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Gardens galore

27th annual event takes place in Marquette

Penny Streeter stands in front of her garden along Neidhart Avenue in Marquette. Her garden was one of five spotlighted in Thursday’s 27th annual Garden Tour, put on by the Marquette Beautification & Restoration Committee. (Journal photo by Christie Mastric)

MARQUETTE — Some gardens are clearly visible from the street, while other bits of paradise are tucked away in backyards.

The 27th annual Garden Tour had both.

The Marquette Beautification & Restoration Committee put on the tour, which featured five gardens in Marquette on Thursday. The garden tour, which didn’t take place in 2020 because of the COVID-19 pandemic, is the committee’s top fundraiser, paying for the Petunia Pandemonium flowers along South Front Street, flowers in the Front Street roundabout, Tami’s Garden in Father Marquette Park and the welcome sign at Marquette’s west end.

The garden of Penny Streeter at 2008 Neidhart Ave. was one of the stops.

Streeter has worked on her garden for years, having started it in the spring of 2003.

These are After Eight lilies, which grow in the Norway Avenue garden of Barbara Susorney. Her garden was featured in Thursday’s 27th annual Garden Tour in Marquette. (Journal photo by Christie Mastric)

“I love to garden,” Streeter said. “I just absolutely love it.”

As with many gardeners, she started off small.

“The front flower bed was about 2 feet wide,” she said. “Then it became 3 feet wide. Now I think it’s 4¢ feet wide.

“And then as time went on, in the back, some of the dead trees were taken out and trimmed up.”

Her front garden bed is lush with a carpet of sweet-smelling alyssum, day lilies, Siberian irises and other perennials as well as a variety of annuals such as cosmos, snapdragons and zinnias.

Some of her perennials have finished blooming for the season, but the annuals still provide a lot of color.

“Some things have their season, which is why annuals are nice because they bloom longer,” Streeter said.

She acknowledged the lack of rain has been a problem this summer, but she’s been up to the challenge — but not without a little pain.

“My water bill has been just astronomical this year,” Streeter said.

MBRC President Jill LaMere was impressed with her front garden bed.

“This is like Petunia Pandemonium right here on Neidhart,” she said.

The garden of Barbara Susorney at 1107 Norway Ave. fills her entire front yard with lilies, sea holly and other flowers. She too has her challenges, noting it takes 10 days to cut back the dead foliage at the end of the season. However, it goes into “bin after bin of compost.”

During the summer, though, there’s a lot to look at.

“There’s just always color,” Susorney said.

Susan Koehs’ garden, located nearby at 1109 Norway Ave., is lush as well, with a large number of pollinator-attracting plants installed in the backyard.

Another site with an impressive backyard is the garden of Sandra Gluski at 212 W. Hewitt Ave., with the section hidden from the street decorated with a wall structure made from wheels and a painting of a boat adorning a fence. The side garden has stained-glass panels as well as a collection of small hostas.

The garden of Jacalyn DeGroot at 616 Hampton St. is situated on a hill, with the backyard containing shade plants such as ferns and a sunny area that’s home to flowers.

For more information on the MBRC, visit mqtbeautification.org.

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