Looking for advice and examples on what to plant in your backyard garden? Would you like to spend time exploring other people’s gardens while ambling to music? Then the May 21 Parade of Gardens in Albuquerque is the place to be from 9am-4pm. Buy tickets at various locations (see below) and pick up a map. For more information, go to paradeofgardensinabq.com.
The Paper. spoke with Beth Herschman, chair of the Parade for 17 years, to find out what to expect on this year’s walk.
“It's such a lovely day out, with people getting to go into private gardens that they don't get to see otherwise,” Herschman said. “Most gardeners are really proud of their garden and are more than happy to share it with people.” She said the event draws around 850-950 people each year.
This year’s parade offers tours of nine gardens in the Northeast Heights. Several of the gardens are close together and walkable from one parking spot. Two of the neighborhoods have four gardens each, and two gardens are off by themselves. Attendees will need to park four times during the tour.
Two of the gardens are located in urban farms. One farm just has vegetables and the other one also has turkeys, doves and homing pigeons. Club members or master gardeners who are knowledgeable about the plants are available to answer questions.
Tickets are $20.
Tickets may be purchased in advance for cash at Alameda Nursery, Bookworks, Jericho Nursery, Mud Monsters, Osuna Nursery, Plants of the Southwest, Plantworld, Rehms' Nursery, and with credit card or cash at the Albuquerque Garden Center M-F 9:30-2:30. Ticket Kiosk for new ticket sales will be in Albertson’s parking lot at Juan Tabo off Candelaria. It will be open from 8:30 to 2:00 the day of the tour. Tickets purchased online will be picked up at this location in online ticket Drive Thru. Tickets may be purchased in advance for cash at Alameda Nursery, Bookworks, Jericho Nursery, Mud Monsters, Osuna Nursery, Plants of the Southwest, Plantworld, Rehms' Nursery, and with credit card or cash at the Albuquerque Garden Center M-F 9:30-2:30.
No pets and no smoking. Children are free with a paying adult. The parade takes place rain or shine.
What Else Besides Gardens?
One of the garden owners this year collects classic Cadillacs and Edsels; a few will be on display. Another garden has an atrium full of blooming orchids and tropical plants.
Also along the touring parade is a half block long mosaic wall painted by the community, and there will be an opportunity to view a “she shed,” the feminine counterpart “man cave.”
Three gardens feature local musicians, and local artists will have garden related artwork for sale. Music is provided by Music for All Seasons with Scott and Irma Reeder and guitarist John Rogers; and Bad Habit & The Enablers featuring Jill Frankel, Bob Scanlon and Noland Harmon.
Artists in the Garden include Pea Garr of “Leftovers” with innovative and ingenious Solar Lighting for the garden for sale. Painter Allison Jones Hunt will have paintings, note cards and candles to purchase.
A light lunch catered by Stephanie Mangrum of City Treats, with hand-blended teas provided by Nancy Lauser, “The Tea Lady,” is offered from 11am to 1:30pm for an additional $20 until sold out.
The Council of Albuquerque Garden Clubs, sponsors of the parade, came together in the 1950s as a group of different garden clubs and plant societies to form a group that had a little more political power, according to Herschman.
“What they really wanted to accomplish was to have flower shows at the state fair. And that's what they did,” Herschman said. It became increasingly useful for them to have a joint presence so they built the Albuquerque Garden Center at 10120 Lomas Boulevard in Los Altos Park. Upcoming events are listed on their website.
“When we built this garden center, we were one of the few in the country that is an independent garden center run by a group of people like us; most of them are city owned or city run,” Herschman said. “We have six or seven events a year and they're always well attended and fun.”
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