- Brett Turner Contributing Writer
New themes, refreshments and tour stops are all over the map this summer without leaving the area.
The 24th annual Women’s Association of the Springfield Symphony Orchestra Garden Tour has more stops with more unique features when it returns 1-6 p.m. Saturday, July 15, and Sunday, July 16, at various area homes.
Proceeds benefit the Springfield Symphony Orchestra, and tickets cost $15 in advance and $20 the days of the tour at any of the participating homes.
“We wanted to offer something fun and new and have some unusual things this year,” said event coordinator Janet James.
New offerings include two additional stops, totaling seven overall, and the chance to sample or buy items produced on the grounds of several stops and a special themed stop at another.
This year’s participating gardens are:
Leslie and Bob Morris, 317 Oakridge Drive, Springfield. This garden features perennials and dahlias, pebbled paths, along with antique collectibles. The Morris Clayworks will be open and offer hand-crafted, garden-themed artwork with parts of any sales benefitting WASSO.
Susan and Richard Kogler, 5076 W. Jackson Road, Enon. Besides several trees, a perennial garden, pollinator garden, St. Francis Garden and vegetable garden are waiting to be explored.
Brandeberry Winery, Jim and Sharon Brandeberry, 5118 W. Jackson Road, Enon. The family-owned winery is on a peaceful country setting. Wine tastings will be available for $1 a sample and bottles available for purchase.
Kelly and B.J. Hamilton, 1744 Pembrook Road, Springfield. The recently renovated landscape redesign includes a pond and stream, ornamental grasses and flowers.
Ann and Ron deLanglade, 1824 Crescent Drive, Springfield. A variety of annuals, shrubs perennials and trees accented with statuary and water features adorn this home. This is the only return spot on the tour, having featured 15 years ago.
Dawn and Danny Wells, 1910 S. Bird Road, Springfield. The estate’s Adventure Rails contains 1,650 of stainless steel track with model trains surrounded by a gazebo, waterfall, large stream, flowers and a pond area, as well as several small buildings.
Jefferson Street Oasis Community Garden, corner of West Jefferson Street and South Western Avenue, Springfield. This garden was created to help people grow fresh produce and learn new skills in food production. Fresh produce will be for sale at this stop.
James is especially proud of this year’s unique lineup, resulting from networking and looking to change out and find new things.
“We have some unusual things people can learn from and enjoy,” she said.
The WASSO Tours have taken in about $18,000 for the Symphony over the year, James said.
She said the tour should take approximately five hours and can be done over the two days if desired. It will go on rain or shine. A tour map is available online at www.springfieldsym.org.
Advance tickets are available in Springfield at Curves, Schneider’s Florist, Frame Haven, Heart of Country, Katie’s Hallmark and the Springfield Symphony office. Tickets are also available in Urbana at H Holding & Co.
This is one of three annual fundraising events WASSO sponsors, including a culinary home tour in the spring and a holiday home tour in December.