Ames Altrusa Spring Garden Tour blooms brilliantly

Altrusa d’Ames is hosting the Altrusa 2022 Spring Garden Tour on Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., with a rain date on Sunday, June 12.

First offered in 2021, the Spring Garden Tour is an Altrusa fundraiser for local nonprofits selected through a grant application process. The 2022 grant recipients are Good Neighbor Emergency Assistance’s Homelessness Prevention Program, ChildServe’s Outdoor Improvement Project, NAMI of Central Iowa’s Ending the Silence Program, and Project Kate Mitchell Elementary PTA Library Library.

Also well known for a vacation home tour, the club added the garden tour as an outdoor fundraiser to keep the community safe while monitoring the pandemic.

Owners who have agreed to feature their gardens on the 2022 tour include Alice and Steve Moore, Carol and Paul Payne, Jason and Jessica Mortvedt’s Iowa Lavender, and Denise and Dean Biechler’s Loya’s Little House Bed & Breakfast. Reiman Gardens is once again partnering with Altrusa for this event and is included in the tour.

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Follow the yellow brick road

  • Alice and Steve Moore: 2421 Dalton Circle, Ames. Follow the yellow brick road to artists’ paradise. There are so many beautiful features in this property, starting with a long, curved brick path with yellow accents. Check out the stone fire pit with a curved stone wall surrounding the seating area, then continue onto a patio with a dining table and chairs.
  • Carol and Paul Payne: 3137 Maplewood Road, Ames. The Paynes moved to Ames in 1991 and moved into their new custom built home in 1992. Country Landscapes did the original plan for the landscaping and later again when the patio was added in the back yard. The original terrain had no trees or shrubs. Central Landscapes replaced part of the retaining wall with stone and completed the new, larger deck last summer. They also helped clean up derecho damage in the back yard, including the loss of a fall blaze maple tree.
  • Jessica and Jason Mortvedt/Iowa Lavender: 25016 Sand Hill Lane Trail, Ames. Lavender is a must when it comes to relaxation. Iowa Lavender, owned by Jason and Jessica Mortvedt, is a lavender farm located just outside of Ames where they personally grow, harvest and craft all of their lavender products. The farm has nearly 300 lavender plants, most planted in May 2020. Iowa Lavender grows several different varieties of angustifolia and intermedia lavender – including two newly developed cultivars that produce stunning, huge lavender flowers.
  • Denise and Dean Biechler/Loya’s Little House B&B: 56676 160th Street, Ames. The gardens at Loya’s Little House Bed and Breakfast have a rich Story County history. The gardens were created in the 1950s by Dr Austin and Loya Getz and continued by the Frank and Margaret Vance families until the farm was purchased by Denise and Dean Biechler in 2016. Visitors will enjoy a meadow planted in 1980 by the Getz and Vance families. , their neighbors the Biechlers and the Story County Conservation Board. The meadow gives way to ancient red cedars planted by Ms. Getz’s father in 1943. Visitors will want to climb the steps and hand-placed rocks that flank the tiered gardens, a project Getz started after their new home was built. to 1957.
  • Reiman Gardens: 1407 S. University Blvd, Ames. Reiman Gardens, located on 17 acres, offers visitors many distinct gardens that are constantly changing and evolving. Spring is the perfect time to see a wide variety of plants not only outside but also inside the tropical conservatory. Check out the 2,500 square foot Butterfly Wing which is home to 800 butterflies in flight. And pay a visit to Elwood, the largest concrete garden gnome in the world. “Home” is the theme for 2022.
Jessica and Jason Mortvedt's Iowa Lavender Farm is blooming with nearly 300 lavender plants.  The farm is a stop on the Ames Altrusa 2022 Garden Tour.

Tickets are $20 for adults, $10 for children ages 3-12, and children under three are free. No animals please. Visit the Altrusa website at for more information on where and when tickets can be purchased, or email them to [email protected]

Ronna Faaborg contributed to this story. Teresa Kay Albertson covers the southern suburbs of Des Moines for the Register and the Indianola Record-Herald. Contact her at [email protected] or 515-419-6098.