It's Farm and Garden Tour Season

If you need some gardening inspiration this spring, go on one of the many garden tours various organizations have scheduled in the next few months.  Local garden groups schedule tours when Midlands gardens are at their best: before the burning sun tires the plants during the summer.

I went on the Lexington County Master Gardener Volunteers tour a couple of times, and on this year’s tour, on May 30 and June 1, you will enjoy visiting six beautiful gardens.  Tickets are $25 each.  Visit or call 796-0884 for more information.

The Elmwood Park neighborhood, in downtown Columbia, hosts its annual home and garden tour on Saturday April 13, 2013.  Visit for more information.

When we lived in Charleston, my husband Scott and I volunteered as docents during the Festival of Houses and Gardens.  I loved standing in the gardens of historic homes and talking to people about the plants.  Since I moved to Blythewood, I have attended the event, and I would like to go again.  The tours are on various dates from March 21-April 20, so visit the Historic Charleston’s website at, click on the “Events” tab, and select “Festival of Houses and Gardens” or call 843.722.3405 for more information.

Closer to home, Sumter-area gardening organizations are hosting a Spring Garden Tour on Saturday, May 11 from 10:30 AM-5PM (rain date May 12 from 1-6PM).  Visit or call Eileen Gardner at 803.481.2281 for more information.  Tickets are $10 and are available at the Alice Boyle Garden Center at 842 West Liberty Street in Sumter on the day of the tour.  Don’t forget the Sumter Iris Festival, one of SC’s oldest festivals, featuring Swan Lake Iris Gardens in Sumter, May 24-27.  Visit for more information.  I hope to go to this festival for the first time this year.

If you are more interested in farming than gardening, the Carolina Farm Stewards will host the first Midlands Farm tour on April 6 and 7 from 1-5 PM each day.  Tickets are $25 a car, so ask your friends to join you on this tour.  Visit for more information or call Dan Tye at (919) 542-2402.  Included on this tour are two Blythewood farms, Crooked Cedar Farm and Doko Farm.  There are other farm tours in the Upstate of SC and in North Carolina, too, with information available on the Carolina Farm Stewards website.  I went on the Upstate Farm Tour a couple of years ago and enjoyed seeing the farms as well as purchasing produce fresh from the farm.