May is National Gardening Month: Inspirations from the Pros About Why They Love to Garden

“I didn’t start gardening until after working for almost 20 years in corporate communications, a profession I loved — until I discovered gardening. It was a big change, going from pantyhose and make-up to dirty fingernails and sunburns, but I love every minute I’m outside. You may not get rich gardening, but you can’t put a price on happiness.”
Kim Reiss, Manager Sugar Creek Gardens,
1011 N. Woodlawn, Kirkwood 63122,
314-965-3070, www.sugarcreekgardens.com

“We have a wonderful special needs child and she has helped me in the garden off and on for years. A few years ago I decided to plant potatoes and went through the process of getting the area ready and planted. She has always helped a bit and as the season went on it was a pretty normal year. As fall set in we went out and dug a small section of potatoes to see how big they were so we could harvest weeks later. She really enjoyed that and the next day she dug up every potato and had them in five gallon buckets. All I could do was chuckle to myself and say “good job” and wonder what possessed her to do that. She was proud of herself and so was I. There was just something about digging those potatoes.”
Owner Randy Greene, Greene’s Country Store, 8621 Hwy N, Lake St. Louis, 63367, 636 561-6637, www. greenescountrystore.com.

“Today while on my day off, I am sitting on my back deck listening and watching the antics of the many birds I have in my yard. The cherry tree is blooming and the fountain is running. I just can’t seem to get enough of the sights and sounds of this beautiful season. Spring is an awakening of many wonderful things. I was able to spend the morning in my very small vegetable garden thinning radishes and inspecting my garlic, onions, broccoli and peas. Can’t wait to put in the tomatoes!! The warmth of the sunshine only enhances the garden. I hope you will enjoy gardening yourself!”
Sandi Hillermann McDonald, Hillermann Nursery & Florist, 2601 E. 5th Street, Washington, MO 63090. 636 239-6729, www.hillermann.com

Garden Tours & Events Not to Be Missed

Spring Wildflower Sale
Sat, May 7- 9 to 4, $3 members. Shaw Nature Reserve in Gray Summit. shawnature.org; (636) 451-3512

Rain Garden Block Party
Sunday, May 15, 12-3 pm, Free. U City, just east of I70 & Delmar – Oakbrook Lane & Cornell. Seven newly planted rain gardens in adjoining neighbors yards. Learn about rain gardens, native plants, music, food, giveaways & more. Sponsored by Deer Creek Watershed Alliance, U City In Bloom, and the MO Department of Conservation. deercreekalliance.org, or Eric 314-603-8834 for more info.

Sugar Creek Garden Tour – Fund Raiser for Stray Rescue & Eco Gardens
Sat. June 4, 10-3 pm, $15 -$18. Private home gardens of five garden designers, including Linda Wiggen Kraft, along with rain gardens and other earth friendly gardens at homes and businesses by other designers. The SWT landscape architects headquarters showcases a green roof, rain garden and zero rain run off with pervious paving. Stop for a drink at McGurk’s while viewing the courtyard garden. Benefits Stray Rescue. 314-965-3070, www.sugarcreekgardens.com.

Missouri Botanical Garden – Home Garden Tour
It only happens once every three years. Sunday, June 12, 10-4:30 p.m. Bus tour, $75; self-guided tour, $50 Eight of the best private home gardens in St. Loius area. Advance reservations required by June 3 (314) 577-5180; www.mobot.org.

Pond-O-Rama – 50+ Water Gardens
June 25th & 26th, $15. Home and other water gardens of St. Louis Water Gardening Society members. Two days to view them all. www.slwgs.org.

U City in Bloom – Garden Tour & Art Show
Sun. Sept. 18th 12- 5, $15-18. www.ucityinbloom.org.

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