Annual Garden Tour Provides a Wealth of Ideas for Plant Lovers

By Don Tapio

Stepping into someone’s garden is much like a treasure hunt – you’ll never know what you may find. This year’s tour will not disappoint you. The detailed descriptions of each of the individual gardens listed in the ticket brochure provide insight to the horticultural and artistic talents of local gardeners. Ranging in size from a woodland garden that encompasses five acres to a sustainable garden on a hillside, each of the seven gardens has its own palette of plant combinations that validates that our cool, cloudy climate is an ideal place for those whose passion is growing plants.

For the very first time, each garden on this year’s tour will include a focus on sustainable gardening practices that tour participants can implement in their own gardens.

You won’t want to miss the tranquil oriental garden, which features Japanese maples, native ferns and mosses, or the two gardens nestled against the Hoquiam hills that utilize natural water flow for supplemental irrigation. Visitors focused on edible plants will enjoy the organic garden, which has raised beds for vegetables and is completely pesticide-free. 

There’s no question that art is as much a component of gardening as knowing the difference between a rose and peony. Each of the gardens on this year’s tour reflects its owner’s style and palette of color. Those with an artistic flair will be inspired by the garden that has a 350-year-old Indonesian teak open-air room with an intricately carved portrayal of the “13 steps to heaven.”

For gardeners, there’s nothing that excites a sense of adventure more than being able to go inside the gate of a private garden. You don’t need to have a green thumb – just a sense of adventure and a delight in seeing some of the best gardens the Harbor has to offer. Tickets, which cost $12 and include a detailed description and directions to each of the gardens, can be purchased from: Marshall’s Garden and Pet in Aberdeen, Harbor Drug and Gifts in Hoquiam, Valu Drug in Montesano, Elma Variety Store, Everyone’s Video and More in Raymond, Coastal Garden Center in Grayland and Galway Bay/Celtic Imports in Ocean Shores. Tour hours are from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. WSU Master Gardeners will be on hand as docents at each of the gardens to help identify plants and answer gardening questions.