On March 31, 2012, the 11th annual Real Gardens For Real People tour, sponsored by the University of Arizona Cooperative Extension Maricopa County Master Gardeners, takes place in north Scottsdale. Self-guided tours take participants through of six private residential gardens as well as a newly developed school garden in partnership with the students of Copper Ridge Elementary School and the Master Gardeners. Consistent with the primary mission of Master Gardeners, over 27 leading gardening experts will be on-site to educate and answer questions from tour participants. The tour guide, with garden descriptions and photographs, can now be downloaded from http://extension.arizona.edu/sites/extension.arizona.edu/files/resourcefile/resource/krwagner/RGRP2012TourGuide_0.pdf
The comprehensive labeling of plants in the gardens on the tour – both botanical and common names – and the program of educational experts sets this garden tour apart. Topics include composting, garden color, metal art work, rainwater harvesting, citrus and palm care, school gardening, square foot gardening, cacti and succulents, growing herbs and wildflowers, drip irrigation and water harvesting, pruning, container gardening and butterflies, bees and wildlife in gardens.
These gardens are inspiring and imaginative, using the principles of Master Gardeners to select, place and care for plants in an environmentally responsible manner based on research specific to the low desert. The gardens also feature water attractions, edible landscapes, recycled art, metal sculptures and mosaics, many hand crafted by the garden owners.
The Real Gardens for Real People Tour provides self-guided tours of six private residential gardens located in north Scottsdale as well as a newly developed school garden at Copper Ridge Elementary School. This annual private garden tour is organized by the Master Gardeners trained by the University of Arizona Cooperative Extension program.
Tickets are $25 advance tickets available at 24 nurseries and other merchants across the Valley. A printable list is available at http://cals.arizona.edu/maricopa/garden/2012TicketLocations.pdf.
$30 tickets are available on tour day at Copper Ridge Elementary School. The tour runs from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m.