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Garden tour enthusiasm high despite wind

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Garden tour enthusiasm high despite wind

A Manteca Garden Tour visitor admires the vegetables in the Silveira back yard where the family’s feathered friends in their pens and sheds provided added interest.

ROSE ALBANO RISSO/The Bulletin


POSTED May 13, 2014 1:35 a.m.

The numbers were not up to par with previous years’ garden tours, but the pre-Mother’s Day fund-raising event received plenty of support from many local businesses.

There was no consensus, however, as to whether the weather was a factor in the lower-than-usual traffic generated by the Manteca Garden Tour sponsored every year by the Manteca Garden Club.

“It was windy everywhere,” but other than that, “it went well,” said Tom Canales whose home with wife Rita was one of the six featured in the tour held on Saturday.

One estimate placed the foot traffic to around a hundred, but a more optimistic Paula Elias, the club president, said there were about 170 visitors who came to view the best gardens in Manteca whose diversified attractions ranged from a no-mow private Eden to a whimsical fairy garden.

The support generated from a generous collection of local businesses was evident in the amount raised during the opportunity drawing alone which was held in the last garden featured in the tour. The generous donations plus the garden tour ticket sales were such that the club will be able to increase its scholarship awards as well as its beautification projects in Manteca.

For the first time this year, the club is able to award $3,000 – or $1,000 each to a graduating high school senior in Manteca Unified. Additionally, the group donated $1,000 to the city for landscaping improvements around the Manteca Public Library which is ongoing.

While the number of tour guests was not up to par with the club’s expectations, at least for this year, visitors’ enthusiasm was high, according to former club president Rita Canales.

“Everybody that came through here seemed to have a lot of nice things to say,” said Canales who added that, in her opinion, the Manteca gardens had more interesting features than the Master Gardener tour that she attended recently. She and her husband are both Master Gardeners.

Elias, though, put a positive spin on what others saw as a problem with the windy weather the day of the tour.

“It a little windy but it was nice to have a little bit of a breeze because it would have been too warm. Everyone expressed to me they were excited about all the homes because they were all different, really diverse. Plus they were done and maintained by the owners. That was really special,” Elias happily stated.

“It was a fun day, very enjoyable,” concurred Rita Canales. “I think it went really well. Everybody seemed to like the places. They had a good time.”

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