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Ripon Garden tour continues to grow despite economic woes

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POSTED July 27, 2009 12:53 a.m.

RIPON – The economy may be down but a dedicated group of Riponites are not allowing that to get in the way of their annual summer tradition.

Members of the Ripon Garden Club are inviting the public to join them in their yearly summer garden stroll to be held Saturday, Sept. 12, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Featured in this year’s tour are five home gardens, each offering unique features. One garden stop will also include a tour of a one-of-a-kind French country-themed home.

“Tickets are still $15 (each), which is the same as in the last three to four years,” said Mona Restuccia, garden tour chairperson for the umpteenth year in a row.

“With things being as tough as they are” in this economic downturn, the club did not want to raise the ticket price this year, Restuccia explained.

At one point however, it did not look as though they would pull together a garden tour this year because “we were having a hard time” getting referrals for gardens to showcase. But thanks to the help of a number of helpful people, Restuccia said they were able not only to “pull it together” but were also successful in having “a few (gardens) lined up for next year.”

The featured gardens and homes promise a variety of horticultural attractions, Restuccia said. And the one stop-over in the itinerary which will also include an open house promises not to disappoint, she added.

“The home is probably three to four years old,” she said.

But what makes it truly unique in the real sense of the word is that the homeowner collected pictures from various magazines which were then used as the basis for the design of the home “right down to the cabinetry,” said Restuccia.

Another garden that is sure to elicit oohs and aahs from visitors is located in the countryside. Restuccia described it as “large and expansive (but) comfortable.”

The lawn alone is 2,100 square feet and the garden boasts more than 55 varieties of trees, plants and flowers.

“This garden has many points of interest,” including what the homeowners call a “chatter wall” - which is not exactly a waterfall but a unique type of water feature situated behind the pool, according to Restuccia’s best description.

All proceeds from the annual garden tour will go to the club’s various civic projects and scholarship awards.

Tickets are currently available at Schemper’s ACE Hardware Store on Main Street. They will be available for purchase at other locations in the coming weeks.

The Ripon Garden Club’s current president is Trish Tremayne, longtime owner of the former Rabbit Photo & Imaging in Manteca who was also active in various community organizations and events.

For more information about the garden tour, call Mona Restuccia at 599-7475.

To contact Rose Albano Risso, e-mail or call (209) 249-3536.

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