Home and garden tour promises mix of spaces and places

By: 
Jenny Gessaman
Reporter
A white cottage-style house sits in the summer sun surrounded by a mowed lawn and blooming gardens.

The Bowen cottage, hedged in blooming gardens, warms in the summer sun Thursday.

Photo by Jenny Gessaman

Its second annual Home and Garden Tour is full of namesake stops, but Central Montana Family Planning is ensuring a good time with a mix of activities and unique locations.

This year’s tour includes an even split between homes and gardens. The Green Shares Project Community Garden and the Lewistown Community Labyrinth Garden will offer tour takers a view of landscaping with a purpose. Homes both in and outside of Lewistown will offer beautiful structures, as well as interesting tidbits about their construction.

Loyd and Pam Bowen will be one set of homeowners providing stories at their Craftsman-style cottage. The couple moved in almost six decades ago, and has used the time to personalize their home.

“It didn’t look anything like this when we bought it,” Pam said. “Let’s put it this way: We’ve remodeled for 23 years.”

Loyd thought he and his wife were the perfect pair to customize a house.

“We’ve worked good together,” he said. “She has the gift of design.”

“I design it and he builds it,” Pam finished.

Pam also enjoys working outside, and the home is surrounded by blooming gardens.

For all their work, the couple has a hard time picking the best or worst stories about their home improvement.

“Every house has a thousand stories,” Pam explained.

Although each stop will provide a unique experience, Central Montana Family Planning Director and Tour Organizer Sue Irvin said there is another reason to visit all the venues. Homeowners and volunteers at each stop will punch participants’ cards, and a full card enters a person into door prize drawings.

The event runs from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday, July 17, but Irvin encourages participants to create their own schedule and route. The Elks Lodge will feature tour activities, hosting door prize drawings, raffles and a silent auction. Garden-themed refreshments, including salad and drink specials, will be available along with a cash bar.

Irvin is excited to continue the tour for another year, and hopes the fundraiser will help the clinic’s operation. She explained Central Montana Family Planning does not turn away patients, and it relies heavily on donations.

“More than 70 percent of our patients are at or below poverty level, and less than half of our budget is grant funded,” she said.

Tickets are available at Alpine Floral Greenhouse and Nursery. On the day of the event, they can be purchased at all four stops, as well as Elks Lodge.

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