A delighted group of garden lovers (a record at 675 strong) toured seven unbelievable yards in southwest Colorado Springs July 13-14 during the 2013 Open Gardens Tour, which raised more than $10,000 for CSU Extension programs, including horticulture and 4-H.

Before the opening, master gardeners from the extension and Friends of Extension took a PreView tour of the gardens and visited with owners in order to serve as hosts and hostesses during the event.

Indeed, glowing reports from people who attended "Through the Gardener's Gate" included comments that it was one of the finest tours in the country. "We are extremely proud of our garden tour," said Don Bunce, president of the Friends of Extension (FOX). One special highlight was an idyllic Bavarian setting in the Broadmoor area.

Plans are underway for the 2014 Open Gardens Tour, which will focus on water-wise gardening and nominations are being taken at terry-james@comcast.net. MORE PHOTOS: http:gazette.com/life/around-town