Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

Local News

June 18, 2013

A stroll through the gardens

Annual event highlights 6 unique gardens, historic homes

The large, brick house at 802 E. Sycamore St. was built in the 1850s by Howard County’s first judge.

It’s an old house with a lot of history, and it’s surrounded by a small forest of old trees.

There’s a 100-year-old magnolia, 40-year-old tulip poplars and Colorado spruce. Hanging moss, a 100-year-old ornamental fence and a century-old hedgerow make the spacious yard surrounding the 17-room house feel like a secluded woodland from the 1800s.

That’s why it’s one of the homes featured in the 13th annual Garden Stroll this Saturday. This year’s theme is Howard County history, and the tour will feature two historic houses surrounded by unique, one-of-a-kind gardens.

“This is going to be a stunning — and I mean stunning — stroll,” said event organizer Marian Cable. “You’re going to see some amazing things.”

The stroll runs from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and allows participants to take a firsthand look at six gardens in Kokomo that implement creative landscaping and layout.

“There’s going to be a lot of different things to see,” Cable said. “Some are big and some are small, but none of the gardens are cookie-cutter gardens. They’re all unique and special.”

Jack and Julia Sawyer said it’s the trees surrounding their 160-year-old house on East Sycamore Street that really make their garden special.

Jack said he loves trees and plants two or three of them a year around the neighborhood.

In fact, he planted most of the trees at their house, where the couple has lived for the last 43 years.

“The trees really set our place apart from the other gardens,” Julia said. “You don’t see this many trees on most city properties.”

Other highlights of the tour include a garden on North Hickory Lane that has more than 50 varieties of daylilies and more than 35 types of flowers. The garden on Four Mile Drive contains sculptured shrubs, marble urns and a gazebo.

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