Get inspired: Attend the library garden tour this Sunday


Mara and Ed Fortwangler enjoying their garden oasis.

Ed and Mara Fortwangler, Elatan Drive, are big fans of Mt. Lebanon Public Library’s Garden Tour.  They’ve been attending the tour for years. This year, their garden is one of seven being featured in the 33rd annual event from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday, June 25.

The Fortwanglers got ideas and inspiration from previous tours and hope people touring their garden will do the same. “Maybe something like ‘I never thought about putting a swing from a pergola,’” Mara said.

The swing and the pergola are the focal points of the Fortwanglers’ garden oasis, which also includes a fire table, fountain, herb garden, various perennials, a fairy garden for their eight grandchildren and several memory stones created by their 14-year-old grandson, Benjamin, on his summer visits from eastern Pennsylvania.

Benjamin Fortwangler shows off his most recent memory stone.

Gardening is a hobby the Fortwanglers enjoy, so they do all the planting themselves. Although the multi-level yard can be challenging at times, Mara loves watching things grow. “Nature to me is just fulfilling.”

On any given day, you can find the retired Keystone Oaks school teacher outside in her garden. She hosts book club meetings, bunco games and parties there, and once had an Oktoberfest celebration around the fire table.

“I just find it very relaxing and calm to be out here,” she added.  Husband Ed agrees. “We’ve tried to make it fairly private,” he said.

This year, the Mt. Lebanon Public Library Garden Tour is unique because it features gardens in the far reaches of Mt. Lebanon.

You can purchase tickets online or at the library’s circulation desk.

While you’re there, you can also pick up a ticket for the Raffle Basket fundraiser in support of the garden tour. The fundraiser runs until the end of the garden tour.  Winning tickets will be drawn on Monday, June 26.

A table filled with raffle baskets with a sign that states: Raffle tickets will be available to purchase until Sunday, June 25. Winning tickets will be drawn on Monday, June 26, and winners will be notified that day.