Nearly two dozen homeowners will open their gates to the public during four  self-guided garden tours throughout Southern Arizona. Gardeners, contractors and gardening experts will be on hand to answer questions.

BISBEE BLOOMERS

Artists teamed with homeowners to create several artful gardens on Saturday’s Bisbee Bloomers Garden Tour. They include goddess sculptures, handcrafted gates and  murals.

Other tour highlights include a 9,000-gallon pond and stream, an herb garden, a Buddha garden and a tree that yields both peaches and almonds.

XERISCAPES

Realistic artificial turf, rainwater collection systems and a pollinator habitat with hundreds of plants punctuate next Sunday’s 16th annual Water Wise/Master Gardener Xeriscape Tour in Sierra Vista and Hereford.

The stops demonstrate the low-irrigation principles of xeriscaping and rainscaping, including the 2010 winner of the WaterWise RainScape Challenge Make-Over.

WATER GARDENS

Water gardens from bogs to ponds to streams, some with waterfalls, make up the Tucson Watergardeners annual tour Sept. 14.

Each stop is an example of how water gardens are integrated into outdoor living spaces. Do-it-yourself and professional installations are represented.

Club members will gather at Tucson Koi & Water Gardens, 3372 N. Dodge Blvd., during tour hours to answer questions and demonstrate care techniques for aquatic plants.

OPEN DAYs

The national Garden Conservancy sponsors Open Days tours throughout the year and across the United States.

Tucson’s edition Oct. 5 focuses on distinctively Sonoran Desert landscapes with native  plants. It includes the  garden studio of landscape designer Scott Calhoun, as well as a 2011 Tucson Metropolitan Xeriscape Contest winner.

Contact Tucson freelance writer Elena Acoba at acoba@dakotacom.net