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Memorial Garden Tour Boasts Up-close View of SCV's Best Flora
Self-guided Event Benefits Families of Local Soldiers
June, 2006 - Issue #20
On November 13, 2004, PFC Cole William Larsen, 19, lost his life in the Iraq war. His mother, Christi Larsen, takes comfort in the memorial garden she created in her backyard in Cole's memory.

"To this day, when I am out there digging in the soil preparing to plant or scatter seeds I will unearth little green soldiers or small army trucks that my son once played with when he was a boy. It's a peaceful place for me full of happy memories," she says.

On June 11, Larsen and 14 other local garden aficionados will open up their backyards and hearts in honor of fallen soldiers who have given their lives for their country.

The First Annual Memorial Garden Tour, running from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., is a self-guided event featuring heavily landscaped properties throughout Santa Clarita.

The tour has no set entry fee (donation buckets will be available at each garden location), but benefits both the local chapter of Blue Star Mothers and TAPS (Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors). Blue Star Mothers frequently mails care packages to soldiers overseas.

"A variety of different garden styles and sizes will be on exhibit, including a home boasting a 2,000 gallon koi pond. Other gardens include a Japanese courtyard, sub-tropical fruit trees, as well as a home garden with a patriotic bend."
A full 100 percent of donated monies go to the organization of your choice. Funds will also be raised from Memorial Garden Tour raffle sales featuring garden-themed gifts and services.

A variety of different garden styles and sizes will be on exhibit, including a home boasting a 2,000 gallon koi pond. Other gardens include a Japanese courtyard, sub-tropical fruit trees, as well as a home garden with a patriotic bend.

Exhibitor Dian Benjamin says of her large garden: "I knew I wanted a rose garden, an herb garden, fruit trees and a vegetable garden as well as lawn space and flower beds. The garden, now in its fourth year, is still evolving. A 'cultivated wild look' sounds like a contradiction but that is the look I like best."

Tour programs are currently available at Green Thumb, Sunset, All American Wholesale and Green Landscape Nursery.

Designated gardens will have scheduled tours along with live entertainment.

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For more information on the First Annual Memorial Garden Tour contact Christi Larsen at 252-3584.
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