German Village Society, Garten Club team up for foliage-forward tour

Gary Seman Jr.
ThisWeek group
Bill and Jane Forbes' garden will be one of 12 sites that will be part of the German Village Society and German Village Garten Club's GartenTour on June 26.

The backyard of Jane and Bill Forbes’ house on Mohawk Street in German Village has served as a sanctuary of sorts over the last year.

Jane Forbes said it was a verdant refuge during the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, surrounded by a wooden privacy fence and brick fence to the rear.

Now she is ready to show it off to the rest of the community.

The Forbes' garden is among 12 sites on this year’s GartenTour, a combined effort by the German Village Society and German Village Garten Club.

These double begonias are just one of many flowers and plants that adorn Bill and Jane Forbes' garden, one of 12 sites on the German Village Society and German Village Garten Club's GartenTour on  June 26.

The German Village Society will not hold its annual Haus und Garten Tour this year, as COVID-19 remains a concern for many people.

“People have to have a sense of security when they want people in their homes, and I don’t think this is the year for that,” said Chris Hune, president of the German Village Society board of trustees, adding that the society is looking at scheduling a similar event later this summer or early fall.

The collaboration, to benefit both groups, will be held June 26. It will be divided into two tours – the first from 2 to 6 p.m. and the candlelight tour, something the Garten Club has done for years, from 8 to 10:30 p.m.

Tickets are $25 for the afternoon tour and $40 for the evening tour. They are available for purchase at germanvillage.com/2021gartentour.

From 6 to 8 p.m., revelers also may sip cocktails at the Taste of German Village event at German Village Meeting Haus. That event, however, has sold out.

Jim Chakeres, president of the Garten Club, said the objective of the tour is to show al fresco entertaining in the gardens, although no food or alcohol will be served at tour sites.

“It’s your opportunity to see your neighbors’ backyards and see their entertainment spaces,” Chakeres said. “We wanted to have some kind of attractions that were gardens – but more than gardens.”

Jane Forbes, a member of the Garten Club, fit quite a bit of greenery into her narrow space: ferns, boxwoods, a Japanese maple, oakleaf hydrangeas, hostas, lilies and a sculpture by Charles Herndon, formerly of the Columbus College of Art and Design.

“There’s a lot of shade, and there’s a lot of sun,” she said. “You have to strike a balancing act.”

In addition, the backyard features a paver patio and wooden dining table.

“You have to make every square inch work down here,” Forbes said, adding that her garden was slated to be on last year’s tour before it was canceled.

gseman@thisweeknews.com

@ThisWeekGary