Madison, Indiana’s biennial garden tour, “Madison in Bloom,” is a treat for both visitors and residents – especially the homeowners of each tour site. Tour-goers delight in strolling the downtown streets of the National Landmark District as they visit six private gardens tucked among the historic homes. And the homeowners get to spend time among their flowers, shrubs & garden ornamentations talking about their love of gardening and sharing the story of their garden’s unique design and very personal style. Win-win!

Our home at 315 Poplar Street – Tour Site 1

That’s not to say that many, many hours weren’t spent by garden owners planting & replanting, weeding, spreading mulch and fine-tuning each garden… they were! All in the hopes that visitors would see the garden as the owner does – a little green slice of heaven. Check out the prelude in our garden.

We had a great weekend during “Madison in Bloom’s” first two days (June 11-12.) Preceded by early morning heavy rains each day, the sun came out, the temperatures were pleasant, the attendance was good, and the garden visitors were enthusiastic. Even though midweek has been really hot, predictions for this coming weekend call for a bit cooler temps and sunshine. Sounds good to me!

Ken and I are super lucky that family and friends stepped in to be a part of our garden “village.” During the last couple of years, cousins Julie & Larry shared plants (Lily of the Valley, Black-eyed Susan and Bachelor Buttons) from their garden just down the alley. A dozen friends and family will have volunteered as garden docents by tour’s end. I got to be part of my friend Margot’s garden “village” during the tour last weekend. Who ‘ya gonna call to deadhead your giant David Austin rose? Long tall Sally!

My childhood friend & bridesmaid, Lois, a master gardener from Kansas City, came with her husband to visit with us, do last minute pre-tour garden sprucing for “opening day,” volunteer during the tour, and (finally) experience all of “Madison in Bloom” by visiting the other five garden tour sites. They loved Madison and the tour – and boy was Lois a helping hand!

Sally & Lois on the first garden tour morning

Week two of “Madison in Bloom” will be this Saturday, June 18 (10am-4pm) and Sunday, June 19 (Noon-4pm). Tickets are $25/person and can be purchased on tour days at the Jefferson County Historical Society History Center, 615 West First Street (812-265-2335.) (While you’re there, don’t miss the beautiful “Art of the Dress” exhibit!)

Whether you drive a distance or just step through your downtown Madison front door, you’ll have a beautiful weekend exploring our hidden gem gardens.

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One thing that makes my journey unique is that all of my interests are driven by a joyful and genuine curiosity. I delight in finding less expensive ways to make something or creative ways to enjoy something longer. Finding and creating joy - and sharing it - is core to who I am.