INDIANOLA — Filled with flowers and various colors, the photographs shown at the Indianola Clubhouse Saturday morning during Master Gardener and former Heronswood Nursery owner Dan Hinkley’s horticulture presentation were just the tip of the hydrangea. Attendees of the second annual Trillium School Garden Tours were also treated to eight private North End gardens following the lecture, with all the secrets they hold.
The tour has grown as a fund raiser for the Trillium School, an alternative learning center based out of Indianola, since last year. When Hinkley found out about last year’s tour, he made a point to contact the school’s founders so he could kick off the event with a botanical lecture.
“It’s really nice to be out here today to support this cause,” he said. “It’s really nice you all are here today. I’ll be talking briefly about the four design elements that go into enjoying a garden.”
Using slides from various gardens, including Heronswood and Windcliff, Hinkley’s private gardens, he illustrated the techniques of color, texture, height differentials and accentuating plants to the roughly 120 gathered residents. He held the audience’s attention with jokes mixed with fact, and attendees emerged ready to see real-life illustrations of his advice during the tour.
“It was excellent, I always enjoy when I’m able to hear him,” said Hansville resident Carol Wood. “I like how he used photography to show the difference in large foliage. He is a very inspirational speaker.”
Her friend Kay Kauffman, also from Hansville, enjoyed that Hinkley’s love of gardening and passion for other gardens, not just his own, comes forth every time he speaks. She said she never misses a chance to hear him, and was attending a tour at Windcliff later the same day.
“He is so genuinely a plant lover and a lover of other gardens,” she said. “His talks are always from the heart.”
Following the lecture, residents stepped out into the bright sunlight looking forward to putting their new knowledge to use while enjoying the eight different private gardens flowering before them throughout Indianola. Indianola resident and gardener Julie Leavenworth opened her property to the public, illustrating how to create hidden nooks and crannies, even in a small yard. Her daughters, Robin Polin and Sage Dunn, both worked with her for the last four years perfecting the gardens, and the plants have thrived under their care.
“We pretty much picked what would work in the Northwest that was low maintenance,” Leavenworth said. “These are all perennials. I like having secret rooms, and that you can do that even with a small gardening space.”
Indianola resident Kathy Dickerson was gathering inspiration during her stop at Susan Soyer’s waterfront garden, which was split into two sections in front and behind the house. It also illustrated Hinkley’s message of alternating textures nicely, and many appreciative garden goers were enjoying both the view and the plants.
“This is quite an opportunity,” Dickerson said. “There are so many of these kind of gardens hidden away. It’s so nice to see some of the hidden gardens.”