Eureka shows off her bloomers

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Spring has exploded with life in this Victorian resort town in the heart of the Ozarks and the city is responding by unveiling her gardening secrets to strangers. "Eureka Shows Off Her Bloomers," an old-fashioned garden tour, is set for June 14 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

  The self-paced walking tour, lasting an hour or two, is presented by the Eureka Springs Preservation Society. It includes several gardens originally designed by Glen Wallis, the creative force behind the revitalization of Eureka's parks in the 1980s. A Victorian home interior will also be featured, as well as works by local artists, sculptors and craftsmen.

  Attendees will also receive gardening tips from experts DonE Allen and Steven Foster. Allen, Eureka's artistic city gardener, will share his knowledge of Eureka's public springs and gardens. Foster, author of fifteen botanical books, including National Geographic's award-winning Desk Reference to Nature's Medicine (2006), will speak on herbal topics, answer questions, and be available to autograph his books.

  "It's an easy walking tour," advised one of the event organizers, Travis Walls, "so bring your best straw bonnet and parasol and be ready to be delighted!" The tour features homes in Eureka Springs' downtown historical district, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

  Eurekans will be in Victorian apparel for "Eureka Shows Off Her Bloomers." Other tour features include a Victorian home interior, with the home's designer and owner on hand to answer decorating questions. The Northwest Arkansas Garden Railway Society will have a garden railroad running for kids of all ages.

  Organizers suggest that visitors using the trolley for transportation take the RED route and depart at stops 91, 92 or 93.

  Adult admission is $10 in advance or $15 on the day of the tour. Children under 12 are free. Advance tickets are available through the Eureka Springs Chamber of Commerce, (800) 6EUREKA, and the Eureka Springs Historical Museum, (479) 253-9417. Day-of tickets will be available at those outlets, as well as St. Elizabeth Church and St. James Church.

  For more information call Dee Bright at (479) 253-9582.

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