Inspiring and informative

Master Gardener Betty Hall, right, shares some of her gardening secrets with enthusiasts Linda Bentley, center, and Cyndi Grasha at her home during the Montrose Botanical Society's Summer Garden Tour in 2013.

Summer is almost officially here, and Lorraine Shide is ready to celebrate with the Montrose Botanic Gardens Summer Solstice.

The event will he held 7-10 p.m. Friday at the Montrose Botanic Gardens, 1800 Pavilion Drive and will include a night in the gardens with hors d’oeuvres, tapas and sweet bites, wine, beer, spirits and live music.

This is a 21-and-older event. Tickets will be $30 per person ($25 per MBS member). You may purchase your tickets at montrosegardens.org; or Fabula, 317 E. Main St. Funds will be used for the Kallstrom jacal Outdoor Interpretive Center.

“We’re hoping people will come and enjoy the gardens and see all the new things we’ve been accomplishing and raise awareness of the Kallstrom jacal,” Shide, who serves as the Montrose Botanical Society board president, said. “It’s a very unique venue in Montrose — a little hidden treasure — we’ll enjoy a gala in the garden.”

Last year the Montrose Botanical Society was attempting to finish the Valley Garden but due to the drought wasn’t able to plant the lawn until last fall, Shide said, so this event was postponed a year.

The summer solstice is also the unveiling of the almost- completed Valley Garden with its gathering lawn, covered stage and other small gardens.

A bar will be available which will serve alcohol and non-alcoholic drinks. A Taste of New Orleans Sno-Balls will be on hand making pina coladas and peach and strawberry daiquiris. You do not have to partake in the “adult sno-balls,” regular ones will also be available, Shide said.

At sunset, with the permission of the fire district, there will be a bonfire.

“We’re hoping it’s just going to be a beautiful night to enjoy friends and good food and beverage and music,” Shide said. “And, enjoy the gardens.”

The Kallstrom farmstead jacal was originally located in Cerise Park. Alpine Archaeological Consultants and The City of Montrose worked together to move the structure to the gardens, Shide said.

Through this event Shide said the society is hoping to raise money and awareness for the Kallstrom jacal project. The Montrose Botanical Society recently worked with The City of Montrose and landscape architects, Mt. Daly Enterprises LLC, on the garden master plan.

The plan includes the Kallstrom jacal project. Eventually it will also have a homestead garden/ farm area with an orchard, Shide said.

There will also be a demonstration of the irrigation system in the area found in the gardens. The Uncompahgre Valley Water Users Association will be working with the gardens for this. Currently, the gardens use city water but would then use Uncompahgre Valley Water Users Association water, she said.

The Montrose Botanical Society worked on neglected apricot trees from Cerise Park, Shide said, and it’s is believed that these trees go back to the homestead. These are the trees that will be cloned for the garden.

The solstice event will be held, rain or shine. Throughout the summer there will also be gardening classes through the Montrose Botanic Gardens. For more information about the event or the Montrose Botanic Gardens, visit MontroseGardens.org.

Monica Garcia is the news editor at the Montrose Daily Press.

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