FAIRFIELD — A simple task to help her mother was Marilyn Tigner’s introduction to gardening.
After having her hands in the dirt, then watching what she planted grow, Tigner was hooked. Yards in front and out back of her home are beautiful examples of her dedication to the art.
Local residents can see the work of Tigner’s green thumb April 26 on the Geranium City Garden Club Garden Tour.
Tigner’s guests are greeted by a lush green lawn surrounded by colorful flowers. To the left of the front steps sits a wishing well with the gentle sounds of water that tumbles into an attached bucket.
She tends to the yard often and is pleased when passers-by take note of her hard work.
It may never look the same way twice, as Tigner loves to move plants between the front and back yards. She’s also known to plant new flowers in both yards a few times a year.
The focal point in the backyard is the pool, disguised as a rock waterfall.
“I wanted it natural looking,” Tigner said.
It’s draped with lavender Lantana and surrounded by a variety of colorful plants.
Tigner comes up with her own designs, puts them on paper and passes them along to her husband Guy Tiger, a licensed contractor.
“He makes it happen,” she said.
She looks for height and balance. Consideration is also given to groups of the same plants and/or trees together.
“Sometimes I lay in bed and think of the next thing to do in the garden,” she said.
The couple recently adapted the trails through the garden to allow wheelchair access.
On an average day, Tigner estimated she spends about three to four hours gardening. She tends to everything from azaleas to iris. After retiring from Solano County, Tigner said she gave thought to working for Home Depot in the garden area. She decided she would rather devote that time to shaping her backyard retreat.
Ginny Hall, who grew up gardening alongside her mother and grandmother, is also showcasing her garden on the tour.
A retired registered nurse, Hall finds gardening therapeutic.
“After a long shift, it was my place to decompress,” she said. “It’s spiritual. Everything in the garden is a miracle.”
With the goal of living out the rest of their lives in the home, Hall said she wanted their garden to be a comfortable spot. Her biggest challenge is trying to figure out how to keep what she has planted watered, since there was so little rainfall this winter.
“I am trying to let the plants get used to less water,” she said.
Hall climbs steps on a steep hillside to tend to the top of her backyard garden. It’s worth every step, she said. She can see sights from around Fairfield.
Off to the side of the house is what she calls “grandma’s garden.” A hammock hung there once so she could enjoy quiet time with her grandchildren. Today, it holds a fairy-like quality with statues.
She encourages everyone to give gardening a try, suggesting they start out with something like container plants.
Tigner and Hall are both members of the Geranium City Garden Club, founded in 1956. Club members maintain the Fairfield Senior Center Garden and the Pauline Davidson Living Memorial Park at Pennsylvania Avenue and Dana Drive in Fairfield. Davidson founded the garden club.
Proceeds from the Garden Tour will be used for scholarships and community projects. For more information, call 426-2790.
Reach Amy Maginnis-Honey at 427-6957 or [email protected]. Follow her on Twitter at www.twitter.com/amaginnisdr.