Wylde Center Garden Tour is this weekendHeath Authement's Medlock Park garden, A Dreamer's Fantasy, is one of 13 local green spaces featured in this year's Wylde Garden Tour. Photo credit: The Wylde Center.
By Cathi Harris, contributor
The 2019 Wylde Garden Tour, a fundraiser for the Wylde Center, will be held this Saturday and Sunday, featuring 13 unique private green spaces in and around Decatur and east Atlanta.
“This is our most expansive tour yet,” notes tour committee chair Aditi Bhardwaj. “Each year, we have explored new gardens with a focus on green spaces around the city of Decatur. In 2016, we featured just one garden in Atlanta. This year, the tour extends from Reynoldstown to East Lake, and winds through Oakhurst, Medlock and North Druid Hills.”
This year marks the tour’s 32nd year. It started in 1987 as the Decatur Garden Tour. The Wylde Center (then known as the Oakhurst Community Garden) took over organizing it in 2005, re-launching it in 2016 as the Wylde Garden Tour. Ticket proceeds go to support the center’s five community garden spaces around Atlanta and Decatur.
The tour’s all-volunteer organizing committee strives to present tour guests with a variety of different gardens, says committee member Jennifer Yankopolus.
“Among this year’s 13 gardens is an arboretum featuring 70 different trees and plants, plus unique ground covers,” she says. “Ever dreamed of turning your front lawn into a garden? One garden did just that—you will find no turf grass on this property.”
Other highlights include:
– A garden designed as a habitat for wildlife that mixes formal and informal styles, native and non-native plants, as well as shade and sun plants;
– An overgrown backyard transformed into an urban oasis, including a garden folly consisting of 8,000 bricks and counting;
– A garden featuring an edible fence,
– One with an aviary,
– And one designed as a honeybee apiary.
The tour-goers always come with a varied mix of interests, so the committee always tries to feature gardens of different sizes and features, Bhardwaj says. And even with the expansion beyond Decatur’s borders, it’s designed to allow visitors to easily see all of the spaces.
“We clustered the gardens around the Toco Hills, Medlock, and East Lake areas in Decatur, and the Reynoldstown area of Atlanta, so people could experience different neighborhoods while making navigation of the tour easier,” says Yankopolus. “Tour goers can start at one end in Toco Hills and navigate in a L-shape and end up in Reynoldstown at the other end, or vice versa. Or break the tour over two days—the ticket is good for both days. The tour is a great way to get inspiration for your own garden, meet gardeners, and explore different parts of town.”
Advance-purchase tickets are available through the Wylde Center website and are $15 for center members and $20 for the general public. Tickets sold the day of the tour will be $20 for members and $25 for non-members. Children age 12 and under can attend for free.
The tour is still in need of volunteer greeters at some of the tour stops. Greeters will take tickets and provide a short overview of the garden. Each volunteer gets a free tour ticket. You can sign up for an available volunteer shift here.