PORT TOWNSEND — “Growing in the Wind: Gardening Near the Strait of Juan de Fuca” will highlight the microclimates of Port Townsend’s windy north coast when seven private gardens located within a half-mile of the Strait of Juan de Fuca open their gates to visitors from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday.
For the 21st year, the Jefferson County Master Gardener Foundation will celebrate the arrival of summer by inviting the public to its annual Secret Garden Tour.
Tickets for the self-guided tour are $15 in advance at Henery’s Garden Center, Far Reaches Farm and Secret Garden Nursery in Port Townsend; Valley Nursery in Poulsbo; Sunny Farms in Sequim; and online at www.brownpaper tickets.com and jcmgf.org/secret- garden.
Day-of-tour tickets, if not sold out, will be available for $20 at a will-call table at Blue Heron Middle School, 3939 San Juan Ave. in Port Townsend.
Tickets will provide information about the homes and admission to gardens that, like their owners and the rest of us, have survived the coldest winter in more than 30 years, organizers said.
Aside from this bond, and their Port Townsend location, it is diversity that characterizes their range of elements, plants and styles, said John Sabella, spokesman for the tour co-chaired by Candice Gohn and Linda Sullivan.
Two showcase North Beach’s world-class vistas accented by landscape art and architectural features.
Another is inspired by French country traditions, with food, flowers, animals and a sense of gracious living that will make visitors want to spend a weekend instead of an hour, Sabella said.
Another garden focuses on growing groceries, “with flowers and grassy paths dispelling any preconception that a food garden can’t be gorgeous,” he said.
Three of the gardens are enclosed worlds in themselves, Sabella said, saying one is filled with pools and birdsong, another with clematis and hydrangea-covered walls, and a third is a peace garden “where the owner found inspiration in the pursuit of peace, which like the garden, is always in process.”
Some gardens are older than others.
Two are legacy gardens, where a new generation continues the work of a parent. The youngest garden was started in 2015.
A bonus this year is the orchard at Blue Heron Middle School, which will be open to ticket holders as part of the tour.
The school’s 70-tree fruit orchard is maintained by Blue Heron Middle and Port Townsend High School students. The orchard displays tags identifying species and cultivars, with more information available online.
Organizers urge participants to begin at Blue Heron, where there is ample parking, and continue to North Beach, where six gardens can be easily walked within a 1.2-mile loop.
Tour participants are urged to carpool, as parking is limited by North Beach.
The tour’s largest garden, located in Seaview on 49th Street, will include a hospitality table where visitors can learn more about Master Gardener programs.
For more information, see jcmgf.org/secret-garden.