Derby's annual garden tour next weekend will be in memory of an avid gardener who died last year.
The Mary Heinrich Memorial Garden Tour will include her garden among its stops. The garden was to have been on the tour last year, but Mary got sick before the tour. She was found to have cancer and died Aug. 14 at age 77.
"She was the brains of it. I was the manual labor," Mary's husband, George, says of the garden. He's kept it the way she had it, and two of their daughters who live in town, along with their children and grandchildren, and her friends have been working on the garden to get it in shape for the tour.
"A lot of people were really moved," George says. "She was very active."
It seems only fitting this Memorial Day weekend to focus on flowers. Whether you're visiting Botanica — which will be open Monday —or a cemetery, flowers provide a peaceful place for the spirit to rest when remembering veterans and loved ones who have died.
The Derby tour also will feature a patriotic twist at the garden of Cecil and Sandy Ward. The huge yard, at 400 Timber Ridge Circle, sits on Spring Creek and features many little garden spots. The Americana area is Sandy's favorite.
"It's mostly hostas because it's in the shade, and we have a patio and a fire pit. There are big stars on my fence and an Uncle Sam, and I just found some neat red, white and blue Adirondack chairs."
The tour will be from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. June 5. Tickets are $5 and will be available at each of the six gardens on the tour.
Mary Heinrich's garden is on 700 S. Woodlawn in Derby and backs up to a creek.
"She was a do-it-yourself person, and she was artistic and very creative, and it's kind of unique," her husband says. "I always describe it as kind of an English garden, where the plants are growing up together, not in straight rows. There's quite a number of gardens — we have a fairly large yard, on the creek. It comes down the back and does a 90-degree turn and comes down the south side."
Others on the tour:
* Skeeter and Millie White, 2221 Fairway Court. A professionally landscaped yard in a new housing development — meaning full sun. "It gives people an idea what they can do until they get trees," says Dave Peebler of the Derby Park and Urban Forestry Board, which sponsors the tour.
* Dane and Sherri Rousseau, 1037 N. Beau Jardin. Peebler remembers taking a walk by the house when the Rousseaus were in their hot tub, and there wasn't much else in the yard. Now it's full, Peebler says.
* Tom Kemp, 1736 E. Tiara Pines. The yard has a couple of koi ponds, a stream and a swimming pool.
* Roger and Mary Woolsey, 8920 E. 87th St. South. Mary is president of the Derby Garden Club and a plant collector. You won't see landscaping, but you will see lots of flowers. "She has an unbelievable amount of daylilies, roses. ... She's a plant lover," Peebler says.