26th Annual WASSO Garden Tour

Saturday, July 13 & Sunday, July 14, 1-5pm

Join us for the 26th Annual Garden Tour sponsored by the Women’s Association of the Springfield Symphony Orchestra (WASSO).

The seven gardens featured on the tour are:

1. 1019 S. Fountain Avenue (Babian Residence)
Angie and Ben bought their 1883 Victorian home in 1998 and began its restoration. Their home and flower gardens feature a patio (2008) and carriage house (2014) designed to appear as old as the home. The path that winds from the north gate to the carriage house is made from pavers salvaged from an alley where Springfield Regional Hospital now stands. The bricks in the brick-lined flower beds came from homes in the neighborhood that were not as lucky as theirs. Behind the home they own over ½ acre of greenspace that was previously vacant homes and covered with brush and trash. The Babians have been able to turn that once blighted area into a pleasant greenspace. Proceed through the carriage house or back gate to enjoy that space.

2. Corner W. Jefferson Street & S. Western (Oasis Community Garden)
The Jefferson Street Oasis Community Garden covers approximately 1.75 acres and is an allotment style garden with some 70+ adults occupying almost 60 separate plots. This independent 501(c)(3) was created to improve the food security and health of inner city Springfield residents. It also has 100+ pastured chickens comprised of 9 different heritage breeds.

3. 1532 Broadway Street (Latimer Residence)
When Dennis and his wife Nancy purchased the house in 2002, the backyard, behind the 2-car garage, was just another area to mow each summer. But as the years went by, something magical happened to the grass… it all turned into a garden… a special garden filled with veggies, flowers and herbs. This is a garden that invites birds, bees and butterflies all under the watchful eyes of a community of hidden gnomes; a garden of both purpose and whimsy. As the novelist, Alice Walker once said, “In search of my mother’s garden, I found my own.” Dennis and Nancy invite you to come and take a peek around the garage.




4. 625 Riverside Drive (Winnenberg Residence)
In 1990 Peggy and Pete Winnenberg bought this lovely 1927 home and have welcomed kids, friends, family, and their pets since then. The garden is Peggy’s love, and she couldn’t wait until winter was over to visit her yard. The pergola was built by her son 20 years ago, and she enjoys sitting out there and having a glass of wine or tea with nature. They have a variety of annuals, perennials, ornamental grasses, flowering shrubs in the spring, and about 100 hostas and that many boxwood. The Winnenbergs hope you enjoy what they have enjoyed and wish a happy summer to all.




5. 1750 Crescent Drive (Blauser & Sauter Residence)
In the spring of 2017, John and Katie sat in their backyard with notebooks, plant books and gardening magazines. They moved into the 1920s Tudor home one month prior and had been itching for the start of spring. Sitting in the backyard with their gardening magazines made them feel at home.
Ultimately they chose Katie’s design; John’s woodland garden is still in the works. John dug up the new back flowerbed outline while Katie built the raised veggie beds (a gift to John for his birthday.) Katie and her parents planted the flowers, bushes and trees together. Her parents brought manure from their farm in Miami County. Katie and John both got a love of gardening from their mothers. Their secret garden is tiny, but it keeps them busy with a 2-year-old and their careers. Enjoy the space and sit awhile!


6. 1631 Lagonda Avenue (Rogers Residence)
Built in 1881, this 138-year-old home, along with the neighborhood, has seen lots of changes since Rich moved into it in 1976. Since being on the first tour in 2006 Rich has planted, dug out, removed trees, replaced, repaired, trimmed and edged (all edging done on his knees with grass shears as he doesn’t prefer to use a weed whacker); he enjoys working and playing in the dirt. Rich is very proud of his son who owns his own Land and Lawn Design business and designed the entire yard.  Perennials and annuals fill the beds along with several water features.  In the past two years Rich has added a touch of “Mardi Gras.” He gets compliments from people who pull up while he’s working. Little do they know, he’s just doing what he loves to do, working in and on God’s green Earth.


7. 505 North Fountain Avenue (The Dr. David King & Julia Gotwald Home)
Built in 1895 the Gotwald home has a wonderful spring pop of colors with forsythias and azaleas lining the turret in the front yard. The lush green ivy was hand carried by the Gotwalds from Wittenberg, Germany to Springfield in the early 1900s. The south side of the house showcases a viburnum bush that is believed to be nearly 100 years old. Daughter Mary Gotwald lived in the house until her death in 1966 and reportedly loved roses, so in her honor last year the owner raised the flower bed on the south side and planted yellow roses dispersed with the peonies that were planted nearly 50 years ago by second owner Dr. John Paul (Jack) Pirozzi.
The terraced back yard with dogwood and magnolia trees, hostas, boxwood bushes and flower varieties providing color all year was created by the third owners, the Millers, in 2003. Note the “Greek garden” where three Gotwald home pillars stand. The largest is from the King/Gotwald mansion two doors down, and two smaller pillars resided next door at Fred Gotwald’s home. The backyard brick patio was a Mother’s Day gift hand dug by the owner’s husband and their son. Large rocks lining the terraced walls are remnants of the dig as the property sits on top of a rock quarry.

Click on full-frame icon top right for a larger interactive map with directions.