OMNI Center annual Peace Gardens Tour set for Saturday, May 28

Photo: Dustin Bartholomew
The World Peace Wetland Prairie is one of eight stops along the Omni Center’s Peace Garden Tour on Saturday, May 28.

Most of the time, it’s not a good idea to wander into someone’s back yard, and hang out in their garden. For one thing, that’s illegal, and for another, you run the risk of seriously weirding-out the owner of said back yard. Sometimes, that kind of behavior will get you arrested.

That will not be the case for attendees of the Omni Center for Peace, Justice and Ecology’s annual Peace Garden Tour on Saturday, May 28. In fact, as long as you pay the ticket fee, you’re welcome to show up at any of the eight participating gardens.

The Omni Peace Gardens tour was established in 2005, and includes a mixture of public and private flower gardens, vegetable gardens, and even a sculpture garden by artist Anne Reichardt. Anne’s garden features a carved, 9-foot-tall natural rock egg carin, a 45-foot-long copperhead sculpture rising out of the ground, a goat barn converted to have a Soto Zen meditation loft, a mini Stonehenge, and other items.

Each garden along the self-guided tour on Saturday will be open from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m., and tickets can be purchased for $10 at any of the participating gardens, as well as at the Fayetteville Farmers’ Market on Saturday beginning at 7 a.m.

Here are the locations of the eight participating gardens this year, and descriptions of each tour stop (as provided by the Omni Center).

Julia Ward Howe Peace Gardens

Peace Gardener: Marie Riley
Location: 525 N. Olive Street, Fayetteville

Description: Dedicated in memory of Julia Ward Howe, who in 1872 began proclaiming that June 2 every year would be a Mother’s Day for Peace. Marie has carved out each part of her garden year after year starting with a corner garden in the sun featuring knock-out roses, shasta daisies, poppies, grasses, and salvia. The backyard garden has expanded with the use of native stone, terracing, and a wide array of shade perennials and herbs. A new outdoor plaza, and sun garden was added in 2005. Recent additions include a new terraced rock garden, concrete leaves, and mosaics. In addition, Hank Kaminsky’s new sculpture series ‘You Are Standing on Sacred Ground’ will debut in Marie’s garden.

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Emily’s No-Plant-Left-Behind Peace Garden

Peace Gardener: Emily Kaitz
Location: 5 E. Davidson Street, Fayetteville

Description: “The garden is a terraced rock garden in front of my house in a triangular space between 2 driveways. I started it in 1998 when I moved to Fayetteville. It is somewhat chaotic, with a variety of plants including daffodils, grape hyacinth, iris, day lilies, several other varieties of lilies, including the spectacular Leslie Woodruff (from Arthur Evans, Gravette), cornflower, daisies, myrtle, larkspur, coreopsis, peonies, roses, flox, and probably something I’m forgetting. It blooms continuously from March through July. Working in my garden and the natural beauty of the blooming flowers always gives me a feeling of peace and contentment.” Every foot of Emily’s yard is enhanced with flowers, terraces, rocks.Starting at noon Emily will host a white wine tasting featuring 5 of her favorite white wines – free to anyone who comes to the garden as part of the tour.

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Blue Birds of Peace Garden

Peace Gardeners: Nancy Maier and Marshall Carter
Location: 951 Missouri Way, Fayetteville

Description: “The focal point of my peace garden is an Ozark flagstone tree-shaped patio designed by Quinn Landrum and built by Quinn and his father, the artist M.M. Kent. The center of the patio is a single orange stone sun with rays extending outwards. The patio is a sunny stop for relaxing, doing yoga, painting the garden, or meditating. Next to the patio is a terraced planting area for sunflowers, lavender, and butterfly bush. The area is surrounded on three sides by a fence and several birdhouses. Before the garden was even completed, a pair of bluebirds had built a nest and raised a family.” It Includes a Peace Pole. Additional flowers: daisies, Solomon Seal, zinnias, spearmint, geraniums, lilies, sedum. There’re also vegetables: squash, peppers, lettuce, tomatoes. And a Zen white sand garden which adds to the general beauty and cheer.

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Peace Trees Garden

Peace Gardener: Cathy Boyd
Location: 2008 W. Cleveland Street, Fayetteville

Description: Peace Trees Garden is located one house away from the intersection of Cleveland and Sang. On the east side of my house is a lot belonging to me which is excellent for parking and the gate beside the carport leads directly into the back yard. I have owned and lived in this space since 1975. At the time of closing, the house had been vacant for a year and the yard required a brush hog before anyone could step off the back porch. All of the huge oaks and pine trees were here; everything else has been added through the years.

Although only 5 blocks from the university, the garden comprises almost 2 acres and no neighbors are plainly visible. It is a haven of tranquility in a bustling neighborhood and the back porch is a perfect spot for me and my two dogs and three cats to relax. All the cats are keen students of ornithology and the porch is a perfect observation post. The dogs and many people enjoy cooling off in the swimming pool in summer.

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The Garden of Peace and Tranquility

Peace Gardeners: Frank and Marty Burggraf
Location: 517 E. Prospect Street, Fayetteville

Description: Despite health issues and the ravages of ice storms, this retired lifelong professor of landscape architecture has transformed this yard containing very little original landscaping into a green oasis in just a couple years time. The Garden of Peace and Tranquility is ever expanding and maturing, and features noteworthy hosta and iris collections, a new vegetable garden, Japanese maples, many perennials and a water feature. A delight.

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Anne Reichardt’s Peace & Serenity Stroll Garden

Peace Gardener: Anne Reichardt
Location: 17095 Lake Sequoyah Drive, Fayetteville

Description: Come celebrate our heritage in the garden that was begun 5 years ago to honor the natural character of the rural Arkansas landscape while incorporating Soto Zen accents. Along the strolling boulevards there is a labyrinth consisting of 28 wave-form berms for walking, a carved 9 ft. natural-rock egg-carin with chamber, a 45 ft. “copperhead” arising from an original hand-dug well on the site of the old homestead, a goat-barn and meditation loft, a “mini-Stonehenge” and other elements among painstakingly cleared (from invasives and green briars) native plants which are flourishing. Er-Gene Kahng, violinist for the U of A faculty chamber Orchestra, will play—perhaps with friends— in the garden’s central gazebo mid-afternoon.

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Unity Center For Conscious Living

Contact: Kate Guendling
Location: 4880 W. Wedington Drive, Fayetteville

Description: It is the position of Unity Worldwide Ministries to urge all Nations, their leaders, and their people to turn to God (by whatever the name) for guidance during these challenging times and to pursue peace, not war, for this is what honors the god of all our faith traditions. Unity stands for peace in our lifetime.

Unity Center for Conscious Living in Fayetteville, Arkansas has named its outdoor labyrinth “Peace in Our Lifetime Garden”. You are invited to step into the labyrinth, walk the sandy path to the center and experience the peace that passes all understanding. In the center of the labyrinth you will find our peace pole presented to us by Omni Center. You are also welcome to visit our community garden, “Unity Organic Garden”.

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World Peace Wetland Prairie

Peace Gardener: Volunteers
Location: 1121 S. Duncan Avenue, Fayetteville

Description: A public owned and volunteer maintained public park featuring native wetland prairie which is open free year round during city park hours.

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