Music, art and flora will combine in four area gardens this weekend.
Sunday afternoon, enthusiasts of live music, fine art and colorful gardens will have a chance to view all those elements in the second annual Art in the Gardens in Brainerd and the third annual Art in the Garden in Little Falls.
The event in Brainerd is sponsored by the Encore Arts Association with the garden tour set from 1 to 5 p.m. -- weather permitting.
Artworks and music will take up residence next to flowers. Fine art and folk art will include a variety of art styles and mediums -- watercolors, acrylics, oils and pastels. Both two- and three-dimensional pieces, for show and sale, will be placed throughout the garden settings.
Carol Harrison will play harp during the Encore Arts Association's second annual Art in the Gardens tour in Brainerd. The Ford Healing Garden at the end of Lakeview Lane in Brainerd is included on this year's tour.
Musical interludes -- harp, flute, keyboard -- will be presented by Carol Harrison, Joyce Meier, Barbara Sjoblad and Donna Gottsch. Garden sites are owned by Lyle Ford, Arlo and Phyllis Frankum and Bruce and Cynthia Thompson.
Phyllis Frankum, Brainerd, belongs to the Encore Arts group and has taken advantage of the tours in past years, but this will be the first year the Frankum garden is a featured spot.
"I think it's marvelous," Frankum said of the tour opportunities. "I'm a person who loves flowers."
Love of flowers has been a family heritage, linking Frankum's grandchildren to a tradition she learned from her parents. Frankum's father loved roses and her mother loved flowers in general.
The garden at Bruce and Cynthia Thompson's home at 113 Carol Lane in the Buffalo Hills area will be one of the three featured in Sunday's Art in the Gardens event.
When Frankum started to paint in oils and later acrylics, it should not have been a surprise that the subject matter included flowers. After she retired, the painting enjoyment was able to blossom. And her painting expanded from flower subjects to include scenics and painting on furniture pieces.
"Now that I'm retired I love to paint," she said. "Probably my first project painted was roses. ... One love kind of turned into another one."
Frankum said her garden has many different flower varieties, meaning blossoms throughout the season. A magnolia tree, not expected to do well in this colder region, has thrived and bloomed this spring.
Frankum said she was looking forward to a sunny forecast and visiting with tour participants about a subject she is always willing to talk about -- flowers.
"My husband says you don't dare stand around too much -- you might get painted or planted."
Gardens featured in the tour are:
-- The Ford Healing Garden at the end of Lakeview Lane in Brainerd, which is found intersecting with Highway 25 North, or Mill Avenue, at the end of the ballfields across from Potlatch.
-- The Frankum garden, 1404 11th Ave. N.E., can be reached via N Street in northeast Brainerd, which also intersects with Highway 25 North.
-- The Thompson garden, 113 Carol Lane, is in the Buffalo Hills area. Visitors should travel south on Highway 371 or South Sixth Street and turn right at the traffic light by the Holiday Inn on Buffalo Hills Lane. Continue west for several blocks until the road appears to be running out and Carol Lane intersects to the right. Signs will be posted at all locations.
For residents in the Little Falls area, Kathy and Jim Braud are hosting the event with artists around the state displaying their works in the gardens. The tour is 1 to 5 p.m. Sunday at 1201 W. Broadway, weather permitting. The event is free and open to the public.
Music will be provided by Les Sod and Lenny Sharon on dulcimers and violins as garden tour participants walk along paths along bushes, perennials and annual flowers in a park-like setting.
Participating artists include Kathy Braud, watercolor, pastels and mixed media; Lynda Converse of Browerville, oil; Paige LaDue Henry of St. Cloud, oils; Sharon Nieters of Rice, watercolors; Kathleen Owen of south Minneapolis, oils, watercolor, pastels and acrylics; Flora Schinkle of Cold Spring, watercolor and mixed media; Neal Wass of Little Falls, oil and watercolor; and Nancy Williams of Brainerd, oils.
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