Petals & Pathways: Master Gardeners prep 26th-annual home garden tour in Sequim

  • Wednesday, June 19, 2019 1:30am
  • Life

The Petals and Pathways Home Garden tour, sponsored by the Master Gardener Foundation of Clallam County, will highlight five beautifully landscaped home gardens in Sequim along with the Master Gardeners Demonstration Gardens from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday, June 22.

These gardens are carefully selected by Master Gardeners of Clallam County for their diversity in gardening and landscape techniques, design, and accessibility. There will be something to delight and enrich everyone who attends from gentle relaxing streams, perennial terracing, vegetables and Natural Wildlife preservation areas.

The gardens this year are individually named representing their unique environments.

The Master Gardeners Demonstration Garden will have presentations in the open-air covered pavilion from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Master Gardeners will be at each location to assist.

Tickets for the self-guided tour include descriptions of each garden and driving instructions. The gardens may be visited in any order.

Tickets are $15 prior to the tour, $20 on tour day and can be purchased from local Master Gardeners and at the WSU Extension office, Over the Fence, Sunny Farms, Nash’s, Peninsula Nursery, The Co-Op Farm and Garden, Airport Garden Center, Green House Nursery, Port Book and News and online at

Proceeds from the tour help to maintain the Woodcock Demonstration Gardens in Sequim and the Master Gardeners’ numerous community services such as the Youth Enrichment Program and education outreach.

1 Early Bird Creek

Just 10 years ago this now charming property was an old cow pasture. Now you can find a lovely, multi-faceted garden hewn from fields that were once overgrown with horsetail. The garden seamlessly enhances the native features, which were exposed by hard work, including a stream (dubbed “Early Bird Creek”), a small pond and beautiful views of Sequim Bay. This tranquil garden incorporates many unique plants; at least 90 percent were brought over from Kent and transplanted by the owners. A picturesque greenhouse made from recycled wood, also salvaged from Kent, adds character and charm.

There are many interesting facets of this property — a small herb garden, color districts, moon garden, specimen trees, wetlands and more. The moon garden, using mostly white-blooming flowers, is an excellent example of how color is used to define an area.

Visitors will find unique trees such as a Katsura, Ginko, Garry Oak and espaliered Braeburn Apple. Along with more common plants such as Bear’s Breech, Lavender and Pieris you will find the more dramatic such as Black Beauty Elderberry, Corkscrew Willow and more than 350 summer blooming bulbs.

Just as important as developing a beautiful garden was the careful attention paid to the stewardship of the native wetlands. Wetlands are an essential link between land and water and are some of the most productive ecosystems in the world and play an important role in this garden.

2. A Nod to the Pacific Northwest

Welcome to this lovely garden designed in Pacific Northwest style with an eye to scale on a small estate and incredible mountain and sea views. Meticulous planning is evident as original plantings done 15 years ago were selected and spaced for how the landscape would look as the garden matured. Many of the plants are evergreens, including rhododendrons, Davidii viburnum, and Douglas fir.

As visitors down the driveway, ornamental plums and heather are to the left with a ground cover of kinickkinick to the right. Entering the gate to the garden, seating under a large arbor festooned with purple wisteria add to the ambiance. Japanese maples, pieris japonica, coral bells, lupines, and mock orange are only a few of the plantings spaced throughout the landscape.

A water feature sown with tasteful water plants streams and cascades around the yard. The cobbled pathway winds alongside down the hillside. As it is somewhat steep, appropriate shoes are required.

Other plantings include perennial grasses, dusty miller, lavender, irises, peonies, shasta daisies, ferns, coreopsis, and heather. Interspersing the space are annuals that add color and interest. For visitors not wishing to walk in the lower garden, there is a nice deck for overlooking the lower garden.

3. Backyard Wildlife Sanctuary

A magnificent, mature garden favoring native plants as well as others that support birds, butterflies and other pollinators. The property has been developed with a “live and let live” philosophy: “If it gets planted there or volunteers, it grows there.”

Graveled paths wend their way throughout the 1.3-acre garden, which is maintained without chemical pesticides. Only organic/natural remedies are utilized, as is the “green cone” method for composting on site. Raised beds for vegetables are placed around the garden, maximizing placement for sun and watering.

