The Master Gardeners of Hunt County invite you to come to their Garden Tour on Saturday, June 2. Tickets are $5 and are available at the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension office at 2217 Washington Street, Greenville, Texas.

The Master Gardeners give a great big  “Thank You” to the Garden Center, 4701 Stonewall Street in Greenville, and Steve’s Nursery, 4386 Hwy. 34, Greenville, Texas for selling tickets until the day of the Garden Tour.  You may also buy tickets electronically at eventbrite.com. On the day of the tour, tickets can also be purchased at the entrance to each site.

Gardener Pleas McKee delights in innovative ways to keep his garden landscape interesting.

Debbie and Pleas McKee and their family enjoy six different garden areas.  Blackberry patches spread across the front southeast corner of their two acres.  There’s a “secret garden room” behind the water-harvesting tank.  His colorful tall flowers behind the garden shed also tell an interesting story.  You’ll wonder how the unusual curing natural wood arbors were built.  Beyond the 2,500-gallon water harvesting tank is a small pond that also helps with irrigation during our Texas summers.  On another side of the pond, on a large wooden frame, what looks like red metal bells are reminiscent of another time.

Lots of things normally thrown away show up in the McKees’ gardens. Pleas works as a home remodeler, and he fills his work trailer with odds and ends that homeowners can’t use. At the end of the day, he enjoys transforming some of these used materials into garden art and useful and unusual embellishments.

Being innovative requires research, and you’ll see that Pleas has done some homework to create combinations of hugelkultur, “Back to Eden,” and “lasagna” approaches among their seven vegetable garden beds.

The McKees know to rotate vegetable crops each year. This way they’ll avoid, for instance, eggs from insects that appeared on squash plants last year that may hatch this year in the same spot. Pleas enjoys attending the Hunt County Master Gardener Plant Swap each year and frequently trades other gardeners for new garden plants.  Frequently, he’ll find plants donated by his clients and left on his work trailer, like the cannas and irises in their garden.

Pleas re-purposed items include dissected old ceiling fans, curtain rods, conduit, and a/c registers that went into the design of the thirteen large garden art flowers of different sizes, colors, and styles that you’ll view.  Things like the upside-down water buckets suspended from trees might make you rethink what you may be tempted to throw away!