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Madison in Bloom

Tour features private gardens
of downtown Madison

Enjoy music, readings during
two tour weekends in May

By Lela Jane Bradshaw
Contributing Writer

(May 2010) – The annual Madison in Bloom Garden Tour is known for providing inspiration to visitors looking for ways perk up their own yards. “I think that’s the reason they come, to get ideas,” says Linda Davis whose house will be one of this year’s stops.

Linda & John Davis garden

Photo by Lela Jane Bradshaw

Area artists will be on site painting
pictures at the home of Linda and
John Davis during the annual
Madison in Bloom Garden Tour.

But at the Davis home, gardeners won’t be the only ones drawing inspiration from the flowers and sculptures. During the tour weekends, the yard will also play host to three of Madison’s noted artists. Chip Binzer, Eric Phagan and Carolyn Lopez will be painting, giving viewers a chance to watch as the landscape is captured on canvas.
“The whole atmosphere, when the artists are sitting in the yard with the flowers – it’s welcoming,” explains Davis.

Madison in Bloom

• May 8-9 and May 15-16 in Madison, Ind.
• Tour hours: 10-4 Saturdays; noon-4 p.m. Sunday
• Tickets: $10 and Children under 12 free. Available at the Jefferson County Historical Society, tour headquarters, 615 W. First St. or the Lanier-Madison Visitors Center, 601 W. First St.
• Information: (812) 265-2335 or visit: www.jchshc.org.

The Madison in Bloom Garden Tour will run the weekends of May 8-9 and May 15-16. This year’s tour includes eight Madison gardens will run from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturdays, and from noon to 4 p.m. Sundays. Tickets are $10, with special rates for advance purchases. Children under 12 are free. Tour headquarters will be located at the Madison Railroad Station, 615 W. First St. There, guests will be able to purchase tickets and pick up a map of the gardens that are part of the event. At the headquarters, visitors will also have the chance to pick up something special for their own gardens during the Clifty Garden Center plant sale.

Kimm Hollis

Photo by Don Ward

Kimm Hollis, Hanover
College professor
(back row right), will
perform at 5 p.m. on
May 8 for “Happy
Hour in the Garden.”
He is pictured with
(front row from left)
Thelma Mullett,
who will provide
readings, Diana Hand
of the Jefferson
County Historical
Society, and (back
row left) Joe Carr,
JCHS executive
director.

After the success of last year’s inaugural “Happy Hour in the Garden” evening of music and readings, Madison in Bloom will again feature a special evening of performances at 5 p.m. on May 8. This event will include musical guest Hanover College professor Kimm Hollis on the the piano and readings by Thelma Mullett and Margaret Seifert. The program will take place on the grounds of the Jefferson County Historical Society, and community members are invited to bring out their lawn chairs and enjoy. Donations are appreciated, and wine and hors d’oeuvres will be served.
Diana Hand, office manager of the Jefferson Historical Society, highlights the importance of Madison in Bloom, explaining, “It’s one of our biggest fundraisers.”
This year will mark the 20th anniversary of the event and has become a favorite spring tradition for more than just local residents.“Lots of people come from out of town to see the beautiful gardens,” says Hand.
While the annual Madison in Bloom Garden Tour is famed for showcasing beautiful flowers, the gardens of the neighboring Belue and Davis families prove that landscaping is about more than just plants. Wayne Belue was initially approached about taking part in the tour when word began to spread about his elegant garage.

Belue family garden

Photo by Lela Jane Bradshaw

The Belue family
garden will be one of
the private gardens
featured on the
Madison in Bloom
garden tour in May.

“We built a nice Victorian-style garage and I’m doing the porch to match,” says Belue.
Guests entering the garden are welcomed by a rustic metal moose sculpture and a cheerful pig weather vane. Visitors will certainly agree with Belue that the tranquil fountain is one of the garden’s true gems.
The next door Davis garden also showcases outdoor art. In addition to their copy of the famed Savannah Bird Girl statue, a decorated backyard tree adds color throughout the year. Hung with glittering glass wasp catchers and lovely birdhouses, the tree will also boast a very unique style of bird feeder. Marilyn Baer is crafting special feeders from porcelain teacups and saucers that are certain to delight all garden visitors whether they are birds or humans.
Davis credits her friends and neighbor with some of her garden’s success. “People in town really do trade out,” she says explaining the origins of some of her plants. Others have assisted in coming up with decorations and writing out descriptions of the yard. “Everybody is trying to contribute something,” she says fondly.

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