WASSO Garden Tour takes new paths

A different path down a beloved trail will lead to several gardens in Springfield and Enon with some things in common when a summer tradition returns next weekend.

The 29th annual Women’s Association of the Springfield Symphony Orchestra (WASSO) Garden Tour will tour five homes, taking a rare detour indoors at one location and places it’s never been before, 1-5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. The event is a fundraiser for the Springfield Symphony Orchestra and its various programs.

Many WASSO tours can lead participants to various places in Springfield, and sometimes out of town. This time out, the five selected gardens will have connections, two in Springfield and the other three near each other in Enon.

“It’s a little different for us,” said Claudia Fett, one of the organizers. “We think people will like it.”

The Springfield portion will be the first time neighbors will be part of a tour, going to the Kingsgate Commons neighborhood for the gardens of Frank and Marilyn Demma, 3531 Kingsgate Court, and Joe and Shirley Stewart, 3563 Kingsgate Court near a wooded area.

The Demma garden has two 50-foot walls with lights, fire pit, large fountain, several perennials, annuals, bird baths and bird houses.

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The winners of a 2021 Community Home Beautification Award and nominated for another this year, the Stewarts’ garden has walnut trees, bushes and wild plants near its covered deck. They built a pond that has Koi fish and water turtles, and added a cement sidewalk, wood carvings and feed local wildlife including birds and squirrels.

“This area is a like a little oasis in a back yard, a place to go back, sit and ponder life,” said Fett.

The Enon section of the tour has across-the-street neighbors on Bobwhite Drive. The Bushnell residence at 35 Bobwhite Drive has a swimming pool complemented by a variety of plants and rocks, as well as window boxes and sunflowers planted to show support for Ukraine, its national flower. There is also a ladybug theme and visitors will receive a painted ladybug rock.

Pink and white begonias and other touches highlight Marc and Barb Masqueliers’ garden, 40 Bobwhite Drive, that is designed to attract pollinators, butterflies and hummingbirds. The tour here doesn’t end in the garden, that’s just the beginning. Visitors are invited to go inside the recently redone house and three antique cars on display.

The final stop of the tour is the Sunset Ridge Lavender Farm, 6360 Fowler Rd. Tom and JoAnn Moore purchased the land in 2015 and had an Amish-built purple barn added. There are 4,000 plants and 14 varieties of lavender.

Visitors can pick their own lavender, buy items in the gift shop and enjoy lavender lemonade in one of the rocking chairs on the large porch. Trees and flower beds add to the oasis feel.

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The tour normally has a community garden stop each year, but WASSO chose not to add one as a community garden event featuring several in the area will be later in July.

Tour tickets cost $15 each in advance or $20 each on tour days at participating homes. Advance tickets are available at the SSO office, located in the Clark State Performing Arts Center, 300 S. Fountain Ave., at Frame Haven, Katie’s Hallmark, Schneider’s Florist or from any WASSO member.

An interactive google map, more tour and ticket information is available at www.springfieldsym.org.


What: 29th annual WASSO Garden Tour

Where: Five locations in Springfield and Enon

When: 1-5 p.m. Saturday, July 9 and Sunday, July 10

Admission: $15 presale; $20 days of tour

More info: www.springfieldsym.org

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