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Garden tour welcomes visitors to smell the roses (and other blooms)
Turlock Community Garden 1
For the first-time ever, the Turlock Community Garden will be part of the Turlock Garden Tour (Journal file photo).

From precisely manicured lawns to blooming bushes and plots of growing vegetables, this year’s Turlock Garden Tour has something for everyone.

Back after a COVID hiatus, the Turlock Garden Club is once again inviting the public to tour five different homes and, for the first-time ever, a community garden. The tour will be held from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. April 30.

Each stop on the self-guided garden tour has its own unique style.

The tour starts with a welcoming cottage that features meandering pathways surrounded by flowerbeds. This home also has a fish pond complete with resident turtles.

A Mediterranean style house features formal Italian gardens and a new outdoor pool, bar and lounge set up that is perfect for a staycation.

Garden tour 2
A Mediterranean style house on this year’s Turlock Garden Tour features formal Italian gardens (Photo contributed by Bonnie Donaldson).

Built in 2019, one garden was designed to be handicap accessible. It features wide and flat walkways, making it wheelchair accessible. Artistic imprints and designs add beauty to the functional walkways.

Nestled behind large redwood trees, another yard features an eclectic design. The family-inspired yard cultivates a feeling of whimsy.

A 1939 colonial-style home features formal boxwood lined flowerbeds in both the front and back yards. The backyard of this home was made for entertaining with a swimming pool, bocce ball court and outdoor pavilion perfect for dining and relaxing.

The Turlock Community Garden is also featured on this year’s tour. Families, educators, students, refugees and more are tending to crops of all shapes and sizes in the community garden, which was spearheaded by Stanislaus State Geology professor Julia Sankey in 2020 and has now grown into a thriving space for agriculture enthusiasts. From squash and corn to sunflowers and peppers, the once-vacant plot of land nestled between Cornerstone Covenant Church and the new Jessica’s House is a gardener’s paradise.

A tour map is given upon purchase of tickets, available at The Greenery in Turlock, Westurf Nursery in Modesto, Morris Nursery in Riverbank and Stepping Stone Nursery in Atwater. Tickets are $25 for adults and $10 for children ages 12 and younger.

“It’s our biggest fundraiser for college scholarships,” said garden club member Bonnie Donaldson.

Along with scholarships, the Turlock Garden Club has ensured downtown’s street corners catch the eyes of passers-by with their vivid flowers. They have turned the Stanislaus County Fairgrounds into a must-see event for garden lovers throughout the region, and they have tended to plants at community havens like the Carnegie Arts Center and Jessica’s House. Countless organizations have benefitted from their generosity, and the group has grown immensely from its small beginnings in 1948.

The Turlock Garden Club meets on the second Monday of each month at the Turlock Carnegie Arts Center, located at 250 N. Broadway in Turlock.  Meetings begin at 12 noon with a "Bring Your Own Lunch and Beverage" social time in the Gemperle Room on the 2nd floor.  The program begins at 12:30 p.m., followed by a business meeting at 1:15 pm.

New members are always welcome. For more information on the club contact co-president Diane Davis at or visit the club’s Facebook page.