Gardeners' Dirt: Seven sites to see on upcoming Victoria Garden Tour

By Debbie Krueger - Victoria County Master GardenerEdited by Charla Borchers Leon
April 17, 2014 at midnight
Updated April 16, 2014 at 11:17 p.m.

The immaculate gardens of Jim and Ginger Fagan surround their historic home inside garden gates in Old Victoria and include an arbor with water feature, cupola and more than 2,500 boxwood and azalea plants that bloom in red and white and line brick walkways.

The immaculate gardens of Jim and Ginger Fagan surround their historic home inside garden gates in Old Victoria and include an arbor with water feature, cupola and more than 2,500 boxwood and azalea plants that bloom in red and white and line brick walkways.

The Victoria Garden Tour is scheduled for the weekend of April 26-27. Victoria County Master Gardeners along with Texas A&M AgriLife Extension will bring you some very creative and inventive gardening ideas this year from the sites on the tour.

Admittance into seven gardens

There will be seven distinctive gardens sure to please everyone's interest and eyes. Presenting sponsors again this year are the Victoria Advocate and KAVU Newscenter 25, both of which have supported the tour for several years. They continue to be appreciated by the Victoria County Master Gardeners for their collaborative efforts.

This will be the ninth year that Victoria has had a garden tour and the seventh that the Master Gardeners have been involved in. This spring tour will surely give you the planting itch to try your green thumb.

Gardens are available from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. April 26 and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. April 27.

Tickets are $15 for admittance to all seven gardens.

There will be plant identification at each garden.

A Master Gardener will be available to answer questions.

Beyond the gates

Garden of Jim and Ginger Fagan

Jim and Ginger purchased their home in Old Victoria in March 2006. They spent one full year of remodeling and started work on the gardens in 2007. Ginger designed and worked locally with Renken's Nursery to create a series of formal and manicured gardens.

They added 51 Little Gem magnolia trees and ligustrum hedges for privacy. More than 2,500 boxwoods and azaleas in various designs outline the brick walkways. The gardens also consist of an abundance of hydrangeas, gardenias, camellias, agapanthus, evergreen pears and Indian hawthorns. Mondo grass outlines stepping stone pathways.

There are three beautifully designed iron arches covered in Confederate jasmine. The backyard has the original 1896 cupola and bricks from the Edward and Delores Welder Dunlap home, the structure of which was moved into the yard in 1969. A huge water feature and arbor is covered with mature wisteria over a fountain pond. This is an immaculate treasure you won't want to miss.

Garden of John and Marcia Kauffman

John and Marcia Kauffman have lived in Victoria for 15 years. Marcia, a Master Gardener, loves to work in her garden and try planting new things. She and John have developed a backyard retreat that is both peaceful and relaxing.

Their yard was created bit by bit as they discovered plants that adjusted well to South Texas. John and Marcia are from Pennsylvania and chose its state flower, the mountain laurel, to create a screen between the golf course and their pool. Also in this landscape are the red-blooming bottlebrush, powder-puff blue plumbago and variegated privet shrub that they have found to do well in their garden.

When you open their gates, you will be treated to a variety of colors, textures and features. Birdfeeders and plants attract birds and butterflies. Often, a monarch chrysalis can be found maturing somewhere in their yard.

Of particular interest is that Marcia's tiny fairy garden created for their granddaughter, Emersyn. With some imagination, creativity and a pinch of time, you can create a mesmerizing unique fairy garden of your own.

Fairy gardens are magical creations that are known to bring good luck, prosperity and good health. Who couldn't use that? Come grab some magic and enjoy.

Garden of Donna Shafer

Donna loves experimenting with different plants. She has lived at this location for 12 years and has done all the planting and designing herself.

She has a variety of plants from around the world and loves their uniqueness. She has a bird of paradise which came from California and a fern from Jamaica. Donna enjoys being in her gardens and loves to watch things grow.

She enjoys taking a damaged plant and nursing it back to health. Check out her hanging stag horn fern that is more than 20 years old and colorful annuals for a splash of color each season.

As owner of Tanique, a local business with bright and whimsical displays, she has unusual yard art that has been collected with friends in years past. This is a yard filled with eclectic culture - and one that will surely brighten your day along the way to gardens on the tour.

Watch for four more equally interesting gardens on the upcoming Victoria Garden Tour in next week's column.

The Gardeners' Dirt is written by members of the Victoria County Master Gardener Association, an educational outreach of Texas AgriLife Extension - Victoria County. Mail your questions in care of the Advocate, P.O. Box 1518, Victoria, TX 77901; or, or comment on this column at



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