You’ll be delighted to talk to young Emerging artist Nina Haynos-Owen at Site 10. Her hand-crafted Peg People are whimsical small dolls. And she’s created her own website called Lavender Chickadees. It’s a great name considering she lives on a lavender farm. We’ve been encouraging artists of all ages who have not shown their work on a tour or had a private show to step up and give it a try. Artists may work for years at their craft, perfecting technique and creating their own voice, before they feel they are ready to show their work and put it out there for feedback and criticism, and ultimately to sell. It’s an emotional step and the artists of the Lake Scugog Studio Tour encourage emerging artists, mentor them through their first tour and help them meet other artists in our community. We hope you get to see Nina’s work at Lavender-Blu Studio, 2975 Bank Street, Seagrave. And you’ll get to tour the farm, and purchase the lovely artisanal lavender products of Mila Haynos- Owen and Makwa flutes crafted by Stephen Rensink.
So it happens that most of the artists on our tour are avid gardeners (not that the first weekend in May is a great time to see our gardens!) And we all love to buy locally grown food. Well what about locally grown garden plants? Otter Greenhouses at 315 Medd Rd, just west of the hamlet of Epsom, grow fabulous hanging baskets and a huge variety of annuals in flats and pots. Otter Greenhouses is a wholesaler and most of what they produce goes to retailers, but they are open to the public every spring. So you can buy direct. One day last spring Jennifer and Gordon Ross were up there buying plants and got talking with the owners and they cooked up a plan to have some of our artists at the greenhouses for May 4 and 5. It’s warm inside and full of plants at that time of year, waiting for the ground to warm up and the shipping out to start. So we’ve got four artists there this year. Paul Williams will be there with his wonderful metal sculptures, many of which are perfect for gardens. And then there are two painters, both new to our tour, Laurene Green and Heather Laws. rounding out the selection is woodworker, Mike Townsend, with many unique wooden items for everyday use. While you’re there tour the greenhouse to plan your garden colour scheme. Just two to three weeks later the chance of frost will pass so you can return to purchase and safely plant those tender annuals and put out your hanging baskets. When you return for plants, tell them you’d like to support the Scugog Council for the Arts, and they’ll give a percent of your purchase to this local arts organization. And it will help fund their free public activities on Canada Day in Palmer Park.