Subscribe for 33¢ / day

KINGSBURG – When Judy Pagel talks about her backyard, it’s evident this is her sanctuary. A gecko statue reminds her of family. A mosaic fire pit she created was inspired by her favorite painter. The cool shade of a corner pergola evokes memories of early morning breakfasts. It’s a place where the family dog can romp, she can unwind and add new highlights of color with the coming of spring.

“I incorporated what touched me,” Pagel said of her backyard garden. “It’s not something that will fit everybody, but it’s definitely my sanctuary and where I go for sanity.”

Pagel’s yard is among four featured in the Kingsburg Tuesday Club’s first Spring Garden Tour from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, April 28. The event is a fundraiser to raise scholarships money for high school seniors graduating in 2018.

The tour is self-guided and attendees will walk through gardens at their own pace. Each ticket will include a map, addresses and descriptions of each property. Afterwards, attendees will gather at the Kingsburg Community Church for a reception and raffle.

Home gardens on the tour include:

  • Judy Pagel: 1330 Silverbrooke St.
  • Alan and Cindy Bishop: 2370 Erling Way
  • Fred and Cheryl Swanson: 2051 Klepper St.
  • Larry and Christine McClaskey: 2508 Elm Crt.

“It’s not a guided tour but free flow,” Pagel said. “We’re expecting 100 people so it’d be difficult to have them all at one location at once. After everyone’s visited the houses, we’ll go back to the [Kingsburg Community Church] and have the raffle. A big, huge fountain from Leo’s Nursery has been donated along with a custom potting bench from Kingsburg’s For the Birds.”

Pagel said she hopes not just seasoned gardeners attend but also novices as each homeowner will be on hand to answer questions about gardening inspirations, particular plants and how to garden with drought restrictions in mind.

“I think you have to make your garden yours and touch what’s important to you. I love Vincent Van Gogh’s paintings so that’s why I made the fire pit mosaic to bring him out in the garden. I also love the Asian-influenced landscaping and the simplicity and serenity of it,” she said of the different zones in her yard.

Pagel had Fresno Landscaping install the hardscape in her yard.

“They’re very aware of what you can do in a small space,” she said of her 7,000 square foot lot. She’s used the concrete walled areas to create themed zones such as the section she calls Nine Pot Hill.

“There are nine pots in there that are broken, half or whole pots or pots inside pots. That’s where I usually do my fresh flowers every spring.”

There are also Asian influences of bamboo stepping stones and paper lanterns in her garden as well as a gurgling waterfall and a weeping cherry tree in another walled area. In another spot, incorporated bamboo, a bench and gecko state as a memorial to her son, Peter Graham, who died in 2003.

“When I designed this, I wanted texture, I wanted height and I wanted zones.”

The Club previously held a plant night and a paint night as fundraisers and hopes attendees of these functions will consider joining the Club to help the next generation of Kingsburg students as they graduate high school.

“The Tuesday Club has been around forever so we want more young people to come. We only have 50 members and all our money goes to scholarships,” she said. “Some have joined and we’d really like to get more young people.”

The reporter can be reached at 583-2427 or

Load comments