Gateway photo

Pella-area gardeners are preparing for the 2014 Gateway to Hope Garden Tour June 27-29. Pictured left to right are Nancy Spoelstra, Pearl Menninga, Diane Nelson, and Jane Koogler. Not pictured: Lois Vermeer.

The Pella Chronicle

The fourth annual Pella-area Gateway to Hope Garden Tour is slated for the weekend of June 27 through 29. Tour proceeds will fund church programs for Nicaraguan children and youth, many from the poorest of the poor neighborhoods in Chinandega, where Faith Church of Pella is building a long-term relationship with five congregations.

The 2014 garden tour features five Pella gardens: Jane and Fred Koogler (1208 W. 3rd Street), Pearl Menninga (308 Vermeer Road), Diane and Jim Nelson (1002 Monroe Street), Lois and Bob Vermeer (823 197th Place), and Nancy and Clarence Spoelstra (1109 N. Prairie Street).

Tour hours are: Friday, June 27, 3 p.m. to 8 p.m.; Saturday, June 28, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.; and Sunday, June 29, 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. The tour is self-guided, and visitors may begin at any garden. Tour maps will be available at each location. Admission is by donation, with a suggested minimum donation of $10.

Saturday’s tour features lunch at the Vermeer garden for $5.00. It includes a walking taco, bar or cookie, and a beverage. It is available from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Available for purchase at the Vermeer garden from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday are a wide variety of perennials and annuals, along with handmade Nicaraguan ceramics and jewelry.

New this year is a silent auction for a flowers-of-the-month bouquet from Thistles flower shop. Highest bidder will receive a bouquet per month for a year. The bidding sheet is currently available at Thistles, and will move to the Vermeer garden when the tour opens. Bidding will end when the tour concludes at 4 p.m. Sunday June 29.

A tour map and additional tour details will be posted at www.friendsofchinandega.wordpress.com as they become available.

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