See the beauty and learn area gardening secrets |

See the beauty and learn area gardening secrets

by Jo Rafferty

Genoa, established in 1854, will be on display Sunday for the annual home and garden tour.

This year’s tour, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., covers 14 sites, going from the historic to the contemporary. The Genoa Home & Garden Tour is approaching its second decade of being presented in the town that is flanked on one side by the Sierra Nevada Mountains, and the other side by Carson Valley.

“It’s been at least 15 years,” said Martha Williams, owner of the historic Dake House that harbors her business, Antiques Plus, and provides a space for lectures on gardening in the back yard, which boasts a 140-year-old Oriental poppy garden.

“This is the only place large enough for the garden lectures,” said Williams, “because you have to have a big back yard.”

The self-guided tour begins at Antiques Plus at noon with gardening lectures conducted by master gardener Dave Ruff of the Greenhouse Garden Center in Carson City. Ruff will speak all day on the growing and care of orchids. Dan McClure of Nevada’s Own will take over at 1 p.m. and speak about the plants he has developed to grow in the area’s high desert region.

Williams said McClure gives valuable information pertaining to the area, such as, “how to care for your garden, how to plant a garden here in Nevada, critter resistant plants, what to grow here, how to water your lawn.”

Marilyn Presti will decorate the Genoa Community Church, and speak throughout the day on how to decorate for weddings.

The Dake House offers a collection of 1890 saddles, including a G.S. Garcia.

The tour runs throughout the town and beyond. A horse and carriage ride, by Dianna Borges, has been added, for an additional fee, for people who want to experience the tour in a different way.

“She sings to people and tells them about the history of the area,” said Williams.

Each site – from the Kanelos estate, to property owned by an early Genoa character, Lucky Bill Thorington – has a story to tell.

This year, participants can view the Genoa Cemetery with grave sites of prominent citizens from Genoa’s past, such as John “Snowshoe” Thompson and early settlers, Sarah Jane and Stephen Kinsey.

The ticket price, $12, includes the lectures, the tour, and wine and food provided by Tahoe Ridge Winery & Marketplace. Tickets can be purchased at Antiques Plus, 2242 Main St., Genoa, next to the post office, at the Carson Valley Chamber of Commerce & Visitors Authority inside the Carson Valley Museum & Cultural Center, 1477 Highway 395 in Gardnerville, or at the Greenhouse Garden Center in Carson City, or send a self-addressed, stamped envelope to Martha Williams, P.O. Box 89, Genoa, NV 89411.

The event benefits, in part, the Carson Valley Pops Orchestra.

For more information, call 782-4951 or visit