After a four-year hiatus because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Racine Garden Center is putting together its biannual Summer Magic Garden Tour (racinegardenclub.org/summer-magic-garden-tour1.html). A Union Grove area farm, two Mount Pleasant gardens and a Racine yard were chosen to have their organic artistry featured in self-guided walking tours from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday.
Tickets are $10 “at the door” of each garden.
“What is fun and interesting about working with the tour garden owners is to see them blossom as they take care and pride in preparing for the big day. They change, embellish and/or enhance their already beautiful and unique gardens,” wrote Carolyn Seeger, co-chair for the 2022 Summer Magic Garden Tour, in an email. “We see these special people put their whole selves into their work for this event. We couldn’t do the tour without people like them who are willing to share their passion for gardening with the members of the Racine Garden Club and the Summer Magic Garden Tour attendees.”
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Location: 604 S. Stuart Road
Gardeners: Mary Ellen and Len Juliano
MOUNT PLEASANT — The garden surrounding Mary Ellen and Len Juliano’s residence is a shrine to the craftiness and creativity both of them have — but especially Mary Ellen.
Having moved to the residence 13 years ago, Mary Ellen only agreed to move to the new place if she could take her plants with her. Len agreed.
“I rented one of those PODS (from the moving/storage company of the same name) and brought over many of the things from my old garden, and replanted them here,” Mary Ellen said, before joking: “As soon as I saw how big the yard was, I told Len of course I would marry him.”
The deck of the Julianos’ yard is surrounded by dozens of pots on stands, a collection that Marry Ellen has acquired over the years from different rummage sales and discounted at different plant stores. “I want to be surrounded,” she said.
The separate areas around the Julianos’ garden are filled not only with plants like annuals, petunias and even a few succulents, but the true highlights of the garden are the many craft projects Mary Ellen has displayed among the flowers.
There are birdbaths shaped like an elephant ear (the plant, not the animal’s body part) and planters made out of old clothes and towels. Mary Ellen makes sure her creativity come through all over her garden.
One of the highlights in the Julianos’ garden is a birdbath covered in seashells from the Florida coast, one of the couple’s favorite places to visit.
The Julianos’ garden also includes vegetables and herbs, such as such as tomatoes and basil — though Mary Ellen says the basil is more to keep animals like rabbits away.
In photos: Meet the gardeners behind the Racine area’s 2022 Magic Summer Garden Tour
This way to the garden
27 years in the making
House across the meadow.
A sight to see
Quite a find
“She would say ‘It’s fabulous'”
Goodbye, old friend
“I want to be surrounded”
A work of art
Mary Ellen and Len
A taste of Florida