Sharing ‘a labor of love’

Tracy Garden Area and Quilt Tour to offer lots of variety

Photo by Deb Gau Bright blooms and garden ornaments help give the flower beds at Val and Lori Eberspacher’s home in rural Marshall a unique look. The Eberspachers’ garden will be one of the stops on this year’s Tracy Area Gardens and Quilts Tour.

MARSHALL — There are all kinds of plants in bloom in Lori and Val Eberspacher’s garden — from petunias and roses to bright red geraniums. And next week, they’ll get to share them with visitors on the Tracy Area Garden and Quilts Tour.

“It’s a labor of love,” Lori Eberspacher said.

Eberspacher said she was looking forward to the tour on Wednesday.

This year’s tour will feature parks and gardens in the Milroy area, as well as more than 100 quilted pieces on display, said Elise Lanoue, a member of the garden and quilt tour committee. The tour, a fundraiser for the St. Mary’s Council of Catholic Women in Tracy, will be from 2-7:30 p.m. Wednesday.

Tour organizers are hoping for a good crowd next week, Lanoue said.

“We had 290 people last year, and they came from all over,” she said. “I think the quilts are a huge draw.”

This year’s tour will feature a variety of items from area quilters. Some of the quilters, like Jana Milbradt and Elvera Benson, have been sewing for many years. Quilter Jada Johns, 16, learned to sew from her grandmother Jolynn Johns. Both Jada and Jolynn will have quilts on display on the tour.

Each of the gardens on the tour will have something unique to see. Milroy residents Amy and Jamie Larsen created a heart-shaped garden in memory of their daughter Brooklyn, with plants and flowers that would attract butterflies.

Over the course of more than 20 years, Jean and Don Schmidt added flowers, trees and even features like a walking rosary to their yard in rural Milroy. Carole Snyder’s garden includes both a rock garden and a shade garden.

The George Lanoue family are welcoming visitors to “Wild Acres Park.” Over time, the Lanoues have worked together to create and maintain a family gathering place with flowers, playground equipment, and more.

Lori Eberspacher said she and her husband have both come up with different ideas for their garden over the years.

“There’s a lot of red,” because Val’s favorite flowers are red geraniums, she said. They’ve also added some unique touches like large round planters made out of old hog feeders.

“The only thing I did differently this year, was I potted more smaller things,” Eberspacher said.

The smaller pots will help add visual interest for visitors on the tour.

Visitors on the tour can enjoy ice cream and pie baked by members of St. Mary’s Church, which will be served at the Eberspacher garden site. There will also be a chance to enter a raffle with prizes including a quilted blanket and matching throw pillow, both creaked by Jolynn Johns.

Tickets for the garden and quilt tour are $15, and will be available on Wednesday, at Greenwood Nursery in Marshall and the Milroy city park.

Lanoue said the tour sites will each be marked with colorful wind socks to help guide visitors. Some sites will also have the option of riding tours, with carts available for tour attendees to ride.


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