A walk through Ivan and Carole Brohard's Westerville garden provides a glimpse into the couple's life.

A walk through Ivan and Carole Brohard's Westerville garden provides a glimpse into the couple's life.

A playhouse, surrounded by a train garden, wildflowers and a small vegetable garden, was built for the Brohards' granddaughters long ago.

A seating area with a fire pit and a western feel tells of a trip the couple had taken to Nebraska to visit friends years ago.

Mr. Brohard's travels inspired the Japanese garden.

"Everything has a story," Mrs. Brohard said of the garden. "It's a work in progress over 20 years."

The Brohards will share those stories during the 21st annual WesterFlora Garden Tour from 1 to 7 p.m. Sunday, July 22. Their home, at 696 Winmar Place E., is one of 12 gardens being featured this year.

When the couple moved into the home 27 years ago, the quarter-acre lot featured little in the way of landscaping, and the Brohards knew nothing of gardening, Mrs. Brohard said.

"When we first moved here, there was nothing here but trees," she said. "I'd never had a garden before."

"Little by little" the couple built up the garden space, she said.

The garden began with the playhouse, which now houses a stuffed bear that talks on the phone while her laundry dries outside. Mr. Brohard built it for his grandchildren.

From there, the couple expanded the garden, foot by foot, Mrs. Brohard said, as new plants or garden features inspired them.

"I don't know anything about plants. I buy them because I like them, and if it works, great," she said. "It's therapy."

Mr. Brohard said the couple have had to relocate garden features over the years as they've changed the footprint of their house.

Mr. Brohard said he's threatened to replace all of the garden's features with grass, but the enjoyment he, Mrs. Brohard and their family get out of the garden makes the upkeep worth it.

"The garden just means a lot to us, and we enjoy it, and our families do," Mrs. Brohard said.

The couple's garden was on the WesterFlora tour years ago, and friends, family and tour organizers encouraged them to join the tour again this year.

"We got into WesterFlora because people said, 'Why don't you share it?'" Mrs. Brohard said.

2012 Tour stops

The 21st annual WesterFlora garden tour, themed "Bursting With Blooms," will be from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday, July 22.

The tour will feature 11 local gardens and Westerville's First Responders Park. Maps are available at each stop

The free garden tour is sponsored by the Westerville Civic Beautification Committee, the Westerville Garden Club, the Westerville Department of Parks and Recreation and Hoover Gardens.

The stops on this year's tour:

* 2696 Central Park Place. The home of Harold and Kathy Green is a "bubbling backyard retreat." The Singing Buckeyes group Judy for Fun will perform in the garden from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m.

* First Responders Park, 374 W. Main St. There will be a presentation at 2 p.m. featuring Westerville firefighter Tom Ullom, who helped establish the park. Drummers and bagpipers will perform.

* 696 Winmar Place E. The home of Ivan and Carole Brohard features a train garden. Artist Anterpreet Niki will paint in the garden during the duration of the tour. The Singing Buckeyes group Just for Fun will perform from 4:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.

* 931 Maebelle Way. The home of Mark and Rosa Marchi demonstrates outdoor living at its best. A Touch of Brass will perform from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m.

* 399 Belle Haven Parkway. The garden of Linda Cahoom and Cathy Carlisle holds many hidden treasures. Violinist Tara Joy Fast will perform in the garden from 2:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m., and flower fortune tellers Barbara Shepard and Nelda Blackford will be in the garden from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m.

* The Otterbein Community Garden, 600 N. Spring Road, will be on the tour to give tour participants and idea of how to garden in a community garden.

* 6545 Meadow Glen Drive S. The home of Donna Reed and Joe MacDuffie provides a summer oasis. The Sweet Adelines quartet Tangle will perform in the garden from 2:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. Artist Dennis Rano will be painting in the garden during the duration of the tour.

* 8042 Thornbush Drive. The home of Kim Denney provides "eye candy for the neighborhood." The Sweet Adelines quartet Tangle will perform in the garden from 3:45 p.m. to 4:45 p.m. Artist Jim Glover will be painting in the garden during the duration of the tour.

* 85 S. Sunbury Road. The home of Dick and Ruth Bookshaw is in a park-like setting. The Capitol Showcase Chorus will perform from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m. Artist Jeff Risner will be painting in the garden from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.

* 100 Keethler Drive S. The home of Becki Pavlik is a "daylily heaven," where Pavlik develops her own varieties of day lilies. Artist Vonda Sucheston Hughes will be drawing in pencil and pastels throughout the tour.

* 568 Woodlawn Ave. The home of Sharon Dawley is a gardener's paradise. Keyboardist Genene Blackwell will perform from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m., and artist Kathryn Smithson will be in the garden from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.

* 114 Electric Ave. The home of Tom Herr is a rosy retreat. Violinist Tara Joy Fast will perform in the garden from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m.