Showers Didn’t Dampen Spirit of Ponds, Pools, and Plantings Tour

By Pat Lindsey

Even the garage window at Joan Stokes’ home was decorated for the tour.

Who knew that there were enough ponds, swimming pools, and gorgeous plants in Florissant to organize a tour of them?  Saturday, June 22, marked the second annual tour sponsored by Old Town Partners, but turnout was down due to an unannounced shower.  Those who went on the tour, however, enjoyed seven beautiful gardens in Old Town and went home with a goody bag full of discounts from local merchants.

The fish pond at the Beckman home.

The tour began at the offices of Steve Robbins Financial Advisor, 325 rue St. Francois, where participants had the option of beginning a walking tour or taking the free Florissant shuttle. My friend Carol and I walked to the first two homes, but decided to hop on the shuttle when the rains came.

Fish swim in the pond at the Obenhaus home.

Ponds for goldfish and koi  were focal points in the backyards of the Beckman, Obenhaus, and Keim residences.  The Gettemeier family is the second generation to live at 1290 St. Antoine St. where an in-ground pool, pristine flower beds, and a large covered patio make it the perfect party house.  Kenneth Keim at 310 Aubuchon St. embellished his garden with an electric train that circles past an old-time village.  Nearby, a Huck Finn-type character fishes in his pond.

At Joan Stokes’ home on Washington St., we walked through a variety of perennials and antique chairs.  Even the garage window was decorated and ready for the 4th of July.

Our last stop was the historic Henry Albers House, which is now the  Jonathan Fortman Law Office.  While admiring the fountain, herb garden, and eye-popping clematis, we were treated to an ice cold glass of strawberry lemonade.

Thanks to an accommodating chauffeur who drove the shuttle, we were able to visit all of the gardens in less than an hour.  That left plenty of time to enjoy a late lunch at Hendel’s and use our coupons from our goody bag for a free appetizer and dessert.


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