Tooele Transcript Bulletin – News in Tooele, Utah
image The picturesque man-made pond at Gary and Janet Fawson’s home in Grantsville takes advantage of an artesian well and creative genius. The Fawsons’ home is one of the12 yards and gardens on display and a starting point for the upcoming Master Gardener Garden Tour this coming Saturday morning.

June 13, 2013
Creating a spectacular backyard takes effort, skill and creativity


s I look out the window of the home where I am visiting, I see a lovely, peaceful scene made up of flowers, grass, shrubs, fruit trees and a productive vegetable garden. A children’s play area includes a slide, swings and a home-built wooden play set. A small picnic table and benches sit just outside the back door. All of this is in the backyard of a typical city lot. There is space for it and because it isn’t overly large, it is well-tended.

The plants make all the difference. I could be looking out to cornfields across the way or bare ground or more likely and worse yet, a weed patch. However, instead, I am seeing something both beautiful and functional. But the owners have made a decision to put some time and effort into creating a lovely and functional living space.

It isn’t particularly unusual for homeowners to try to create a beautiful backyard. Most of us prefer garden plants to weeds and our Utah heritage has long promoted growing a vegetable garden. Giving the kids a place to play only makes sense.

However, some people do it better than others. It is easy to take a sour grapes attitude: “How did they find such a place?” — as if the setting already existed waiting for someone to move in.

“Boy, they must have great soil,” is another garden cop-out.  “Well, it would be nice to do something like that, but I’d sure hate to pay their water bills,” goes yet a third.

“With all those kids, they have lots of help,” “They just have a natural flair for it,” “If I had time, I could do that,” “I wish I had the money to do something like that.”

While such explanations may have some merit, most of them can be managed with a little interest, learning, ideas and skill.

The reality is that most beautiful gardens are the result of creativity, yes, research certainly, education — learning the craft — of course, and especially putting in the time and effort to create a backyard. For many people, gardening is a labor of love.  For many more, it could be.

The creative aspect comes easier to some people than it does for others. They have developed a sense of visual balance, a sense of color, shape and design.

This can be learned and ideas come from many places. A great place to begin is from the talented gardeners of Tooele County. Come to the annual Tooele County Master Gardener’s Garden tour this coming Saturday. The Master Gardeners are the go-to people to learn more about gardening, and they do appreciate a well-tended yard. Early each summer, they host a garden tour. This year, twelve homeowners have been persuaded to share their domains with the public, and they are some of the finest in Tooele County.

The offerings range from large pieces of property to small backyard gardens and from well-established plantings to plots that were started only recently. It is a great tour to see just what can be done in Tooele County from Tooele to Stockton, Grantsville to Stansbury. What can be done in Tooele County is truly amazing. If you are looking to learn, want to see some lovely landscapes and gardens or just looking for a good way to spend a Saturday morning, the Tooele County Master Gardener’s Tour will be a great opportunity. The garden tour takes place Saturday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Check the Bulletin Board on B6 for more information.

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