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Nature's palette

Celie and Ron Turner had a huge display of day lilies where everyone can see them as they come into their driveway. Their Jordan View Farm near the covered bridge was on the Parkland Garden Club tour in July.

Celie enjoys the hosta garden which is in the shade and has a bench for refreshing relaxation now and then. She said she is a new member of the club. One of her chief concerns this year, as for other exhibitors, was getting enough water to the flowers to have a colorful display.She said the club takes care of the Butterfly Garden in South Whitehall Township on River Road which won a Pennsylvania Horticultural Society award.Barbara Bigelow, who had just arrived at the Turner display, said the tour was "Lovely. Our favorite place was Peters on Pheasant Drive," she said as she continued on to view the Turner gardens.Sylvia Roth was creating a watercolor of the garden. She had been there two weeks earlier to get a photograph so she could sketch the garden because that would have taken all day. The colorful painting was true to the mosaic of flowers before her."My painting is a hobby but I do sell some of it. When I sell something I feel as though I have to paint something else," said Roth.Garden Club member Barbara Campbell said it is the 14th year for the garden tour. The club has always been fortunate in having good weather since it is a rain or shine event.As Carol Boganski passed, she said, "This is one of the better tours."After the compliment, Campbell continued, the gardens are designed by the gardener. You can come away with some new ideas. It is a community project.The club plants flowers along the Ironton Rail-Trail and at the Lehigh Carbon Community College.The tour is a major fundraiser and from it a student in any district that has a member in the club is eligible to apply for a scholarship. This year they gave two: One to a Palmerton student and one to a Northwestern student who will be studying horticulture or a related field. Plants or trees are given to the Lehigh Valley Zoo.All first graders in the Parkland School District receive seedling evergreens on Arbor Day."We're an active club. We meet the second Monday of each month at Jordan Lutheran Church at 7:30 p.m. New members are welcome," Campbell said."We need a really nice rain," said Rachel Koon. She is known as the "flower lady" in her area because she took a neglected area and added as many flowers as possible. "It's actually quite a nice day," she said, something the other exhibitors agreed with. It was heard over and over.Jeanne and Bob Partel invite birds and butterflies to their garden. Jeanne said there are three kinds of milkweed, the primary food of the monarch butterfly. Last year larva ate fennel but this year there have been no larva of any butterflies.A water garden is planted with water-loving plants with the drains from the roof depositing water there. Twenty-one years ago Partels bought the property and planted a screen, then worked inward to add color all around the back yard.Seated on a blanket with colorful pillows Naser Chowdhury and his wife Marsha played music among the colorful flowers. He played a sarod and she played a tamboura, instruments from India.Nosir and Joanne Chinoy have plantings on all sides of the house. He said he wants people to see flowers no matter what direction they come from so there are focal points in all corners of the property.A corner was a challenge - actually what he called a corner was a narrow strip between his house and the neighbor, perhaps four-feet wide. On the house side there were tall plantings and on the distant side were low plantings that would not interfere with his neighbor. A walk came down the center.He has old-fashioned Mexican zinnias that predate hybrids. They have not been watered or deadheaded and still look fresh as though it had rained recently.Sylvia Trenge, who was hosting the Chinoy property, was also selling chances in a silent auction which she termed a success. Among the offerings were a Sylvia Roth original painting, a succulent garden that had been planted earlier in the day as a demonstration by David Shimp of Phoebe Floral and a handmade pot and plant from Point Phillip Perennials. Note cards had been made by a club member.The potting shed on the Kay and John Faenza home is a child's dream - but the windows are not real and do not let light in.John brought the stones used for the path itself or to outline areas. He also built the wooden items in Kay's gardens. He takes an interest in them also, and is disappointed that a hemlock tree is nearing the end of its life. Kay considers the gardens a fine example of teamwork.The music of a pond fills the air for anyone who wants to stop at the tea table - actually a season-round addition to the gardens.On the back porch is jewelry made by a friend, Janet Roma, who was up from Virginia.Since this is an annual July event, watch for notices of it next year and enjoy the color while appreciating the knowledge and effort that goes into nature's palette.

ELSA KERSCHNER/TIMES NEWS Celie Turner enjoys the day lilies planted where they can be seen when visitors come in the driveway.