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Published June 20, 2009, 12:00 AM

Green thumbs: Local garden club hosts tour of horticultural havens

WORTHINGTON — How many different shades of green are there? Visitors to the backyard “urban garden” of David and Ellen Copperud in Worthington on Thursday encountered the entire spectrum of green — from the palest chartreuse to deep evergreen and every hue in between.

By: Beth Rickers, Worthington Daily Globe

WORTHINGTON — How many different shades of green are there?

Visitors to the backyard “urban garden” of David and Ellen Copperud in Worthington on Thursday encountered the entire spectrum of green — from the palest chartreuse to deep evergreen and every hue in between.

The Copperud residence was one of about 10 stops on a tour hosted by the Worthington Garden Club for the Jackson Garden Club. It was a reciprocal event, the Worthington women having been treated to a Jackson tour last year.

“We try to do a garden tour every year,” said WGC member Brenda Hurlbut over lunch in Chautauqua Park. “Last year, it ended up being our club going over to visit their club and get acquainted.”

Carol Christopherson, current WGC co-president along with Jean Bastian, explained that she was given the task of finding a tour — “something east” — for 2008, and broached the county Extension agent, who pointed her in the direction of the JGC.

On Thursday, it was the Worthington group’s turn to serve as hostesses, and they lined up a tour that included public settings such as Pioneer Village and Chautauqua Park, and homes of club members as well as some non-members: Jan & Rich Lowe, Lori & Mark Grafing, Copperuds, Lynette & Pat Demuth, Jennifer & David Eaton, Beve & Jerry Vajgrt, Terry & Lowell Schissel, Kathy & Jim Lesnar, Jan and Larry Petersen and Rita Scheffler.

While the visitors were greeted by beautiful plantings in the fronts of the homes, the biggest surprises came when they ventured around to the back and discovered the hidden, private spaces — the goldfish pond, the shade garden, the planting shed, the expansive hosta beds, the prayer garden, the lakeshore hillside planted with irises and rhubarb.

The most common questions of the day — “What’s this?” “What’s THAT?” — were always accompanied by the point of a finger and identification by the homeowner or someone else who recognized the specific plant.

These avid gardeners came away with newfound knowledge of some plants, inspiration for what they might do in their own gardens and an appreciation of all the hard work it takes to create such luscious — and overwhelmingly green — spaces.

The Worthington Garden Club is celebrating its 70th year, having been organized by six local women in September 1939. The club aim is “to stimulate knowledge and love of gardening, to protect trees, plants and birds, to encourage civic plantings.

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