tours help kick off areas
summer tourism season
entertain many guests in Main Street yard
(May 2007) Nine years ago, Doug and Judy Rogers
moved to Madison from New Jersey. Their residence at 419 W. Main St.,
like many downtown homes, has a small backyard. There was a brick patio,
grass and some wildflowers between the house and garage, but not much
else. The Rogers have since transformed their backyard into an oasis
that people taking the Madison in Bloom Garden Tour can see for themselves.
Headquarters and Check-In: Jefferson County Historical Societys
Heritage Center, 615 W. First St.
Chris Powers and Mitch Macke, 417 Mill St.
Doug and Judy Rogers, 419 W. Main St.
Mr. & Mrs. Wayne Detmer, 105 E. Third St.
Frankie Long, 523 Mulberry St.
Sally Wurtz, 508 Jefferson St.
Diana Somers, 512 E. Vaughn Dr.
The annual event is organized by the Jefferson County
Historical Society and takes place over two consecutive weekends. This
years event has been moved from late April to mid-May to hopefully
see warm, sunny weather, according to society director Joe Carr. Visitors
will line up for the garden tours on May 12-13 and May 19-20.
The Rogers home is tucked behind the Lytle Funeral Home garden.
A wrought-iron gate opens onto the brick patio that features a hand-painted
arch with a sun-shaped decorative wall hanging. Judy was the artist.
A fountain, nestled in flowers and low shrubs and beneath a small tree,
gurgles just off the patio.
The Rogers then decided to get rid of the grass and created wandering
brick pathways around flower beds trimmed in red brick and using black
mulch as ground cover. Statues of various sizes and shape can be found
here and there throughout. They also added a wooden privacy fence with
an arbor connecting their yard with their next door neighbor.
Because the Rogers garden is located directly behind the funeral
homes garden, there have been many times when Judy has looked
out her window or opened her door to strangers wandering through her
garden or lounging on the patio furniture.
It doesnt bother me at all, but it really bothers my neighbor,
She thinks people assume it is part of the funeral home gardens. When
she and her husband put in the iron gate, she said it was more for ornamentation
than to keep people out.
by Chemaign Drumm
beauty of the Rogers garden often
entices people to stroll off Main Street
into their yard to see more.
The Rogers garden was suggested to the historical
society by a neighbor who had visited their gardens when they had been
on the tour in 2002. This year, they were asked to participate again
because there were some cancellations. Judy is hoping that the garden
comes to life before the tour. Like everyone else, this years
spring weather hasnt been conducive to thriving flower gardens.
In 2002, Judy said they were gone for part of the tour and it rained
buckets. Upon their return, expecting no one, there were
20 to 30 people carrying umbrellas wandering through the garden. The
success of the tour is completely dependent on the weather, according
The Madison in Bloom Garden tour began 15 years ago as historical society
members were brainstorming for ideas to begin the tourist season and
to make some money in the process. Planning for the tour begins in June,
as soon as the current tour is finished in May. Carr said he and other
historical society members find gardens by walking around downtown Madison.
Also, people come to them offering their own gardens or with suggestions
of others who might work well on the tour.
He noted that most of the time if he finds a garden that intrigues him;
he will usually go home and send a note asking if the homeowners would
be interested in participating or by making a phone call. There are
usually eight or nine gardens on the tour; however, this year there
are only six due to the cancellations. Carr said theyve never
had too many people ask to be on the tour and they do have repeat participants.
Repeat gardens on the tour are usually shown every two to three years
because many visitors are also repeat visitors.
Madison in Bloom is a self-guided tour that takes place from 10 a.m.
to 4 p.m. on Saturdays and from noon to 4 p.m. on Sundays. Tickets can
be purchased for $10 at the Madison Area Convention and Visitors Bureau,
501 W. First St., or next door at the Jefferson County Historical Society,
615 W. Main St., Madison. Children under 12 are free.
For more information, call the historical society
at (812) 265-2335 or the tourism office at (812) 265-2956.
Back to May 2007 Articles.