a.m., Linda Welch will instruct visitors on how to make a vertical garden, while Paul Russeau will discuss native and invasive plant species at 1:30 p.m.

Guests can participate in a raffle at the library or buy garden art from the club’s Backyard Boutique.

Club President Jessie Green hopes the event will draw nearly 300 visitors. Last year’s heat wave resulted in only 185 tickets sold, she added. “The success of the tour determines how much we award [in scholarships] next year.”

Ms. Green said the Bedford Flower and Garden Club began offering scholarships in 2010 to two graduating Belford High School students who will pursue a horticultural or environmental field. This year, the club awarded a $1,000 scholarship to Megan Grohnke, 18, of Lambertville, who plans to major in civil engineering with a specialty in water resources at Michigan State University.

The Bedford Flower and Garden Club, founded in 1994, held its first tour in 1996.

“Tour des Fleurs” tickets will be sold for $8 on Saturday at the Bedford Branch Library from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Contact Rosa Nguyen at: or 419-724-6050.