— The Petal & Pathways Home Garden Tour, sponsored by the Master Gardener Foundation of Clallam County, will showcase seven gardens at Sequim-area homes from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday.
Attendees won’t be touring the same garden twice. Five city lots and two 1-acre properties vary by age, plant varieties, landscape features, garden art and even character.
Whether whimsical or functional, modest or extravagant, methodical or “loosely” organized, each garden reflects the personality of the homeowners, organizers said.
Tickets, $15 prior to the self-guided tour, are on sale in Port Angeles at the WSU Extension office, Airport Garden Center, Green House Nursery and Port Book and News, and in Sequim at Over the Fence, Peninsula Nursery, Sunny Farms, Nash’s and Wild Birds Unlimited.
Tickets also can be purchased at http://tinyurl.com/PDN-petals pathways or at any garden on the tour Saturday for $20.
Whether an expert gardener or green to the “green thumb,” tourgoers can relate to the labor and love that goes into each plot. After all, tour organizers aim to inspire, said Amanda Rosenberg, a Master Gardener for Clallam County.
“It’s really a testament to what homeowners can do with their own gardens,” Rosenberg said.
The gardens range from 12 months to 12 years old and from a quarter of an acre to 1 acre in size.
They also differ in the varieties of plants; from native conifers to Japanese maples, tour gardeners are sure to find something that speaks to them, Rosenberg said.
“One garden, you’re going to see an amazing vegetable garden. The next one, down the street, is going to have different features — maybe the unique variety you’ve been looking for,” she said.
“Everybody will have a different favorite. Everybody will fall in love with something special.”
That something special might be colorful perennials, native plants or rare species. Or it might not be plant-related at all. It could be a Texaco gas station, a couch planted in the middle of the garden or life-sized animal cutouts.
Tickets for the self-guided tour include descriptions of each garden and driving instructions. The gardens, marked with pink banners, can be visited in any order. Three of the gardens are located in one neighborhood, providing access from one parking location.
Proceeds go to maintain local demonstration gardens on Woodcock Road, west of Sequim, and Fifth Street in Port Angeles. They also support gardening education programs throughout Clallam County.
The Master Gardener Foundation of Clallam County charges for the tour so it can offer free community programs, including gardening lecture series and plant education in second-grade classrooms throughout the year, Rosenberg said.
Here are descriptions of the gardens along the self-guided tour, also available with every ticket purchase:
• 82 Alpine View Lane, Barbe and John McClung — In this garden is a special surprise: a living room.
The McClungs transformed 1 acre of grass into many separate garden areas throughout five years.
Raised beds were built in the rose garden, sedum area, perennial garden and most of the ornamental garden. Lasagna gardening techniques aid in weed control and enhance fertilization, and drip irrigation is used in the dry season. Fences, arbors and trellis are used for climbing roses, wisteria and clematis.
Wide paths around and among all planting beds provide easy viewing for people with walkers and most wheelchairs.
Water features are tucked in several locations to provide relaxation opportunities.
• 112 Plum Tree Lane, Cherie and Rich Higbee — Mixing a flat grassy backyard, a little ingenuity, a flair for “rustic country” with a passion for plants, the Higbees have fashioned an intriguing garden design with botanical and recycled treasures, organizers said.
Conifers, sedums and Japanese maples embellish the collection. Creativity mingled with serendipity and whimsy and the patina of well-loved objects has transformed their property and garden beds into vignettes with an outdoor kitchen, potting shed, playhouse, green roofed outhouse and a Texaco station, organizers said.
• 1000 New Meadows Loop, Linda and Marty Gutowski — The diversity in this garden showcases what homeowners can accomplish in a small, one-fourth-acre lot that was a barren, weedy lot in 2010, organizers said.
Drought-tolerant perennials and shrubs, as well as a hand-painted honeybee hive, welcome visitors to the front yard garden. Creative companion plantings of fruits and vegetables and wall hanging pocket planters highlight the backyard.
The vegetable garden is watered from an underground cistern system and demonstrates how a small lot can be attractively and efficiently maintained to yield a wide range of produce. Cherries, an espaliered varietal pear, apples and hazelnut trees are featured in the orchard.
The fish pond and small waterfall adds tranquility to the backyard while the marionberry arbor provides an attractive walkway to the front yard.
There is even a mini-vineyard.
• 977 New Meadows Loop, Soren and Elizabeth Prip — An arborvitae hedge provides both a windbreak and privacy at the driveway. The front plantings include spring bulbs, two lovely weeping larches and a 7-foot-high tree peony.
Featured in the vegetable garden are tomatoes, zucchini, Walla Walla onions and artichoke. Primroses are tucked beneath blueberry bushes. More than 10 different herbs, including horseradish, marjoram, rosemary, chives, oregano and dill, thrive in a small oval bed.
The laurels, spaced along the fence, have taken on a tree-like quality with years of selective pruning. Perennials, biennials and shrubs, including liatris, saxifrage, holly hocks, camellias, burning bush and Callicarpa (Beauty Bush), provide balance to the garden, organizers said.
• 979 New Meadows Loop, Jan Perez — A lot can happen in a 12-year-old garden.
This one has more than 10 hydrangea varieties, Cascade trailing blackberries and a plethora of lilies, peonies, coral bells and vegetables. Cherry and apple trees provide pie ingredients.
“Spectacular color greets the eye during every season, with Virginia creeper on the fence and a gorgeous Stewartia tree,” organizers said.
Hebes, a weeping larch, a corkscrew willow, ceanothus, crocosmia and a Pagoda dogwood add texture, height and color throughout the backyard.
Volunteer pansies and violas make for a colorful ground cover.
• 11 Petal Lane, Joyce and Tony Brock — This 3-year-old garden is an example of small-space gardening that pays attention to seasonal color, texture and water-wise ornamental grasses, organizers said.
There are a lot of colors in the front yard and a raised concrete patio covered with a Pergola in the back, they said.
A dry creek bed borders the patio and a small grass lawn is surrounded with plants such as Mexican feather grass, Japanese blood grass, nandina and ferns. Grape vines adorn the fence.
• 121 Rolling Hills Way, Barbara and Ron Hansen — This garden is not too big, not too small and packed with color, organizers said.
All the work has been done by the Hansens with no professional help in building mounds and pathways and installing the irrigation system.
Plants include a metasequoia (dawn redwood) tree, “Hot Wings” Tartarian maple tree, Japanese snowbell trees, various grasses, corkscrew willow, Oregon grape, hornbeam, redbud, sunburst locust and many ornamental shrubs, such as vanilla strawberry hydrangea.
Many of the plantings are “sale” plants, with the exception being a large 60-year-old rose bush that belonged to the homeowner’s mother.
Gabions — rocks in wire cages — form low terrace walls.
For more information, call Rosenberg at 360-565- 2679 or visit www.mgf- clallam.org.
Reporter Sarah Sharp can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 56650, or at ssharp@peninsula dailynews.com.