By Arwyn Rice
Peninsula Daily News
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While Bob and Linda Beatty have a view from their wide porch of the garden — most of Sequim, the Strait of Juan de Fuca and far to the north — the garden has been known only to a few friends who visit the home, including an annual Fourth of July picnic.
Saturday's tour will be the first time their garden on Ravens Ridge Road will be open to the public.
“Some of our neighbors said they walk by here all the time, and they didn't even know it existed,” Bob Beatty said this week.
Variety of gardens
The seven Sequim-area gardens on the self-guided tour sponsored by the Master Gardener Foundation of Clallam County vary in design, from a burbling hillside oasis to a downsized, Colorado-inspired vegetable and hummingbird garden.
Gardens open at 10 a.m. and close at 4 p.m.
Advance tickets are $15 and can be purchased in Sequim, Port Angeles and Port Townsend.
Tickets will be $20 the day of the tour and can be purchased at the first garden on the tour at 102 Owl Creek Lane, a garden owned by Walt and Sara Johnson that features a low wall curving along the driveway alongside a pump-fed stream leading to a pond surrounded by cherry trees.
From Owl Creek Lane near Kitchen-Dick Road, the tour loops north toward the Strait, returns through central Sequim, then heads south into the hills, with the final three gardens tucked into the Highland Hills.
Addresses and directions to each garden are printed on tickets, which double as a guide and description of each garden.
The final three gardens are steep, and walking shoes with good traction are recommended for those who want to walk in them.
Among these final three is Bob and Linda Beatty's 1-acre hillside garden high in the hills above Sequim.
The garden has vertical appeal, with a series of switchback pathways, pools connected through a cascading series of falls and ferns, evergreens and deciduous trees chosen for fall color surrounded by a tall screen of native trees, grasses and shrubbery.
Even the porch is well-planted, with a collection of bonsai trees, potted roses, fuchsia and annual flowers.
The garden was first planted in 1991 and has matured over the years.
Its development and growth are documented on information boards. It was designed by Tom Rankin of Ona Landscaping and is maintained by Turning Leaves landscaping service.
The garden is decorated with wildlife-themed sculptures, a tribute to the many animals that visit the garden.
Deer browse in the garden, but the Dungeness elk herd simply goes around it, he said.
A small tribute to the “work” done by the browsing deer is semi-hidden, a humorous treat for those who spot it.
The other two gardens with notably steep pathways are owned by Larry and Marilynn Elliott and Byron and Sharon Childs.
Pathways in the Elliotts' garden take visitors past seven pools, waterfalls, decorative fencing and whimsical examples of yard art.
The children's garden also features winding paths and ponds, one with a working waterwheel.
Other gardens on the tour are owned by:
■ Tom and Irma Colvin, who have turned 3 acres of pasture grass into a large garden with dwarf conifers, ornamental grasses and an enclosed orchard.
■ Doreen Petersen, who has converted a small lot of solid clay into a woodland retreat.
■ Marty and Ellen LaMarr, who are making a small garden that requires relatively little labor for upkeep, with the focal point a 41-year-old bridge built by Ellen's father and surrounded by columbine.
Advance tickets are available at the Washington State University Extension office at the Clallam County Courthouse and area businesses, including Peninsula Nursery, McComb's Garden, Over the Fence, Red Rooster Grocery, Sunny Farms Country Store, Vision Nursery, Airport Garden Center, Country Aire, Port Book and News, Gross's Nursery & Florist, the Greenhouse Nursery, at all Master Gardener plant clinics and in Port Townsend at Henery's Garden Center.
Tickets also are available for purchase online at www.gardentour.brownpapertickets.com.
For more information about Master Gardeners, visit http://clallam.wsu.edu/mg.
Reporter Arwyn Rice can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 5070, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.