The property boasts a spectacular paper bark maple as well as a beautiful dawn redwood (near the potting shed), and a variety of fruit trees, including apple, kiwi, pear, cherry and pear. While the driveway is lined with alternating escalonia, laurel and hebes, at the rear of the property you’ll see a fenced area with blueberries and raspberries utilizing bird-safe protection for the fruits.

There are bountiful plantings of rare plants as well as more common ones including rosemary, hebes, strawberries, lavender, coneflower, aster, Angelina and Autumn Joy sedum, sumac, columbine, hardy fuschia, cotoneaster, ceanothus (California lilac), Nymansay (fall-blooming shrub with flowers that resemble apple blossoms), Oregon grape, flowering red currant, and many others.

4. A River Runs Through It

This is the second time we have been welcomed to this 5-acre Dungeness River property. Then the garden was 5 years old and now it has 18 years of growth. However, DiAnne has planted a tree or shrub every year since they built the home in 2001 — Gingko, Rose of Sharon hibiscus, Red Twig Dogwood, Laburnum Golden Chain, Eastern Redbud, Draping Pussy Willow, Contorted Filbert, American Sweetgum Liquidambar and Pyracantha to name a few.

Many natives of the Olympic Peninsula can be found here – Pacific Madrone, Indian Plum, Mountain Ash, Oregon Grape along with oakleaf hydrangea, rugosa rose, firs, cedars, and snowberries.

Everywhere you look, DiAnne’s love of color, texture, form and fragrance are evident. Herbs are scattered throughout. Don’t miss the purple iron flower “bed” planted with daisies, seasonal bulbs and a yellow Cape Cod Fuchsia. The front entrance arbor built by Dave provides support for wisteria and climbing roses. Look for the bed with a variety of hellebore Lenten roses and the Rugosa Rose, native to Eastern Asia (Rugosa means “wrinkled”).

The best is saved for last – as you walk down a woodland path, you come to a clearing overlooking the Dungeness River. Take a few moments to take in the lovely sights, sounds and smells of this peaceful property.

5. Demonstration Garden

The Woodcock Garden is the jewel in the crown of the Master Gardeners’ endeavors. The mission of the Master Gardeners is to provide education and this garden amply provides that experience.

Here you will find decorative dahlia beds, a charming cottage garden, pollinator garden, a rose garden, and a small orchard with examples of fruit trees easily grown in this area.

Don’t miss the raised vegetable beds, berry plants, succulent beds, ornamental grass beds, herb garden and shade garden. Native plants are always emphasized with their best uses throughout the area along with wetland information.

Bring your plant questions to our plant clinic. If you are interested in learning about composting, mason bees, culinary herbs or vegetable gardening, special talks will be held between 11 a.m.-2 p.m.

Picnic tables are available if you bring a picnic lunch. This is the only area of the tour that provides a portable toilet.

6. A Taste of England

BJ’s creation of her English and Woodland Garden was inspired by her many years living in England. BJ and Frank’s previous garden was featured on national TV and in several garden magazine articles, including Country Garden.

They have designed the same garden to fit their current home’s one-acre property which includes sweeping panoramic views of the Olympic Mountains. Beginning with a blank canvas, the Paton’s transformed their yard into vignettes of English and woodland garden bursting with colorful blooms and textures.

An abundance abounds with a variety of plant collections. As visitors enter the front garden, note the purple fence surrounding the property to enhance the garden flowers. Wander down a woodland path full of trillium, hosta, hellebores, blue poppies, and primroses to catch a glimpse of fairies and gnomes. A dry stream bed meanders to a frog garden.

Throughout the garden, visitors will be captivated by the large beds of flowers. Spring brings a riot of color from thousands of bulbs, beginning with dainty snowdrops to English bluebells, Dutch irises, lilies, and Tiger flowers. Roses and Clematis climb trellises to delight the eye, while a wide variety of perennials pop with color. Fuchsias provide summer color and are featured throughout the garden.

Year-round interest is highlighted by a variety of trees including Pink Kousa Dogwoods, Japanese Maples, a Golden Chain as well as apple and plum trees. This delightful garden is sure to please!

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