HAILEY • Seven years ago Pamela Plowman-Weston’s yard in old Hailey was solid lawn.
Today it is a wonderful maze of tunnels and zip lines, high walled paths and rock gardens — an adventurous playground for the children who attend her day care.
Apricot, apple and cherry trees are ripe for the picking, and the chickens that inhabit a coop that Plowman’s daughter Tenaya Kolar built teach the children a thing or two about where their food comes from.
“It was a matter of playing in my yard,” said Plowman, whose home is at 111 E. Myrtle St. “I’ve used mostly native plants like snowberries; the baby robins feast on the serviceberries all day.”
Plowman’s imaginative yard will be on display July 21, when the Friends of the Hailey Public Library hold their annual Hailey Garden Tour.
The tour runs from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and will feature music and experts at the various homes. Tickets are $20, available at Hailey Public Library on the day of the tour, or at Webb Nurseries in Ketchum, Hailey and Bellevue; the Sun Valley Garden Center; and the Wood River Sustainability Center in Hailey.
This is the biggest tour ever and well suited to do-it-yourselfers looking for ideas, said organizer Gretchen Wagner.
“Because old Hailey is so compact and walkable, we are able to feature 11 residential gardens and six commercial or community gardens, all between Main Street and the bike path and Pine and Myrtle streets. We have five professional gardeners’ own homes on the tour, and there will be a couple of projects currently in the works to illustrate some of the process and work involved in transforming a garden,” she said.
“Old Hailey has a lot of shade, but many of our gardeners have managed to create successful sun-loving vegetable gardens. Visitors will also see beautiful curated collections of flowers, grasses, drought-tolerant plants and garden spaces.”
All of those on the tour have dolled up old sheds sitting on their properties with ski tips, pitchforks, vines and other knickknacks. Joan Davies at 214 N. Second Ave. is no exception, outfitting the shed where Hailey’s ice man used to store the ice he cut at Flying Heart Ranch each winter.
Her plant choices, such as a pemmican plant and ornamental corn that resemble cattails, complement the furnished tepee that has sat in her backyard since 1967. She will also have a sheep wagon for people to peek inside.
Helen Stone’s expansive yard at 314 N. First Ave. has been 35 years in the making. Monday, her husband, Ben Schepps, laid the last brick in the ground for a new patio and walkway radiating out from a fountain he picked up at Hailey’s Fourth of July Antique Fair.
Amazingly, it is the first patio in a yard that features plenty of nooks and crannies, 11 fountains, a vegetable garden hidden behind daylilies that tower into the sky, a cactus garden dominated by a cactus sculpture and Stone’s collection of hostas.
“I love flowers. I love the bees. I love that I can go so deep in these places and get lost,” Stone said. “My favorite plants are the weeping bush and the weeping pine — if it grows here, I have it.”