FAIRFIELD — Natalie Cross could not have thought of a better way to get tips to improve her own garden than touring some of the most beautiful gardens of Fairfield Saturday.
“I am getting so much inspiration. I am learning so much,” said Cross while admiring the well-groomed beauty of neighbor and Geranium City Garden Club member Laura Labrado’s own garden on Evergreen Drive.
Labrado’s garden was the fourth of six stops in the Geranium City Garden Club’s first home and garden tour where a half dozen of its members opened their backyards with their well-tended profusion of flowers, hedges, ornamental trees, arbors, fruit trees and vegetables.
The whole idea behind the tour was to raise money through ticket sales to benefit Assist-A-Grad scholarships and other community projects, Labrado said.
“So far, it has been a very good experience,” Labrado said while introducing the new arrivals to her garden, which she described as a classical relaxing English garden retreat with topiary garden figures, boxwood hedges, bubbling fountains, heritage roses and other flowers.
Flowers such as begonias, lilacs, dahlia, irises and passionflower added splashes of color to the greenery.
Labrado has been caring for her garden since 1982 and has been an active member of the Geranium Club for 15 years.
“There is nothing better than being able to develop your garden and watch it grow,” Labrado said.
As for how much time she spends in her garden, Labrado said “not nearly enough as I’d like.”
The Geranium Club has been a gathering place for local gardeners for many years, offering programs about plant care at meetings and trips to tour public gardens and nurseries throughout the area. It has also promoted public gardens such as the one it established at the Fairfield Senior Center.
The University of California, Davis, Agricultural Extension Master Gardeners program had representatives at each of the showcase gardens to give horticulture advice to visitors.
Cross was one of approximately 70 visitors that Labrado had by the early afternoon.
“This has been so much fun, and I have met so many wonderful people,” said Cross, who, by the time she got to Labrado’s garden, was considering joining the Geranium Club.
At one of the earlier stops, one of the gardeners noticed how much she admired one of the plants, the gardener gave Cross a clipping that she could plant at home.
As for whether the Geranium Club will hold a second garden tour next year, Labrado said the club has not made a decision on that yet.
Reach Ian Thompson at 427-6976 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/ithompsondr.