Once again, the South Milwaukee Historical Society Garden Tour provided a terrific showcase for our city’s top outdoor spaces.
There were six gardens on the tour this year, and all of them were first-class examples of homeowners’ commitment to making South Milwaukee more beautiful. I thank all of the participants for their hard work — it’s not easy to do this, nor is it easy to put yourself out there and show your work to the world. But I also see this is a labor of love. These gardeners have a passion that shines through.
So, who was the best of the best?
For the second year, I was asked to give out a Mayor’s Choice Award, and instead of one, we are giving out two grand prize winners. They are …
- Al and Cath Bassett. The Bassetts’ garden at 3509 Willow Lane is pristine and bursting with color. But the real treat is the handmade art work you discover as you walk through it, especially the glass pieces. There is also a mermaid fountain, a mini-fairy garden and a flower kaleidescope machine that it truly mind-blowing.
- Bryce and Debra Ruddock. You probably saw their home, 1002 Sycamore Ave., featured in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel recently, and for good reason. As the article stated: This “isn’t the typical garden filled with showy flowers. Here the focus is on plants that can be eaten and/or used for medicinal purposes, and the garden is laid out in a method called integrated forest gardening, which is a system of design using patterns and principles found in nature.” Bryce literally wrote the book on the this type of gardening, and his love of permaculture comes through loud and clear in what is one of the more unique outdoor spaces you’ll find. And it’s beautiful.
Both winners receive a personalized piece of garden art from one of the artisan vendors who set up shop on Milwaukee Avenue on Saturday, as well as a lifetime membership to the South Milwaukee Historical Society. I’ll also present them with a mayoral proclamation at an upcoming ceremony.
Congratulations to everyone who took part in this year’s Garden Tour, and I wish I could have given all of the participants an award. All were worthy of recognition.
And thank you to the volunteers from the Garden Club and Historical Society enough for all the hours they put into this event. It paid off with a wonderful celebration of what makes South Milwaukee so special and so beautiful — our unique neighborhoods, homes, people and, of course, gardens.
P.S. I have lots more photos of all the gardens on my Facebook page.