Touring Tahoe’s gardens |

Touring Tahoe’s gardens

Photos by Jim Grant / Tahoe Daily Tribune / Catherine and Bob Whelan enjoy the serenity of their gardens at their Bijou Pines home, which was featured on the Tahoe in Bloom garden tour.

Despite challenging weather and soil, there are many green thumbs who find a way to bring Tahoe to life.Their successes go on display each year for the annual garden tour sponsored by the Lake Tahoe Historical Society.

This year’s tour brought seven South Shore gardens on display, with a variety of themes, from fairies to edible berries, to wildlife habitat and playgrounds.

“Between roses and a large greenhouse for my veggies, it keeps me busy while enjoying the Tahoe summers,” said Liz Mundy, whose Shady Lane home was first on the tour. “I enjoy the beauty as it comes back year after year.”

Catherine and Bob Whelan’s home on Cape Horn Road sports fairies and pixies, a theme they’ve developed around trees planted by Catherine’s grandmother Josephine and flowers planted by her mother Violet.

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Kent Charboneau’s home on Gilmore Lake Road is a complete two-year makeover from a sand and sagebrush yard. Boulders and dirt were brought in to create lawn beds of natives and hardy perennials. Border lights illuminate trees and boulders at night.

Kathy, Chris and Rose Campion have worked on their garden over the weekends for 10 summers. A playground for Rose is surrounded by a waterfall and pond, ornamental trees and “a changing palette of colors from roses, lavender, lady’s mantle and bell flowers blooming throughout summer.”

Jim and Kathy Dougherty consider their garden a work in progress because their area receives frequent freezing temperatures, even in summer. They have tried to preserve habitat for wildlife. “Registered with the National Wildlife Federation, we’ve made our garden a healthy, happy environment for humans and animal visitors.”

The last home on the tour, Peter and Margaret Friederici transformed an overly shaded pine forest at their San Bernardino Avenue home into a one-acre parcel framed by beds of flowers, herbs and vegetables.

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