The 21st annual LACASA Garden Tour is approaching next month.

Exceptional gardeners open their yards each July to share their love of fauna and flora with wandering visitors. This year’s tour will take place Saturday and Sunday, July 13th and 14th and features nine one-of-a-kind gardens and three specialty shops across Livingston County. There is said to be a wide variety of traditional and eclectic gardening experiences. The tour will also feature a “Stargazer Scavenger Hunt” and various raffles.

LACASA Development Coordinator Beth Marshall says even if someone is not a gardener, it’s still a beautiful day and walk – adding it’s a very welcoming weekend and she thinks it says a lot about the community that people open up their yards for the public. Marshall says it’s a really nice spread with some new, unique gardens featured but also a few others that are traditional tour favorites and a number of great stops for ideas. The event serves as a fundraiser for LACASA and supports general programming. Marshall says LACASA has a shelter for those who have experienced domestic violence and need a safe place to stay but they also offer counseling, parenting classes, a nurse program for survivors of sexual assault and do prevention and education work. She says they also work in the local public schools helping kids learn about safety and healthy dating scenarios for teens to avoid abuse before it starts and not get in violent situations. Marshall tells WHMI they’re hoping to create a community that really can be free from interpersonal violence and help people who have been hurt find hope and healing. She says the garden tour is a beautiful weekend but what she loves most is that it’s helping people find safety, hope and healing.

Garden Tour weekend tickets are $20 in advance at a number of area business outlets or online. The cost will be $25 at garden entrances. Tickets are good for both days so guests have ample time to visit all of the locations without rushing. Gardens will be open from 9am to 4pm so attendees can go in any order they choose, and visit as many or few as they like. While the tour is self-guided, there is a separate, guided VIP bus tour hosted by LACASA CEO Bobette Schrandt on Saturday, July 13th but space is limited and seats are said to be filling fast. Details and a map of all the gardens are available through the provided link. Pictured is Garden #7, the Pelkey Garden on Faussett Road.(JM)