62 | CITISCAPES | JUNE 2019 F E AT U R E | N WA O U T D O O R S | BY G A B R I E L L A M A E S T R I | P H OTO S BY K E R R I M C M A H O N he Flower, Garden and Nature Society of Northwest Arkansas presents its 22nd annual Through the Garden Gate Tour on June 1. Garden enthusiasts, nature lovers and friends will have the opportunity to stroll through seven private gardens, as well as the Botanical Garden of the Ozarks, soaking up the sights, scents and sounds of each unique garden. Featured on the tour is the Heather Ridge Railroad garden of Virginia and Monte Scott. The remote location in Greenland drew the couple in from California back in 2003 when moving to be closer to their grandchildren. The familiarity of this home immediately reminded the Scotts of their California location and they felt that this is where God wanted them. The garden encompasses a 600-foot railroad track complete with a koi pond, a variety of plants, flowers, buildings, vehicles and bridges that bring a lively feel to the layout. Monte has done all of the work himself, transforming the front and back yards to match his vision. Gardening has been an activity Monte has used to relax, reflect and escape for years. He describes his styling technique as an “English cottage type” due to the garden’s diverse assortment and his constant rearranging. “Just like a real railroad, if you’re looking to serve your customers, or how you can get a train from one point to the other, then you’re looking for the best avenue and the best way to do it,” Monte explains. His collection of 75 model train freight cars winds among roses, dwarf Alberta spruce, dwarf elm, dogwood, sycamore, redbud trees, ground covers and several types of iris and native plants. This is the first year for the railroad to be on the tour and Monte says he is excited to showcase his work and give others the opportunity to enjoy it as well. Anyone attending this tour is guaranteed a unique experience that will have them marveling as soon as they enter the outskirts of Northwest Arkansas and reach the Scotts’ peaceful property. The Heather Ridge Railroad is truly a hidden gem. Through the Garden Gate Tour 2019 T This year’s Through the Garden Gate Tour is Saturday, June 1, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., rain or shine. Tickets are $15 and are available at all Westwood Garden Center locations, the Botanical Garden of the Ozarks and at all participating gardens on the day of the tour. The tour benefits the Botanical Garden of the Ozarks and the Flower, Garden and Nature Society of Northwest Arkansas. For more information, call Tricia at (479) 595-2298.