The Second Century Library Foundation will host the 24th Newton Flower & Garden Tour to benefit Newton Public Library from 9 a.m. to noon June 8 and 1 to 4 p.m. June 9. Four Newton private gardens will be opened for visitors to enjoy. A suggested donation to benefit the Newton Public Library is $10. Tickets are available at Newton Public Library, 720 N. Oak, through June 8, or at the Tour gardens during the tour. Tour information updates will also be available at www.newtonplks.org.

Aboout the Second Century Library Foundation

The Second Century Endowment Foundation was founded in 1986 upon the celebration of the first century of operation of Newton’s public library. The mission of the Foundation is to enhance the adult collection and services of Newton Public Library by increasing and promoting educational, literary and artistic resources available to the community. On the library's 125th anniversary in 2011, the Foundation became affiliated with the Central Kansas Community Foundation as the Second Century Library Foundation - Newton. Donations to the Foundation are an investment in the Newton Public Library for generations to come.

The Second Century grants have provided a variety of enhancements to the Newton Public Library collections beyond those possible through general operating funds. Items purchased with the grants include audiobooks and music, art works, genealogy materials, eBooks and subscriptions to databases — such as Lynda.com courses and Hoopla digital media service, Ancestrylibrary.com, and Sunflower eLibrary, which are available through the library’s website at: www.newtonplks.org with your free Newton Public Library card.

New to the tour this year will be a raffle through Graber ACE Hardware, which is donating a new mower for the raffle. Raffle tickets are available at Graber’s (208 W. Broadway) in Newton and cost $5 for one ticket or $20 for five tickets. Raffle tickets will also be available at one garden during the Tour. The Graber family have been long time supporters of Newton Public Library and the Second Century Library Foundation projects. Arnita Graber, former co-owner of Graber Hardware, served a number of years on the Newton Library Board, including as president, and was a member of Kansas State Library Board.

Additionally, a food truck will be at the home of Joanna and Gregg Friesen each day of the tour. Wright’s Food Truck will be there on Saturday and Taco Mike’s will be out on the Friesen driveway on Sunday afternoon. Come enjoy delicious food from local vendors while enjoying beautiful gardens.

For each stop on the tour, the homeowners and Harvey County Master Gardeners will be on hand to answer questions about plants and garden design. Locations include:

Liz and Bob Pomeroy, 8 Indian Lane, Newton: Liz and Bob Pomeroy’s garden in Newton is an informal yard enjoyed all year, although the foliage of spring and summer is their favorite. They began working on their garden in 2006 after they moved to Newton from Chattanooga,Tennessee. Liz quickly learned that she needed to adapt her gardening style to the Kansas prairie climate and make extensive use of native and adaptable flowers, bushes and trees. Some of her perennials came from her aunt’s garden in Kansas City, including phlox and shasta daisies. The large beds of perennials include Flint Hills columbine, phlox, echinacea, black-eyed Susan, daisies, lilies, obedience plant, milkweed, lavender, self-seeding larkspur and numerous native Kansas plants and shrubs. The Pomeroys have recently added raised vegetable beds and an arbor.

Other features of the Pomeroy’s garden includes a wide variety of succulents, viburnums, hydrangeas, herbs, climbing vines and multiple garden rooms off the screened porch. Over the years, the Pomeroys have reclaimed a former run off area below the main yard. Where there was once just scrub grass and a large drainage ditch there are now trees of all kinds, including apple trees started from seeds when the grandchildren were young and wild crabapples, maples, redbuds, willow oaks and cottonwoods.

Barth and Betty Hague, 309 E Fourth St., Newton: The garden beds at the Shepherd-Langan House are designed to complement the Stick Victorian style of the home's structure — a more casual approach to the classic Victorian garden. The backyard is surrounded by a traditional picket fence and features beds of perennials, shrubs and varied ground covers to create a lush, green outdoor living space. The beds extend beyond the Bluestone patio, made of repurposed stone from original sidewalks in the McKinley Residential Historic District.

Joanna and Gregg Friesen, 515 E. Fourth St., Newton: The Friesen's garden reflects Joanna's interest in native plants and Gregg's passion for wild birds. The garden is designed to shelter and attract anything with wings, while creating year-round visual interest. Plantings include many types of native shrubs, grasses and perennials mixed in with more traditional garden plants. To support a bird-friendly garden, they avoid a highly manicured lawn, provide structures to perch and nest and include a variety of bird baths and feeders. The Friesens have reduced their largely buffalo lawn to what can comfortably be cut with a reel mower. About a third of the backyard is dedicated to growing fresh vegetables and fruits which they try to grow organically, using a minimum of chemicals or supplemental water. This garden gives them pleasure to watch, to work in and to retreat to.

Jan McCloud, 717 E. Fourth St., Newton: Jan McCloud’s yard has been evolving for 30 years. The landscaping is divided into sections, each reflecting a specific use. The flowerbeds include peonies, spiderwort, coneflowers, iris, toad lilies and Shasta daisies. Because the area has lots of trees, special plantings are selected for shade areas. In a vegetable garden in a sunny area, traditional vegetables are grown including cucumbers, tomatoes, green beans, peppers and eggplant. The yard also includes a small fishpond with a water feature.

Discover ideas for your own garden - or simply appreciate the creativity of the owners who have opened their spaces on behalf of the Second Century Library Foundation for the benefit of Newton Public Library.