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Garden tour fund-raiser to bloom June 21


Kevin Kwiatkowski enjoys his garden from his back porch. The Oregon resident says he enjoys tending to his flowers and planting varieties of agave. His garden is to be part of the garden tour.

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Beautiful plants and their arrangements will be the focus of the day on June 21, when the Oregon Jerusalem Historical Society is to hold a tour of 10 residential gardens as a fund-raiser.

It will start at 9:30 a.m. at the society’s historic Brandville School, 1133 Grasser St., where tourists will be given a map with directions to the home gardens. The tour ends at 4 p.m. and has a June 28 rain date.

The map has several versions, said Linda Wise, historical society trustee. “We made up different maps because we don’t want to flood a yard with 100 people at the same time,” she said. “We have a couple of people in the tour who have been featured in national gardening magazines.”

Tickets are $10. On the day of the tour, the price is $12. Tickets can be purchased at Genoa Bank, 3201 Navarre Ave., or by calling 419-698-9068 or 419-698-1045. There also will be raffles and prizes.

The gardens to be toured have all been cultivated by the homeowners, such as Kevin Kwiatkowski, not professional landscapers.

Mr. Kwiatkowski said he spends three or four hours a day or more working in his garden, depending on the time of the year. He has planted more than 600 varieties of hostas, all marked and tagged, on his property, which he describes as the size of a standard city lot.

There also are 350 kinds of day lilies and 20 kinds of Japanese maples. He grows 15 types of agave, a desert plant with thorns, in pots that he brings inside in winter.

“It’s my quiet time,” Mr. Kwiatkowski said of his gardening hours. “You get a sense of satisfaction when you plant something and it grows. I’m not out there with anything but me, the garden, and the bugs.”

Mr. Kwiatkowski said his surname is Polish for flower, and he has given his garden the name Ogrod Kwiatowy, which means flower garden.

The garden tour is a first for the historical societyand is among three fund-raisers slated for this year, said Connie Isbell, the organization’s president. The other two are themed tea parties in the spring and fall. The society also receives financial support from the city of Oregon.

Money raised is used to support the society’s museum in the former Brandville school building, which dates to 1882 and is on the National Registry of Historic Places, along with another building on the Grasser site.

Ms. Isbell said the society is especially proud of the military room on the museum’s second floor. “It has artifacts from every American war, from the War of 1812 to the present.”

Contact Carl Ryan at: or 419-724-6095.

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