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Gering yard featured in Garden Walk
June 25, 2015 Jerry Purvis   

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Photo by Jerry Purvis/Gering Citizen - Rose Kautz and her granddaughter Hanna have been working on a fairy garden in the front yard. Rose’s yard is one of the features on this year’s Theatre West Garden Walk.

Rose Kautz has been gardening on the south end of 10th Street since she and her family moved to Gering in 1970, and her beautiful property is one of the featured yards in this year’s Garden Walk, a fundraising event for Theatre West.

“This is more than just a fundraiser,” said committee co-chair Mary Winn. “The Garden Walk provides an opportunity to enjoy some of the most beautiful and creative yards in our area.”

Now in its 24th year, the Garden Walk is an evening tour this year on Sunday, June 28 from 4 – 8 p.m., showcasing two yards in Scottsbluff, two in Gering and one in the country east of Scottsbluff.
“The gracious homeowners who open their garden gates take great pride in their landscapes,” Winn said. “They help make the Panhandle a great place to live.”

She added that people who have taken past tours always seem to come away with ideas for their own properties and new trees and plants to consider. “If people aren’t already familiar with fairy gardens, they’ll find one at Rose’s.”

Rose’s yard is located at 850 10th St., next to the Gering Garden Center. When they bought their home, they also bought seven adjoining acres to keep their five boys and one daughter busy.
Originally operated as a truck garden, the operation grew into what is now the Gering Garden Center.
“I was kind of surprised when they asked me if I’d like to be one of the featured years,” Rose said. “But my son, Eric, was very enthusiastic. It’s a very simple yard, but we’ve had good success with it.”
As with all yards, this one has personal touches. Rose said some of the landscaping rocks are from 48 different states. And whenever family members find driftwood, it’s brought back to Gering for inclusion. As she said, every one of them tells a story.
Other featured homes include Jim and Linda Miller of Gering, Terry and Paula Schank of rural Scottsbluff, and Ralph and Joi Phelps and Ron and Anne Charles, both of Scottsbluff.

The Garden Walk was started just after Theatre West was organized. The program is now in its 26th year, bringing live theater to the area. It also gives young actors the opportunity to gain experience and polish their craft. And many have gone on to be professionals in the field.

Winn said even with numerous volunteers, the cost of presenting the Theatre West summer reparatory season is always going up, especially royalties to perform plays and musicals. The group also has to bring in professionals to help with the technical work.

Tickets for the Garden Walk are $12 in advance and $15 the day of the tour. Tickets are available at local garden centers or by calling the Theatre West box office at (308) 635-6193.
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