Coneflower are among the plants in bloom at the Noelridge Park gardens in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. (photo/Cindy Hadish)

The Noelridge Park gardens in Cedar Rapids are among the gardens on the Master Gardeners 2016 Garden Walk. (photo/Cindy Hadish)

With abundant rain this season, gardens in Eastern Iowa are particularly lush this year and opportunities to enjoy the area’s beauty are coming up this month.

The Linn County Master Gardeners 2016 Garden Walk will be 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, July 9, followed by the Eastern Iowa Pond Society’s Pond and Garden Tour from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, July 10.

On Sunday, July 17, Zora Ronan will open her gardens to tours from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., in rural Central City.

Zora sent the following: Paul and I will be opening our garden to friends, gardening enthusiasts, and anyone who attended any of my classes this year. The garden will be open between 10 am and 4 pm on Sunday, July 17. Our garden is an American Hemerocallis Society Display Garden so daylilies will be the featured plants. However, we have many trees and other perennials spread over the 2-acre garden. Directions to our garden can be found on my website

Find more about the Linn County Master Gardeners walk and the Pond and Garden Tour, below:

Master Gardeners 2016 Garden Walk

Saturday, July 9, 10AM to 4PM. Price for admission is $5/adult and $10/family.

Explore four diverse urban Linn County properties in the Cedar Rapids area.

You will be inspired by demonstrations of perennials, annuals, container arrangements, raised beds, ornamental grasses, garden art & more. Master Gardeners will be at all of the gardens to answer your horticulture-related questions.
For more information and maps go to:

Noelridge Garden – 4900 Council St NE Cedar Rapids, IA 52402 – Noelridge Gardens will showcase its beautiful city staff-planted formal ornamental beds, along with the Master Gardener’s Herb Garden, the award winning All America Selections Butterfly Garden, the in-development Winne-the-Pooh children’s garden, and the Flutterby Acres Monarch Zone. Flutterby Acres MZ will offer tours of outside protected enclosures where both Monarch and Swallowtail butterflies are being reared. Many Master Gardener volunteers maintain the garden.

North Garden – 4821 Millbrook Ct. NE Cedar Rapids, IA 52411 – This garden location, affectionately named “Compass Point Gardens”, was registered as a Monarch Way Station in August of 2008. Butterfly weed, the host plant for monarchs, is tucked in throughout beds of a variety of perennials. Many of the plants were selected to attract butterflies, pollinators, birds, and hummingbirds. Because of the huge deer population in this area, most of the plants in this garden are there through trail and error. A stepping stone path winds through the matured trees and shade loving plants. Diana North, Linn County Master Gardener, owns and maintains this garden.

Mahlke Prairie – 5791 Michael Dr NE Cedar Rapids, IA 52411 – The prairie is about one third of an acre. It was planted in May 1997 with native Iowa seeds. There are over 50 forbes including Cup Plant, Great St. John’s Wort, Butterfly Milkweed, Purple Coneflower, New England Aster, etc. The grasses include Big Bluestem, Little Bluestem, Canada Wild Rye, Indiangrass and Sideoats Grama. There are paths throughout it, so you can walk around it and/or through. There will also be a Monarch Zone with a tent for raising Monarch Butterflies. Dave Mahlke, Linn County Master Gardener, owns and maintains the prairie.

Keegan Garden – 7110 Millburn Rd Cedar Rapids, IA 52411 – This home and gardens sits on over 10 acres, with approximately 8 areas being dedicated to pollinator habitat and the rest a collection of vegetable gardens including raised beds, fruits, and multiple flower beds featuring many perennials and annuals. There are 3 water features including a Koi pond with a 35-ft steam and two waterfalls, plus a unique lotus pond. Garden Art and features throughout the gardens include a relaxing retreat garden house. Unique challenges, particularly with the change of shade coverage, were created after a tornado hit the property last December. Come see the transformation. Vicki Keegan, Linn County Master Gardner, owns and maintains this garden.

Pond and Garden Tour
Sponsored by the Eastern Iowa Pond Society

Sunday, July 10, 10:00-4:00
Rain or Shine
Adults $5.00; Kids under 15 Free
Tickets available at any pond the day of the tour:

2055 H Ave. NE C.R.
1323 34th St. SE C.R.
3615 Honey Hill Dr SE C.R.
1010 8th St. SW C.R.
3595 Monarch Ave. Marion
873 Crossbow Ct. Marion (pond in progress)
1835 Ridgeview Ct. C.R.

Two sponsoring ticket vendors have great ponds to see also.
Tickets can be purchased in advance at these businesses:
Kloubec Koi Farm, largest Koi farm in the U.S.

Bickal Koi Farm

We invite you to browse our gardens, enjoy the sounds of soothing waterfalls, ask questions, and support a good cause, too.
Tickets also available at Prairie Creek Nursery, 4100 Bowling St. SW, C.R.
and In The Country Garden and Gifts, 2587 Quasqueton Diagonal Rd. Independence

Find more at: