Flora attracts fauna

Published 9:32 am Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Carol Bertleson, 2215 Rowe Lane, stands in front of a garden in her backyard that is part of the Albert Lea Art Center’s 2011 Art & Garden Tour. The Bertleson gardens are one of six that will be on display. — Sarah Stultz/Albert Lea Tribune

The quiet beauty and colors of nature will combine with art this weekend during the Albert Lea Art Center’s annual Art & Garden Tour.

Six gardens in Albert Lea and Hollandale will be opened to the public. Each garden will also feature at least one artist with work on display.

“So often people think of art as something that you paint and put on the wall,” said Donna Widenhoefer, Art & Garden Tour coordinator. “But art can be found in many places. As gardeners work in their flower beds, it’s art too. Even though they say they aren’t artists, they are.”

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For the tour, people purchase their tickets ahead of time and then travel from one garden to the next at their own pace.

The following is a brief description of each of the gardens on the tour, along with the artists who will be displaying their work at each:

• Scott and Ann Goodmanson, 1333 Crestview Road, Albert Lea

Redone in 2009, the Goodmansons’ front gardens feature a series of white hydrangeas, daylilies, cone flowers and ligularia, among others.

In the backyard, a white fence frames a gently curving garden that features a Japanese lilac, dwarf goat’s bear, roses, hostas and daylilies. A white clematis climbs a metal arbor.

Ann Goodmanson said the gardens have been a work in progress over the years, allowing her to practice her creativity.

“Just like a paintbrush, you can change or move things around,” she said.

The artist featured at this garden will be Albert Lea resident Laura Lunde, who creates jewelry and crochet work.

Lunde’s love of art began with classes in elementary school and continued through high school and college.

She works as branch manager for Manpower in Owatonna and Albert Lea.

• Steven and Deanne Adams, 2141 N. Bridge Ave.

Owning their house for 38 years, the Adams have had years of time to grow and develop their gardens and care for hundreds of thriving plants in their fenced large backyard.

Their gardens include about 30 varieties of hastas, along with cactus gardens, water gardens and a gnome village.

In addition, there are Asian lilies, daylilies, bird baths, feeding stations, solar lights, among others, including a mix of sun-love plants and shade plants.

Featured at this garden will be artists Paul Gray, Rita Aumdson and Linda Esse of PRL-Yard Art.

The women use recycled dishes and kitchenware to create fun garden art.

The art started as a garage sale and auction hobby before developing into something more.

• Ken and Carol Bertleson, 2215 Rowe Lane

The Bertlesons have a variety to offer in a series of front, side and back gardens.

In the south garden there’s milkweed to attract butterflies, weigleia for hummingbirds, clematis and roses.

Around the back side of the house is a fenced mini dog park bordered by tomatoes and zinnias.

In the far back yard, there are two shade gardens featuring fountains, bird feeders and unique artifacts, including a bed, from a Pennsylvania mountain cabin.

“It allows you to be creative in unexpected ways,” Carol Bertleson said of her gardening “You can use objects you wouldn’t think would belong in a garden.”

She has even put together a solar chandelier.

She said she and her husband have been in the house for 12 years and add something each year. When they first started it was a bare lot.

The artists featured at this garden will be members of the Lens & Shutter Club.

• Tim and Gayle Diehl, 104 South Hague, Hollandale

This garden has a yard full of discoveries, beginning with a farm wagon overflowing with blossoms.

It features gracefully curving flower beds throughout the lawn, filled with color and antique farm memorabilia.

Also included are young pear and apple trees, four berry patches and a large vegetable garden.

Featured at this location will be Albert Lea artist Sue Rechtzigel, who works in water color, acrylic, pencil and charcoal.

She enjoys creating landscapes but is currently working on a series of historical buildings. She teaches through Community Education and also operates a day care facility out of her house.

• Ken and Kathy Muilenburg, 201 E. Amsterdam Ave., Hollandale

The Muilenburg’s home is surrounded by a variety of gardens under tall maples and lindens.

The gardens include a blend of perennials, bulbs and shade-tolerant annuals to brighten the area, along with a vegetable garden in the back and side yards.

The artist featured at this location is Albert Lean Ann Oliphant.

Oliphant moved to Albert Lea eight years ago, at which time she began her career as an artist.

She works in oil and water color, but her favorite medium is colored pencil.

Her art focuses on objects in everyday life.

• Hank Helfter and Kevin Anderson, 87050 Minnesota Highway 251, Hollandale

A part of the garden tour previously, this garden now includes a new pond with a hand-crafted, 5-foot-tall waterfall and furnished gazebo with a fire ring.

The gazebo entrance has a garden of 13 varieties of miniature roses.

Also included in the gardens are flowering and fruiting trees and shrubs, a walled garden with lilies and solar lights to illuminate the property throughout the night.

Featured in this garden will be artists Peg Shelton on Friday and Pat Garbisch on Saturday.

Shelton was introduced to watercolor and sketching of portraits during her winter breaks in the south after her retirement.

Though she has experimented with oil, acrylic, charcoal and watercolor, her favorite medium is pencil.

Garbisch, a native of the Pennsylvania Amish country, started taking classes in stained glass in 1995.

She moved to Minnesota with her husband in 1999, where she had continued to dabble in glass projects. Her specialty is a 12-point Moravian beveled glass star.

Widenhoefer said the Art Center has been conducting the annual fundraiser for at least 15 years. It a highlight of the center’s annual events.

In addition to the tour, the Shades of Jade Garden Club will be available at Higbie Gardens off of Minnesota Highway 13 throughout the time of the event to talk about the colorful gardens. Cold drinks will also be available.

Tickets, please
What: Albert Lea Art Center’s Art & Garden Tour
When: 4 to 7 p.m. Friday and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday
Where: various gardens in Albert Lea and Hollandale
Cost: $10
Tickets: Available at the Art on Broadway shop, Addie’s Floral & Gifts, Ben’s Floral & Frame Designs, and Doyle’s Hallmark in the Northbridge Mall.

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