Larry Stacey of Walma’s Creations builds a bench planter box during the 19th annual Soroptimist Gala Garden Show in Sequim on Sunday. (Jesse Major/Peninsula Daily News)

Soroptimist Gala Garden Show gets locals geared up for season

SEQUIM — Today marks the first day of spring and for many who attended the 19th annual Soroptimist Gala Garden Show in Sequim, it’s also about time to garden.

“Especially after the winter we had, people are ready for spring” said Jan Chapman, who co-chaired the event with Elaine Churchill.

She said Saturday, which featured a number of speakers, was probably one of the best attended days the event has seen. She said about 1,300 attended and hoped for similar numbers Sunday.

Speakers included Muriel Nesbitt, who directed the Clallam County Master Gardener program from 2009-12; Bill Wrobel, past president of the Master Gardener Foundation of Clallam County; Master Gardener Beverly Morrow; and Lorrie Hamilton, the Master Gardener coordinator for Clallam County.

Andrew May, a Port Angeles landscape designer, teacher of horticulture at Peninsula College and a columnist for the Peninsula Daily News was the speaker Sunday.

Visitors got a chance to learn about gardening on the Olympic Peninsula; growing berries and orchids; planning, building and maintaining a rain garden; and maintaining groupings of containers in a garden.

The event is put on by Soroptimist International of Sequim, which is now in its 70th year of service.

The Soroptimists use proceeds to sponsor scholarships, awards and to donate to local services, Chapman said.

Last year, the garden show raised about $28,000.

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Reporter Jesse Major can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 56250, or at jmajor@peninsula dailynews.com.