|By Liz Reyna|
Tour to benefit Housing CoalitionAfter more than 20 years with their nails in the dirt, Dan Crow and his partner, Jim Fasel, finally have paradise at their fingertips. The garden they planted together is a five-acre eyeful for anyone. There are the tulip trees that rocket to the sky, a rich canopy of conifers that blanket the property like nature’s quilt and a maze of Miscanthus grasses, jutting like a sky of fireworks. In the middle of it all last Saturday stood Crow and Fasel, two enthusiasts with a passion for gardening.
New to the game this year is “Ask an Expert,” with Eric Stinson, from Cooley Gardens, and Ann Hancock, from MSU’s Perennial Gardens, who will answer gardening questions. The event will also include mini-plant sales of Dickson’s Gold Campanulas and Munchkin Hostas along the tour.
For his third appearance on the tour, Crow, chairman of the Housing Coalition’s board and co-owner of Outdoor Expressions landscaping, expanded his garden to showcase his craft. “I hope [visitors] get ideas for their own garden and experience the joy of walking around,” Crow said.
A two-story gazebo on his property overlooks a wave of inspirational colors and textures. There’s the Actinidia kolomikta, a hardy species of kiwi, with green leaves that look like they are dipped in pink this time of year. A rare Dawyck purple beech and even rarer snake-branch spruce set next to each other unassumingly in his maze of Miscanthus. Standing near the edge of his property, three sculptures of American Indian women by Mark Chatterly seem to hold up the sky.
“[Crow]’s very into blending with the natural surroundings,” Fasel said. “That’s the one thing with this garden is that it works with the woods,” Fasel said.
Laurie Kaufman, another gardener showing off her work for this year’s tour, was inspired to sign up immediately after last year’s event. “I wanted to be a part of this, because it’s not only a great charity event, but I also wanted the opportunity to show people native plants — the wonders and misconceptions,” Kaufman said.
About half of Kaufman’s garden is filled with native plants, while the rest are nonnative.
Gardens Galore Tour