Arts and Entertainment

The San Juan Island Garden Tour is back

One of the gardens featured in the 2011 San Juan Garden Tour - Contributed photo
One of the gardens featured in the 2011 San Juan Garden Tour
— image credit: Contributed photo

By Cali Bagby

For those of you disappointed by the lack of a Garden Tour last year, this year’s revival tour should be even more special. You know what they say absence makes a garden grow... bigger.

On June 11, the San Juan Horticultural Society and the Washington State University of Master Gardeners hosts the annual Garden Tour, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The tour showcases four San Juan Island gardens, each with a docent to answer questions and lead walks.

The Town Garden: Island Gardens collaborated with the owners to design a garden linking two homes and stabilizing a steep bank. The garden blends native vegetation and so-called ‘plantings,’ which in gardener speak refers to plants strategically introduced by the gardener.

The landscape, adorned with bronze sculptures, can be viewed from the side walk or verandah.

The Garden on Pear Point Road: The entrance is a blend of native trees and undergrowth and strategically planted Rhododendrons. There is a circular path that takes visitors past a nursery, waterfront views, vegetable and flower gardens  Look for the granite and basalt sculpture by Tom Small and the mobile by Anthony Howe.

The Primrose Lane Garden: This garden uses natural vegetation of trees, shrubbery and outcrops of rock as a backdrop for ‘plantings.’ Behind the house is a large pond, which mirrors the image of the forest in the background. Overlooking the pond are ornamental rhubarb plants at the foot of a stone terrace. If that’s not enough, there is an orchard and a vegetable garden with raised beds and a homemade hoop house.

The Garden with a View of Mount Baker: This garden started with donated plants ten years ago.

Visitors can begin this tour through the breezeway that separates the guesthouse from the house, where the lawn intersects with flower beds and a sweeping valley below. To the left is a whimsically decorated garden shed and a garden bed. Bird houses and feeders are tucked into various sites.

Come to the tour to find out who owns these gardens and see for yourself an array of natural vegetation and ‘plantings’ in unique environments.

Proceeds  support the Mullis Center Demonstration Garden, the award in Flower Hall at the San Juan County Fair and the greening of the gravel pit.

Tickets, which are $15 and include directions and descriptions of each garden go on sale June 1 at Browne’s Garden Center, Robin’s Nest and Griffin Bay Bookstore. Tickets are also available on the day of the tour.

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