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Clintonville tour organizers seek worthy gardens

Tours are scheduled for June 1, June 22, July 20

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While gardening might be hard to imagine for winter-weary Clintonville residents, eventually the grass will grow, the leaves will appear and the flowers will bloom.

With that hopeful thought in mind, organizers of the third annual Clintonville Open Garden Tour are looking for residents of the neighborhood interested in showing off their properties on three summer Sundays.

The tour was launched in 2012 by local gardening enthusiasts Pat Rugola, Michael Shifrin and Karen Torvik. That first year featured a single, 16-stop tour July 15.

That proved to be a bit taxing for those taking the tour and hoping to spend some time in all 16 yards in four hours, Torvik said. That was "really too many," she said.

Last year, the number of stops was scaled back, but the number of tours expanded to three, and that seemed to work out, she said.

The dates for the 2014 tours are June 1, June 22 and July 20, all from noon to 4 p.m.

That's a later start than last year's May date, Torvik said.

"You never know what the weather's going to be," she said. "That way there's less of a gamble for those early gardens."

With three dates, the organizers hope for between 12 and 15 residents interested in having people visit their gardens.

"We really emphasize creativity, uniqueness, something that's different or unusual," Torvik said. "We consider this garden tour an educational experience for people, whether you're gardeners or not, and also there's the aesthetic aspect -- how beautiful the gardens these people have created are.

"We're totally willing to do repeats, but we just want to expand," she said. "This is our third year, so we are hoping to continue to grow. ... We want to again have the quality of gardens that we've had in the past. We want it to be new and interesting for people who have attended in the past."

Torvik, Shifrin and Rugola will vet all proposed tour stops to make sure they would be of interest to visitors and provide a variety of settings.

For more information, email clintonvillegardens@gmail.com.

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